Mint’s Everyday Thing Design

The MoMA Design Store’s best selling item? These “Hug” salt and pepper shakers made by Mint Inc. The Mint site has a lot of cool and curvy items and so does the site of Scott Henderson, a Mint partner. Pure contemporary interviewed Henderson in July 2005.

He likes designing prosaic items:

The objects I really enjoy designing are the day-to-day items everyone has in their house but never thinks about. For me, the more mundane the item is, the better. The more mundane, the more potential there is to make something totally new. It’s like a built in ingredient for high impact.

And he sees bad design as an opportunity:

There are so many companies out there that basically just don’t use design, so there’s a lot of bad stuff out there that sells very well. People don’t always care, and I’m guilty of it to. If I need a broom, I’ll go to the grocery store and get whatever’s there, I don’t shop around. But the problem is that people do this with everything, with things like DVD players. And it’s for that reason that bad design sells well.

The companies I respect are those that make a conscious effort to put well-made, well-designed products into the market. And while there has been more of these recently, there are still many more out there selling bad design. In terms of good design, it’s still a barren wasteland, but that’s what I like. Without much of a struggle, you can find so much opportunity to make things better.

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