Little Things – The Next Big Thing
I’ve always been puzzled by the old expression, “The devil is in the details.” I do understand and appreciate its meaning: What looks simple from a distance is often far more complex and challenging up close. Doing a bit of quick research on that irksome idiom, I learned that its origins go back to another phrase coined in the 19th century: “The good God is in the detail.” Now, that’s more like it. I know that attention to detail can mean the difference between great and merely good.
I learned the importance of detail as a fledgling designer at a boutique Manhattan studio. My art director constantly stressed the importance of the tiniest of details, whether it was designing an indicia to match a direct mail piece, or how to construct a client presentation that shows enthusiasm, expertise and understanding of the minutia of the project at hand.
I recently received a reminder of all this from an unexpected source – a new wallet. Simply designed, responsibly sourced and beautifully made by a company called Bellroy, I’m sure it will serve me for years to come. But, as happy as I was with my online purchase, it was the packaging that really caught my designer’s eye.
The first thing I noticed upon opening the cardboard shipping envelope was the beautiful printed-pattern lining. A closer look revealed the seams of the envelope, meticulously machine-stitched. This elegant touch sends a subliminal message that this product is crafted with care and pride.
Consider the rising importance of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). In so many ways, it’s all about companies actually listening to their customers and paying close attention to the “little” things that, when added up, are not little at all. As designers, marketers and creative collaborators, we’ve learned that, as important as it is to keep the big picture in mind, close attention to detail is always a good investment.