Last Wednesday, Canvas8 attended a talk by Sir Kenneth Grange, the godfather of UK product design, at Second Home in London. Renowned for designing some of the most iconic industrial products of the past 50 years – British parking meters, the Intercity 125 and the Anglepoise type 75 lamp (as seen in the Pixar logo) among them – Grange shared his insights on today's design in conversation with Financial Times architecture and design critic, Edwin Heathcote.
When asked for his opinion of how the design industry has developed throughout his career, he voices his opinion of how design has failed to serve older generations. “I couldn’t even get out of the car I was driving to this talk,” he said. “The door was too small”. With the main focus on younger consumers, brands risk losing the elderly – many of whom have cash to burn.
Boomers will account for 50% of the population by 2020 and currently hold 80% of the UK’s wealth. But design is failing them in all kinds of spheres. Whether it’s fonts on cosmetics bottles that are too small, and therefore difficult to read, and packaging on groceries that’s difficult to open, it’s leaving older audiences feeling vulnerable. With more people in Britain celebrating their 100th birthdays than ever before, the idea that older consumers should be empowered, rather than ignored, has never been more prevalent.
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Vilde Hudson is Canvas8’s in-house graphic designer. Originally from Norway, she defines her approach to design as Scandinavian, with a twist of British. When she’s not busy transforming information into visuals, she’s probably out hunting for inspiration, attending exhibitions or just enjoying a Netflix binge.
11 Nov 16
2 min read