The Industry is going from music to barcodes my ninjas..AWe recently got an opportunity to talk with Bar Code Revolution, Tokyo.ABar Code Revolution is an innovative company that has sought and answered the question, "why has the barcode never changed?"
Can you please talk about how Design Barcode is changing the existing information tag into something new?
First and foremost it is turning it into advertising. A Our belief is that anything that powerfully attracts the hearts and minds of consumers is advertising. Our Design Barcode can function as "advertising" in various unique ways. For example, some "barcode-aficionados" may actively seek out our designs and display their finds as their "collection" on their blog, exposing the barcodes to numerous, unspecified people on an individual level. Or the barcodes can serve as a tool for companies to bond with their consumers by acting as sort of an "Easter egg" for loyal customers. We believe that we were awarded the Titanium Award precisely in recognition of that kind of out-of-the-box thinking.
How does the Japanese team go about the creation process when working with a client on a new design?
We take an agency approach to creation. AClients send us a creative brief so that we understand the priorities of the brand, the audience, and other necessary characteristics that should be represented in the design. AFrom that point we begin a draft phase where we present a series of concepts and work with the client closely until they are comfortable with the vision. AOnce we have agreement final codes get created and fully tested.
It is exciting to see design at such a micro level, what is the inspiration behind Design Barcode?
We recognized the problems that barcodes had, like the fact that it blemished the look of the packaging or lacked personality. The Japanese aesthetic traditionally focuses on small details. For example, in the olden days, Japanese people liked to play with the design of the fabric used as the lining of one's kimonoasomething that is barely noticed. Our idea was born from that kind of quintessentially Japanese aesthetic.
Which barcode designs have gotten the greatest response from the public?
That’s is a difficult question to answer, but in general when a brand with multiple SKUs uses different barcodes to "tell a story" it deepens the playfulness and evokes more curiosity by the consumers.
Do you see the barcode gaining more real estate on the package as the designs become more integrated with the product?
Definitely. ARe-packaging a particular item can give it a temporary boost, but it seems to rarely evoke any emotion or thought in consumers. AA Designed Barcode tends to hold more cause for study. AWhat is the story being told by it? AIs it clever? How was it designed, etc. AIt’s a very visceral experience for people because it represents a shift in peoples expectation of what a barcode can be.
How has Design Barcode enhanced the consumer experience?
This is a very thoughtful question. AWe think one of the great things a design barcode does is give packaging the ability to "wink" at a consumer. ABecause finding a design on a barcode is unexpected, consumers get to feel a sense of discovery. ATo that end, a Design Barcode, more than other aspects of the packaging are usually what is shared with others.
Do you think the consumers will now look twice as hard at the items they wish to buy because of the added detail on the barcode?
This is one of our desires. AWe want to create advertising that consumers would actively seek out, as opposed to advertising that forces an insipid message upon them.We want to create attractive advertising that consumers would pay to see, rather than something that makes the client carry the large cost on their own. In that sense, we position consumers as "spectators."
Why haven’t we seen this type of transformation yet in American designs (or have we)?
We actually have been making big strides in the U.S., but for the most part we are bound by NDAs so if we told you who we have worked with we would have to kill you.
Why is the barcode so appealing?
Barcodes are appealing because by their nature they are meant to serve a very single purpose in packaging. AWhen design is integrated into them it suddenly feels like "out of the box" thinking, and it challenges the consumer. AAWe believe when you listen to consumers too much when marketing a product, you can only create advertising that is within the limit of their imagination. Being sensitive to the needs of the consumer is of course important, but we believe that "artistic" advertisingasomething that challenges the consumerawill become more common in the future. In fact, today, creation of advertising is becoming "borderless," by which we mean that successful advertising is being created by creative professionals who come from fields other than advertising. For example, a rocket designer has created advertising for an airline, and a poet for an insurance company.
Is Design Barcode just another example of the Japanese as trendsetters?
Well, in Japan the competition to capture the attention and imagination of people is so intense that people in the creative industry are constantly looking at challenges from every angle possible. ASo, it may be another example, but it also may be about what happens culturally when competition is so intense.
How much information can be stored on a barcode?
It depends on the software the merchant has.
The barcode looks like a non-blind person’s Braille system- how much of the barcode is utility and how much is left for design?
There are very strict rules around how much scan area must exist in a barcode and how the design interfaces with that space. AIn terms of design it’s mostly a function of how much real estate a brand wants to give to the barcode!
:: images courtesy of Pacarc, LLC - Representing Design Barcode, Inc. Tokyo ::
Posted: March 19th, 2010
at 7:32am by Koookiecrumbles
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