How Long Is A Minute?

Basingstoke was covered in frost this morning. The car looked like a wedding cake and needed serious scraping to ensure some sort of visibility. And then after all that effort, the inside windscreen was completely fogged up.

That’s when I had this lightening flash of insight. Well all right, a little spark then. I sat there with the demister blasting out and for some reason started watching the car clock. Do you know just how long a minute is? It’s an eternity. It was stuck on 6.43 am forever. I even got to the point of tapping the digital read out as I thought it was stuck.

At 6.44 the windscreen was clear and I was off – mentally and physically. Today’s way of life has trained us to work at an extraordinary pace. We squeeze so much into every second of every day. In fact so much we can’t believe a minute lasts so long.

Now transfer that thought to shopping. Most of us think the average punter spends ages in front of our fixture, weighing up the pros and cons of each brand. Comparing and contrasting benefits and value for money. Well that’s rubbish isn’t it? They spend seconds scanning and choosing.

So when it comes to design, there is zero point heaving all sorts of data on to the display face. No point in detail. A pack design in today’s world needs to be fast and immediate. It needs to offer a quickly absorbed brand
visual metaphor, a flash of familiar colour or shape. Like a halo, keystone or Matterhorn.

Try it yourself. Look at your watch for the next 60 seconds. It’s a very long time in today’s world.