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Super Normal Case Study

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2.3 Super Normal

Being a concept to celebrate sustainability in durable design, Super Normal is a concept developed by furniture designer Jasper Morrison and product designer Naoto Fukasawa. It refers to timeless products that serve people without drawing attention to themselves (Fukasawa & Morrison 2012). Calling for a re-realization of unobtrusive designs in daily life, Super Normal encourages designers to re-acknowledge the parts people naturally think are good in design. Generally, designers or even people who buy designs do not advocate ‘normal’ as a design concept, they expect something ‘special’ or ‘novel’ to catch eyes. However, the products that make a difference in daily life are invisible (Norman, 2013, p.13). Design is a
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Specifically, based on the terminology, it could be taken both as an oxymoron that ‘super’ opposes ‘normal’, means ‘beyond’; or a concept of absolute superlative in which the Super Normal determines the superlative of ‘normal’ to its greatest degree. Although the etymology of what is considered to be ‘normal’ relates to ordinary, no features, while from the perspective of Fukasawa and Morrison, Super Normal products are not normal anymore by making them so ‘normal’ (Fukasawa & Morrison, 2012, p.3). These products become both normal and superlative, pushing the norm to the boundaries of possibility, and introjecting the paradoxical coincidence of opposites at the same…show more content…
Here, the term ‘beauty’ involves both forms, shapes and the relationships between people and the circumstances (Fukasawa & Morrison, 2012, p.110). Not that there is anything wrong with beauty in Super Normal. On the contrary, the beauty of a product can elicit positive emotions that open up the cognitive system and inspires people to find out creative solutions easily (Norman, 2002). Here is a clear-cut case (Pic.10) that illustrates the aesthetic differences between Arial and Helvetica. They both are sans-serif typefaces that are universally embraced by different applications. At first glance, they seem extremely similar. But if designers examine the characters in each type closely, the differences become apparent. Mark Simonson[9], an American graphic designer, produced an analysis of these two types, showing how much more refined design of Helvetica than that of Arial (Simonson, 2001). The primary difference between the two is the treatments of their endings. While Helvetica is vertically cut, Arial is slightly angled. For instance, the tail of the ‘a’ is gently curved in Helvetica, but not in Arial. Similarly, the top of the ‘t’ and the ends of the strokes in the ‘C’ and ‘S’ are perfectly horizontal in the former but slightly angled in the latter. The letterforms of Helvetica demonstrate exactly how thoughtfully designed they are. The typeface is uniform and structurally sound by adhering to a guide of
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