Thursday, September 8, 2011


 Its that time of year again. Time for the new calendar for the new year.  This always coincides with the new school year, which I am sure in not a coincidence. So most of us will be in the market for calendars. Yes, a lot of us now keep thing on our I-pads and smart phones, but not everyone and we still like to have wall calendars or calendars on our desktops.

So why so many calendars? It seems that every store will have them. Not just the stationary and office supply stores, but grocery stores, craft stores, discount and hardware stores. Racks and racks of calendars, and many businesses still send out promotional calendars, it’s a great good-will building gift, a free calendar. But really, why so many? Do they have different date? No, all of them will have the same 12 months, in the same order and with the same spelling. So why so many?


Yes the artwork. People will choose which ones have for them the most pleasing pictures. Whether they are kitties or lions, waves crashing into shores or birds flying in serene skies, it is the artwork that makes them different. And this is how we chose them, by the artwork.

We are all art lovers. Yes, each and every one of us. And we all like to collect art. Most people don’t collect original art because they don’t know they are art lovers and art collectors.

Yes, it is true! Most people are unknowing art collectors.

Everyone is influenced by art by what they see as art. We select things to buy not only by our needs but also by how it looks, its aesthetics. When we shop for toasters, yes we want something to brown bread, but often the final selection is not on quality of the toast but by how it looks, which toaster will look better sitting on our counter.  At that point, we are buying a piece of sculpture as much as a toaster. All things being equal, we will buy the “pretty” one. Of course, our definition of pretty will vary. Some like the nice shining sleek model. Some will choose another simply because it is red. But we will make our final decision on looks, not performance.


Things are designed. Yes, everything; and a lot of thought and effort go into these designs. Packaging is a multi-million dollar business and hundreds of designers spend their lives designing packages and packaging. Strength and durability will be married with desirability. They will be designed to make you want to take them off the shelf.

Everything is designed to make it better than it has to be. To make it more pleasing to the eye, or touch or smell. To enhance our lives.  We as humans have a need for this. Simply providing bleak shelter is not enough, that shelter must be attractive to us as well. We have entire industries devoted to making our homes better, more appealing.

And while we all know that while looks do not necessarily make something perform better, it makes no difference. We still make selection based on how things look. Stainless steel appliances cost more than plan white, but they sure look cool!

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