Smart founder says big clients focus more on individual needs

Big-name clients for designers including Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are continually paying more attention to the personal needs and desires of users.

This is a trend that Dan Formosa, the US design consultant and founder of Smart Design, predicts will have a huge impact on product and packaging design.

Formosa’s consultancy analyses trends that it sees in the industry as it completes work for clients such as Kellogg’s, Starbucks and Johnson & Johnson. He says designers need to have a deeper understanding of psychology if they are to succeed in the retail market, which is starting to focus less on generic buyers.

Formosa shared his views at the Next Generation Product Design Forum in Barcelona this week where experts from firms including Nike, Virgin Atlantic and Motorola met.

He said, ‘I think that design education should incorporate an element of psychology training, as that will allow designers to shape products that connect with the consumers who buy them.’

Smart Design developed the packaging for digital camera printers by Hewlett-Packard and for Microsoft’s Vista software, creating more consumer-facing designs. Formosa says he applied photographs to HP’s printer packaging design (pictured) for the first time, to show consumers what the product could be used for.

‘The designs previously highlighted the product rather than what it did,’ he says, noting that research into what consumers think when shopping is needed.

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