November 8, 2010

What looks good should taste good, and what tastes good should always look good

In Korea, there’s an old saying “What looks good tastes good.” Here in America, there’s a saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” One emphasizes the importance of making things beautiful and the other of good contents. And I find it very hard to argue with either point.

At Corey, we always strive to achieve both. To us, one can’t exist without the other.

However, sometimes we find ourselves completely enticed by beautifully designed objects without really caring much about what the quality of the content is. At least, that’s what happened to me when I saw these beautifully hand crafted and packaged treats in Korea. Individually wrapped treats were carefully arranged in boxes to show off all the different textures and colors of the ingredients. Simple patterns and graphics in rich contrasting colors used in the boxes themselves mimicked the textures and colors of the treats. Together, they just looked really really good.

These are traditional Korean snacks and to tell you the truth, I never enjoyed them growing up. And I knew the taste couldn’t be much different than how it used to be. Yet, I couldn’t help myself from stocking boxes of these treats just because they were so beautiful!

In the end, I found out what looks good doesn’t always taste good. But I was happy to be reassured that a good design can be so powerful that it actually can overcome doubt in someone’s mind and change his or her behavior. Of course I would never get those treats again, because they didn’t taste good. Beautiful designs can be a strong hook, but only good content can create loyalty and affinity.

So how about a new saying? “What looks good should taste good, and what tastes good should always look good.”

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