When asked how much they like the new packaging, 30% say "a lot" or "pretty well", compared with 20% for the old packaging. (Norwegian, https://www.nettavisen.no/okonomi/hoie-boksen-skulle-vaere-s...)
Picture of new vs (one type of) old box: https://www.nrk.no/osloogviken/_stygge_-snusbokser-far-desig...
What this really called for was the Impact font, Microsoft WordArt, gradients, drop shadows, and maybe some stock photography.
[Update: I have answered the call: http://presteign.com/files/skruf.jpg]
<blink font="Comic Sans">This is not a place of honor.</blink>
I would stay very far away from it then.
I know it's untenable in practice, but in my perfect imaginary utopia, products on shelves would have minimalistic (and standardized) packaging with no branding crap, and the labeling would be maximized for utility. Product type and core variables (e.g. "milk" and "UHT 2%") in large font, ingredients, nutrition table and manufacturer/expiry date in small font below or to the side.
Like e.g. this bottle: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/BAoadypFBQ4/maxresdefault.jpg.
Every now and then, some company releases a product run with similar minimalistic packaging; when I spot it in the store, I tend to buy it just for the packaging.
Come to think of it, I feel like calling bullshit on the whole "ugly color" idea. What color is actually perceived by a human depends on a lot of factors, like material, texture, lighting, shadows - or in case of digital reproductions, color capabilities and calibration of the display. Case in point: on my half-decent display, this Norway snus looks premium to me, not ugly. And in a physical store, I bet the vendors set up the colors of the lights on a shelf to maximize that premium feeling.
If you want to go for maximum effect, you need to take something that the brain can't just interpret differently because the light slightly changed. E.g. visceral colors + texture. Or the usual shots of tumors, like on cigarette boxes in some countries.
If I wanted to go for maximum effect, I'd mandate that the packaging should contain large photos of: a tumor, a spider, and a lotus seed pod. This would be sure to scare off a good chunk of the population (don't Google lotus seed pods if you're not ready to risk a very unpleasant feeling).
Sounds like the Canadian 'no name' house brand of, I believe, the No Frills/Loblaws supermarket group:
But yes, you're right, supermarket own brands in general are relatively straightforwardly packaged. I suppose in part it's because they cover such a range of products, so they can't pick a more 'normal' theme that might look better for some of them, because it would be so odd and out of place on other lines.
In the recent production of The Handmaid's Tale, the handmaids do their shopping at grocery store (more like a commissary) that is as you described. I know it's context-dependent but the thing looks terribly bleak, and oppressive in that it implies lack of choice and in turn lack of freedom to make any choice. I would never want to shop there. I think the appeal of minimalist design is that it stands out in a field of non-minimalist (maybe more functional) designs, and one expresses his individuality with the choosing. I don't think we would prefer the world to look mostly like an Apple Store.
(sorry, that's the best image quality I could find)
I think they've started to eventually jazz up their packaging so they just look like rip-offs now.
It is not so untenable, as proved by RxBar ─ a bootstrapped venture, which sold to Kellogs for $600M a few years ago. The pivot to clean, minimalist design and colors with relevant typography, proved to be a turning point in it's fortunes.
Only 15-17% of the population get that reaction (it's called trypophobia)
BTW. I am in this 15-17% of the population, as I discovered recently thanks to someone mentioning lotus seed pods on HN.
I do agree the amount of meaningless choice as well as non-products and ridiculous colors is off the charts in terms of misinformation and uselessness. The reason is they get away with it. You need to regulate companies, else they do whatever the fuck they want which is in their sole interest; not yours.
Most people still think these seed pods look sorta weird.
A bit of history:
They should only offer choices where it matters, like different kinds of beer or frozen pizza.
I don't care so much about price as I do about convenience. ALDI only sells low-budget store-brands, and that's going a bit too far. I want A brands where it matters, and high-quality generic things where it doesn't.
In the US, I really liked Trader Joe's, which seems like an up-market version of Aldi. Which makes sense, seeing as it's owned by Aldi Nord.
- what seems like superfluous options to you might be required for people with allergies or other conditions
- even those that don't have any medial reasons might still have preferences. eg some washing detergents smell rank to me while others don't. There will be people who have the reverse preferences too. So just because you cannot detect any difference it doesn't mean others also don't.
- monopolies are bad for consumers for a multitude of reasons. Lack of innovation, higher prices, etc. Really this point alone should be multiple bullet points.
What I really wish supermarkets stopped doing was moving stuff around. I know exactly why they do it (lost customers tend to buy more stuff by accident) however as a customer it's REALLY(!!!) annoying having to relearn where you're preferred breakfast cereal is now located when the last place you'd want to be on a Saturday afternoon is stuck in a Supermarket with two bored kids (though these days I just pay for home delivery)
A uk supermarket substituted its own brand sausages one time and they looked cheap and looked so vile when cooked that the entire packet was thrown away
Another thing to baring in mind that it's quite common for some producers to distribute to different brands. Eg they might make the same product for a budget brand as they would for a premium brand. Maybe just sorting the product by what's more aesthetically pleasing. I've noticed this a lot with loose vegetables where "ugly" carrots would be sold to cheap brands whereas the smaller but prettier carrots would go to premium brand and sold for twice the price (even without factoring in the smaller weight). But it does also happen with some pre-made / pre-seasoned dishes as well.
The best advise is not to take brands nor even price at face value. Try a few products and see what works for you. Unfortunately though, much of our experience is distorted by bias (this is an area for amusement during wine tasting studies under controlled scientific conditions). So often we end up actually preferring the more expensive brand because we assume we should so our brain convinces us we do (isn't our human psychology fun!)
I, on the other hand, detect no meaningful difference between any beers, ‘cause to me they all taste bad. ;)
A detergent should clean my clothes. If there is a scent after washing they aren't clean.
Also, competition. If you're happy to pay 10 times more for Colour, Dark and White powders because nobody else makes it, that's your choice, we'll just put it on the shelf next to the rest of the more affordable options.
The general theme in these comments is that these designs look too modern or up-class. The reason it looks like this is because its a product for adults, children generally don't appreciate this kind of design so I would imagine this works pretty well.
Things leading the ratings of the ugliest things are rarely ugly. This applies to architecture and it seems to be the same with colors.
Dark brown is not the ugliest color, the ugliest color is magenta. It is commonly used as a transparency placeholder for a reason - nobody wants to actually see it. Just imagine a website with #4A412A background - it's ok, people will read it if you put something interesting there as soon as you use a reasonable color for the font. Now imagine a website with #FF00FF background - it's a disaster, everybody is going to close it immediately as soon as they accidentally navigate to it, no matter what font color you use.
My memory from my days in television was that magenta was used to represent transparency because it was the opposite of chroma green, and was easy to generate electronically. That's why it ended up being in one of the palettes for the primitive-by-today's-standards CGA adapter in the early IBM PC's.
Chroma green, magenta, and superblack were three "magic colors" that made TV production work in the pre-digital age. Sadly, there is no wikipedia entry for superblack even though everyone saw it all the time, and few understood its utility.
I tried looking it up myself, because it sounds interesting, but of course search results are polluted with articles on vantablack. "Super black TV" and related search terms just bring up garbage about OLED TVs and such.
Doing this allowed "true 0V" (i.e. gaps cut out of the modulated signal by electronic post-processing, below the "minimum" intensity of 1V, where you're just getting carrier) to act as a form of in-band signalling. 0V was used "outside" the image to both synchronize the TV's raster electronics, and inform said electronics of the period of time they should be off altogether, rather than firing even a weak electron beam. (This most noticably prevents your CRT from drawing a subtle diagonal swoosh when it starts each new frame.)
See also: the terms "front porch" and "back porch" (in e.g. https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/201011/what-...), referring to the parts of each scanline that are 0V.
Sandin also had a distribution philosophy that was a precursor (early contemporary?) to FOSS: he called it “copy-it-right”. He’d send anyone a copy of the schematics, but you were expected to build it as designed and not get creative until you at least had it working properly. The process of building the machine was also supposed to teach you how it worked.
Many moons ago I emailed Sandin and got a copy of the plans. They’re a hell of a document. Unfortunately some critical components are no longer in production, and updating the schematics was beyond my skill (setting aside that the scale and expense of the project was also beyond me, but hey).
Like snow, even. Hence 'Snow Crash'. :)
I imagine the sky in a predominantly cold, snowy or rainy place could look a bit like static. Dry sunny climates are tend to be more "A/V 1" blue. :)
Because the color signal is optional, TV receivers had to have a detector for it to enable color. Noise didn't contain the "color burst" that identified the color signal, so noise showed as black and white noise, not colored confetti. At least until TV receivers acquired enough signal processing that no-signal produced a "No Signal" message, a blue screen, or a channel guide.
Gibson has written that he has mixed feelings about that line. Great line, but dates the work.
Just showing raw static was much more common though.
Frequently these TV's would have a "muting" mechanism - if you selected a channel without a signal, it would mute the audio and display a blue background instead of the underlying signal.
When LCD TV's and HDTV started gaining traction the "No Signal" screen was often some text bouncing around in some manner.
Superblack: A value on the wave form monitor of 0 or less luminance units. 7.5 units is standard TV black. Graphics and logos placed on superblack are much easier to work with.
You will see that the area around the logo is glowing slightly, and that the area opposite the logo is completely lights out.
That is, essentially, the difference between "black" and "superblack". Both areas are displaying black, but one area is backlit and the other is not. Lit black is clearly different from Unlit black, because LCD pixels aren't perfectly opaque.
If you have an OLED TV (or an OLED phone, like a top-end iPhones), then every black pixel is superblack, which is why it looks so high contrast and gorgeous. If you have an LCD phone, you can see the "lit black" thing — but probably only if you set it next to an OLED phone.
Folks who know what "235" has to do with this, yes, I know, but I'm only addressing "what that might actually look like", not "deep dive into the RGB low/high problem". Feel free :)
I'm not a TV engineer, I was a journalist, so here's what I remember:
Superblack was a special kind of black. When you watched analog TV and the video faded to black, the screen was black. But that was a transmission black. It wasn't as black as was electrically possible. There was always still some signal there generating not-quite-black.
The not-quite-black was largely an artifact of video tape, and all the dozens of machines a video signal had to go through from playback to broadcast. If you were watching black recorded on tape, it was never quite black. An ordinary person would never notice that it wasn't perfectly black, but you could see it if you were in a TV station with oscilloscopes monitoring the signal at various points in the video chain. IIRC, it was like -1db, or something like that.
You could see it at home, if you tried. If you knew what to look for. The easiest way to do it was to turn the brightness up on your TV and look for the dark dark dark grey at the beginning and the end of commercial breaks. That wasn't superblack, that was regular black. But superblack would be next.
In a videotape room or an editing suite, you could see superblack quite easily. Watching a tape with black on it on an analog monitor showed regular black. When you ejected the tape, the monitor would go a shade darker: superblack. The blackest the monitor could electrically be without actually being off.
Superblack could be used for all kinds of things. I only remember three off the top of my head.
First, primitive chroma-key effects in the days before digital video. It wasn't great, and you'd need extra equipment down the line to boost the signal because it would get dark, and then boosting the signal made it look bad, so it was rarely used.
Second, the equivalent of today's alpha channel compositing. This was more common, but still resulted in some signal degradation. But it was how you could put chyron or an OTS over video or a live signal.
Third, was the TV station equivalent of a "silence sense." When I worked in radio, each station had a gadget called a "silence sense" that would be hooked up to an ordinary radio tuned to the station. If there was silence for longer than x number of seconds, it tripped a relay that flipped on red blinking light bulbs in the DJ booth, in the newsroom, in the PD's office, in the MD's office, and if you were unlucky, the GM's office. In non-studio locations it was often accompanied by a beeping noise. The idea was to let everybody in the building know that something had gone horribly wrong and there was nothing on the air. Some stations I worked at it was set for 10 seconds. Some as few as 3. Really, it depended on the type of music the station played.
A similar gadget could be made (most of these things were home-made by the station engineer) to look for superblack in a TV signal. Too much superblack, and alarms go off everywhere.
Fourth, Panasonic is the only company I know of that used superblack in the consumer arena. It made a VCR that, after a show was recorded, would automatically rewind and re-watch the show for you. When it sensed superblack, it would mark the location on the tape. Then when a person went to watch what was recorded later, the VCR could sense the marks it made previously and use them to fast forward through the commercials in the program. This worked because there would always be superblack inadvertently broadcast at the start and at the end of each commercial set where there was a break in the video chain from the switch between the show playback machine and the commercial break's playback machines. I had one of these machines. It worked really well, except that it made all kinds of chugging and whirring noises in the night while it marked the tape.
Again, I'm not an engineer, so I'm just working from memory. But I'm typing what I know here because so much information about these sorts of things has disappeared, and the people who know more about these things are mostly dead.
I assume that videos used the same machinery, possibly in software, so that you couldn't take screenshots for copyright reasons. Or maybe it was faster for some reason, who knows (Raymond Chen might).
Either way, it's probably unrelated.
But this is indeed tangential and not relevant to the original comment, because the chroma key color could be anything. On one particular driver I had, I remember the chroma key color was a very ugly shade of brown :)
Interesting... do you have a source for that?
The hideous CGA palette is legendary, but I thought the reason for its ugly palette is a consequence of: (1) only having 16KB of video RAM, and (2) only having ~10 bits of mode-setting and colour control registers. The CGA card was built entirely from off-the-shelf discrete logic chips (plus a 6845 CRTC) and there simply wasn't room to add any extra registers.
At 320x200 resolution the colour depth was limited to 2bpp, and these two bits are wired up directly to the red and green bits of the display output. The blue and intensity bits are (in graphics modes) wired up to the mode control register. Thus the four hideous palettes: the B and I bits have to be set to a fixed value for the entire screen, and only the R and G bits can vary on a pixel-by-pixel basis.
(There's a bonus palette of red, cyan, and white that can be enabled by yet another mode control bit; and the background colour -- which is usually black -- can actually be set to any one of the 16 available colours.)
(In addition there was an "undocumented" palette consisting of colors 3/4/7 plus the background color).
The most interesting color on the rainbow is violet. It registers in our heads as a kind of purple when objectively it's super blue. But the cones that register red in our eyes are also slightly activated with this super blue light, which makes it register as purple in our brain.
I'd love to see an experiment where people are shown both true violet and purple mixed from red and blue in proportions that make it register as the exact same purple as violet does. And then check how many people see a difference between the two colors. That might finally answer the question of whether red in your head looks the same as in my head.
So, to be clear, it's just a hardware detail with our red cones? They fire in the presence of photons in the red band, but also happen to fire in the super-blue band? It's just an artifact of how they're constructed, either by chance or evolution?
> I'd love to see an experiment where people are shown both true violet and purple mixed from red and blue in proportions that make it register as the exact same purple as violet does.
Isn't this basically exactly what the computer color violet does? E.g. there are photographs of violet at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violet_(color), which presumably look close to reality, but the hex color is #7F00FF, which has a lot of red in it.
Is that red not there to simulate our perception of violet, if I've understood you right?
As far as I understand (I'm no expert, I just read this somewhere), red cones also fire for extremely blue (violet) photons. No idea why. Maybe it's blue light of exactly double the frequency of red light?
My guess would be it's accidental, but I truly don't know. It might be interesting to test if animals with different kinds of cones (like butterflies) also have a similar effect for some of their cones. Though of course we'll never be able to imagine the colors they see. We're colorblind compared to them.
Unsure of the relevance of this. Surely there are many colors not in the rainbow: black, white, gray, brown, pink, yellow, periwinkle...
It's fortunate that we mostly have 3 categories of cones and also 3 spatial dimensions. Notice that magenta is a vertex (of 8 vertices) in the cube, along with Yellow and Cyan too.
How the particular space (of activation to the 3 categories of cones) is carved out by that cube is something we engineered, and in fact is different across different printing and display technologies.
Of course, those two colors were also immortalized by John Cougar Mellencamp in his “little ditty ‘bout black and cyan...”
That's just, like, your opinion. Beauty is subjective and the only way to declare something the ugliest, in some general sense, would be to get the subjective opinions of many people. This is presumably what was done in the market research for Pantone 448 C.
Also, magenta stands out. That is a likely reason why it was chosen as a transparency placeholder, rather than just being "ugly."
What do you think will sell better this Valentine's day: bouquets of magenta colored flowers or Pantone 448 C colored flowers?
If you want to see magenta being used as a webpage background color, check out any of the EU websites e.g. www.magenta.de, etc.
#0000FF is pretty harsh on the eyes as well but somehow I severely doubt that you go around telling people who talk about nicer blue hues that "those aren't real blues, only #0000FF is".
In written form that's incredibly hard to parse, especially when you've just written a lexer for a very similar file format (space separated, sometimes quotes, sometimes quotes in quotes).
> Dart is a synonym of cigarette.
So far so good...
> As nouns the difference between dart and cigarette is that dart is a pointed missile weapon, intended to be thrown by the hand; a short lance; a javelin; any sharp-pointed missile weapon, as an arrow while cigarette is tobacco, marijuana, or other substances, in a thin roll wrapped with paper, intended to be smoked.
That makes it sound like they're not so synonymous, somehow.
Magenta might be hideous when swatched together with most random colors that exist in the natural world, or in society; but it's certainly also attention-grabbing in a way that can be used for effect. (It's on plenty of movie posters!)
Something slightly greener than mustard-yellow is definitely worse than dark brown, IMHO.
I feel as though I've seen many women wearing magenta-painted nails. They probably don't think it's ugly.
If you were to force cigarette companies to use magenta as their marketing color, you would probably increase sales. Magenta is eye-catching.
You could make the same argument about bright orange. Imagine if HN didn't exist. Which other sites use bright orange? "No one wants to see it."
Funnily enough: "drab dark brown" describes the archetypal colour of shit. Now shit has its own exciting spectrum of smells and colours but most people find it unpleasant and the colour is going to obviously get involved.
Now, qwerty45etc may shit magenta coloured poo. Who knows what "web dev" does to you long term 8)
It has to evoke things like death and sickness in addition to being unattractive. It has to literally look like shit. Magenta has none of that, it is just "ugly".
But some combinations are going to be problematic. Each of the colors from an ugly combination, when combined with another color in a reasonable way, will look fine, though.
Even today just recalling it I'm drawn to laugh a bit in exasperation. I feel a little bit like I'm sharing a tech horror story around a camp fire.
Her desktop icon arrangement was... in line with what you would expect of such a mind.
But it's yet another example I can bring up against absolute statements like everyone hates magenta.
Staring directly into a bright, magenta-colored screen would certainly be unpleasant. Printing it onto a non-emissive material like cardboard, though, would probably look quite nice.
"That's the shape that's going to be punched out" came the reply.
At least they use #e20074 instead of #ff00ff
If only bots weren't color agnostic then this would be an awesome way to get rid of them!
#FF00FF on the other hand is used in marketing toy dolls all the time.
> "This is the world's ugliest colour, according to experts". Evening Standard. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016. N.B. As of 2018-03-29, the image there erroneously shows colour #5D4914, rather than #4A412A.
> "Researchers discover the ugliest color in the world: Pantone 448 C". Digital Trends. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2016. N.B. As of 2018-03-29, the image there erroneously shows colour #4D442E, rather than #4A412A.
> "Does this colour turn you off?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 June 2016. N.B. As of 2018-03-29, the image there erroneously shows colour #594A13, rather than #4A412A.
I think it's funny that in a thread about a Pantone color, no one has posted it's CMYK value. C:39 M:47 Y:81 K:67 would be a better representation but it would still depend on the printer, the inks it uses and what material the color is printed on. Yes, I live in Pantone. I'll have to check out the real color in the coated book in the morning...
I get why it failed market research, it's surprisingly bold for such a drab color. Which I think makes for an interesting feeling because I find drab and bold to be antithetical to each other, yet this color manages to be both.
Also, it feels neither warm nor cool, which is also a little off-putting. I was playing around with making the grey banner at the top a more warm grey, and it was terrible, but I went with an even cooler grey, and it was still terrible. The most complimentary color I found was something around #dedfd9, and it's still merely, not terrible.
It does kind of remind me of an old Gameboy, especially with the sepia picture of you.
(which according to https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/ is WCAG AA OK in contrast to the ugliest colour in the world)
Old one looks way better than the new one. But the story might be worth keeping the change :)
If they want to make ugliness mandatory for things they want to discourage, they should prescribe ugly colour combinations, not single colours. Although I doubt even that will work. Things that are considered ugly in one decade can often become popular in the next, and vice versa.
I purchased a grand total of two packets before quitting 3 weeks ago, thanks colour science!
Despite all the bells and whistles added to the web over the past 20 years, it seems we still can't get colour right.
"Described as a "drab dark brown", it was selected in 2016 as the colour for plain tobacco and cigarette packaging in Australia, after market researchers determined that it was the least attractive colour."
I actually like it...