I occasionally come across something and think, “Nice idea!” My latest find is the Fresh & Easy grocery store’s Big Pizza packaging. A Google search revealed that a lot of people are blogging about how delicious this pizza is…and it’s all true. But what caught my designers’ eye was the package design. A simple package with a clear view of the product so you can see what you’re getting, yeah, yeah, yeah, but the money shot came after I took it home and preheated the oven.
When I opened the package I saw that some clever designer had the idea of printing wood grain on the cardboard liner so it looked like a pizza board, complete with rounded corners. I was so taken with the idea I even used it to slide the pizza into the oven and I cut and served the baked pizza on the board itself. I’m even calling it a board. Could have been a boring white cardboard liner but for the inspiration of some talented designer. The presentation added so much to the experience of what would otherwise have been a mundane and long-forgotten event of cooking a store-bought pizza.
It is often said in design professions that Presentation is Everything. Let me say it again in case you missed it, Presentation is Everything, meaning that how you present something makes all the difference in the world. Presentation is about persuasion, about creating desire, about getting people to buy into what you’re offering. Keep this in mind when you present an idea and put as much thought into how you present something as you do into the idea itself. For example, when presenting logo concepts, do you just print them out on sheets of paper to pass around or do you mount them individually on presentation boards with paper overlay covers, giving them the subliminal but powerful status of something of quality due the special consideration they deserve. When presenting a brochure idea, print it out on quality paper and cut and fold it carefully to appear as much like the final product as you can…and have enough copies for everyone in the meeting. Presenting concepts in a Flash or QuickTime video format is now becoming the industry norm for ideas that lend themselves to this format. And, call me crazy, but also have things prepared to present that you do not intend to present. Saywhat? That’s right, have additional ideas, support materials, Plan Bs, competition, and anything else you can imagine you might need should the meeting go in a different direction. You don’t what to be caught unprepared; have it ALL at your fingertips. There have been many an occasion when things I didn’t plan to show ended up bailing me out or being approved on the spot instead of the original idea. Take the extra step. Don’t let a great idea fail because of poor presentation. Remember, you don’t serve Dom Pérignon in a paper cup.
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