40 Products That Are Truly The Pinnacle Of Human Ingenuity And CreativityBy Sachin P
The only things more common than crappy product designs are lists dedicated to crappy product designs. Although perusing such a collection is admittedly a lot of fun, we have to even things out a bit. And besides, not all designers possess the skills of a toddler.
So, this isn’t going to be one of those lists.
Oh no, these products represent some of the best of the best in terms of design. Only the brightest R&D departments in the world could ever hope to create the things we’re about to show you here. Scroll on to see examples of peak human ingenuity, from a restaurant partially submerged in water to a bag that can gauge its own weight. Thinking outside the box like this has rarely been so much fun!
A very chic letterbox
As a letter carrier, this mailbox has everything we seem to like. There is an overhang to protect the handle from being frozen shut. It has the number clearly visible on the side, where you can see it from quite a distance away.
And it looks to be a decent size in which we could fit an 8.5 by 11-inch envelope without bending it. That’s what good design is all about — practicality and efficiency of use, durability, and good looks on top of all that.
This specific hydrophobic logo of a penguin got us incredibly excited. Just look at it — exactly the same as the famous Penguin book publishing logo. A way to show support for good literature perhaps? Or a lawsuit waiting to happen?
Well, that’s something the publishing house and the umbrella company need to hash out. Unless the publishing house is the place that is manufacturing the umbrellas. Then there is nothing to worry about. Apart from the legal implications, this looks pretty neat!
Chaise Renversée by Pierre-Louis Gerlier
For contemporary people, French architect and designer Pierre-Louis Gerlier has created a wonderful home/office concept. Chaise Renversée, which translates to “reverse chair,” is a dual-functional workbench that double as a work desk when you need it to be one. Score!
It transforms into a recliner or lounge when not in use. The furnishings have an intriguing metal zig-zag foundation that doubles as a cozy lounge for unwinding in between tasks. You may effortlessly modify its positions to suit your mood. Talk about practical designs!
Now, this picture is really old. How old? Try before social media old. Yeah, that old. But people had more time on their hands back then, which led us to this ingenious shirt here. No longer does the repairman need to be wary of interruptions.
Read the shirt, buddy. In a perfect world this wouldn’t be necessary, but people can be surprisingly thick. He must’ve been asked if the door he was working on was open at least once an hour. Especially likely given that many people are in need of a caffeine fix if they’re heading to Starbucks!
OMA Monarch by David D’imperio
The OMA Monarch implements a novel two-way speaker design that draws inspiration from early horn theater speakers from before World War II, which frequently employed two 15-inch woofers and baffles to stretch and enhance low-frequency responses. Packs a punch while looking pretty!
The Monarch’s “wings” are actually useful baffles that aid the 2 15-inch woofers. Quite the beautiful design, but we can’t help but notice that it looks like two dudes who are about to flash. Bit graphic but hey, that’s what happens when you let the mind wander.
Invisible Woman hard at work
As a creative way of putting an exit sign, this takes the cake. But it seems like the sign guy is going the wrong way. It seems to be trapped by an impenetrable force field. Something like a giant soap bubble.
But in a world where people push when they should be pulled and pull when they should be pushed, this seems like the ideal thing to be done. Quite illustrative and the room for error is quite low when you consider all aspects.
Maico Mobil Scooter
The Maico Mobil is an early traveling motorbike produced between 1950 and 1958. The Maico was designed and advertised as a “car on two wheels” and featured bodywork that covered the drive train and shielded the passenger from the elements. Looks futuristic for something made in the 50s.
It had an integrated pair of panniers and had a mounting for a spare wheel. The Mobil’s body panels, which were made of steel and aluminum, were connected to a tubular steel frame system. The front wheel was encased by a sizable front nose piece.
“You call that a knife? This is a knife!”
Bread knives are bread knives. Unless they have a historical significance or are made out of rare, precious materials, they garner little attention. They cut bread. That is about it. But not with the Swiss. With the Swiss, it becomes art!
So the normal grooves on a bread knife, which make it easier to cut through the crust, are replaced. Instead, the grooves are silhouettes of the tallest peaks in Switzerland! That is just amazing. Now we want one as a souvenir!
E-Bike made from carbon fiber
The process of producing carbon fiber is extremely complex. Carbon fiber tows are made by manipulating the atomic structure of the organic polymers in lengthy, fine fibers using chemical and mechanical techniques. To build composite items, thousands of such tows are subsequently incorporated into a resin matrix.
To create a wide range of laminated composites which satisfy the tensile and mechanical specifications for certain parts, composite producers utilize their own formulas, techniques, and material combinations. In other words, carbon fiber parts are made custom for each set of product, which is part of why it’s so expensive.
Why the double-helix structure is important
Protein synthesis and DNA replication are made possible by the double-helix structure. In these procedures, the coiled DNA untangles and unfolds, enabling the creation of a duplicate of the DNA. The double helix untangles during DNA replication, so each split thread is utilized to create a new strand.
In addition to its being the reason you’re currently reading this, the double helix happens to be a very stable design. We would have loved if the end of the table leg wasn’t pointed but rather left open-ended, just like the ends of the double helix.
Squaaak, open the bottle!
We checked and yeah, it is Alessi! A bottle opener is something that is quite simple. Heck, even a Bic lighter can be used as a bottle opener (that one is pretty badass). But we love the parrot design here!
It is more like a cockatoo than a parrot, because of the crest. Now just by looking at this image here, we can’t assume how this gadget works, but it has really good aesthetic value. It would look pretty nice hanging from the kitchen or the bar.
How to tilt and not fall
It can be dangerous to tilt back on a chair because, at a specific point, you can really only lean backwards. Although it might seem to appear like a stupid accident at first, there is a scientific explanation for why you can’t get your balance back.
The expert claims that after your center of gravity — which is normally positioned close to your belly button — passes over the point of rotation, which is the chair’s rear legs, things only get worse. So if you want to tilt back and to not fall, this is what you need.
This has us hooked!
If all latches incorporated visual gags like these, how wonderful it would be. We love the Disney version; there’s no doubt about that. But what about the Spielberg version where Dustin Hoffman plays the infamous Captain Hook? That would be awesome!
Putting a bit of pizzazz into mundane day-to-day things can spice them up a bit. In the end, that is something that we want but don’t know we need. Why conform to the norms when you can add a bit of flair?
Ah, now that’s what we’re talking about!
Concentration matters when it should be specific. Those who are pretty protective of how their cocktails are made can relate to this fact on a spiritual level. Not too much alcohol and not too little mixer. Everything should be in proportion.
That is precisely the reason why a bottle like this would be worth its weight in gold. All you need is good hand and eye coordination when you’re pouring in the liquids (chemicals in this particular case). Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Oh, there’s time!
Some people are born with their patience cranked up to an 11. Some, like us, are unfortunately mere mortals. This is why we keep looking at the microwave timer or that stew in the crock pot. We need to know.
Well, all those worries have come to an end when it comes to this dishwasher. Just look at it. It projects the time left on those dishes as a fraction on a pie chart. It would be best if it was in numbers and not fractions, though.
A scene from the Swedish Subway
There you are, waiting for the subway to come so you can get home quickly. Plus it’s a Friday night, so you are just bracing yourself for another tightly-packed end to another hectic workweek. Tired and defeated, you look down.
Then you are greeted with this image right here. At first, you can’t believe what you are seeing but you are not wrong! It is Pac-Man and the ghosts. They added that small detail to the grill. Smiling to yourself, you join the masses waiting to get home.
The Royal Mail’s newest whip!
It is the perfect design and what’s more, it is electric! Just look how darn cute it looks. We would love to have our correspondence delivered in this adorable bread loaf. Watch out souvenir-makers, you have another one to prepare for!
Considering all the negative consequences of unmitigated fossil fuel use, replacing something that is in day-to-day use with an electric vehicle is a great step forward. Plus, it is easily recognizable, like the double-decker bus and the black taxis for which England is known the world over.
Now that’s a toaster
We are not overstating anything when we say that these guys know their customers. Just look at the settings on this toaster. They have a specific button labeled, “a bit more” if you want your piece of bread to be extra toasty but don’t have it quite there yet.
It’s not too toasty to the point that you could layer your roof with it like a shingle. Just perfectly done so that it has that satisfying crunch, just the right amount of chewiness when you slather it with butter and jam!
Seatbelts save lives.
Now, how clever is this awareness advertisement? Seatbelts save lives, people! That’s the bottom line because we said so (and because it is a proven fact, plus we couldn’t help but insert the Stone Cold catchphrase). Seriously, people! Buckle up!
When depicted like this, it sends out the message on a more personal level. Your life literally depends on your adopting a simple procedure like putting on your seatbelt. We are grateful to Volvo for inventing, and giving away, the patent for the three-point seatbelt for free!
Not to nitpick everything here, but considering that these are CFL lights, she could have used the appropriate bugs? Like fireflies, glow worms and other bioluminescent creatures like certain beetles. She had used the shape of the CFL bulbs, not the light emitting factor.
But if you look at it from her perspective also, it looks pretty neat. The CFL tube light is long and fits nicely into the shape of a dragonfly. The coiled CFL is chunky so it is depicted by what seems like a stink bug.
As people who help out in the kitchen (most of the time), the sight of these things scares us. Just imagine all the washing up you have to do to make sure you get through to every nook and cranny!
Plus, the knife seems a bit impractical. Shouldn’t it be longer and flatter and not shorter and rounded like an ax? You’re trying to cut a steak, not trying to rally the clans against Edward Longshanks! It looks aesthetic but is not that practical, to be honest.
Oh, how cute is that!? It uses the laws of physics to refract light in a way so that it breaks into the visible spectrum (a rainbow). So basically, a prism. Looks quite aesthetic, but when it comes to practicality, just no.
Unless you’re looking to market this as a shot glass, it has no apparent value as a water drinking glass. As an ornament, well, we seem to have something there. But in the end, it’s art, and not all art has to be economical.
Less is more
It’s simple, right? The straps on the bag complete the illusion of a pair of spectacles. But it is that simplicity and the creative use of negative space that really attracts us to designs like this in the first place.
They could have just printed the spectacles on the bag itself. But the designer saw something that could make this an art project. Don’t think that just because this looks simple, everything is though. The thought process that led to this took years of studying for the designer!
Ideal handle for the business
Now that’s nice — a meat cleaver shaped like a door handle. What a better place to have it than this French butcher shop right here. Would be great if other places also adopted something like this for their door handles?
You know, to break from the everyday mundane, that is. Imagine: A greengrocer with a handle that has a vegetable motif. A fishmonger with a handle that has a fish motif. Maybe one of those ribbon pole things for a salon? It’s the small things that count.
Yes! Yes! Someone has finally remembered to put the labels on a bedsheet. Back where we are, we struggle because nearly everything lacks such a label. Some bedsheets have slightly discolored the underside, but try figuring that out in a low light setting.
This would be the perfect solution to a mundane-yet-recurring problem. Plus, it saves a lot of time. You know what goes where and you can perfectly align the linen accordingly. It makes it a lot easier to maintain your own high standards!
Rock a bye baby…
To maintain both our mental and physical health, we must get enough sleep. While we sleep, our mind and body basically replenish, enabling us to awaken feeling rested. That’s why a lack of sleep can result in drowsiness, trouble focusing, depression, and other undesirable effects.
You should get seven to eight hours of sleep every night, according to current recommendations. This is why this IKEA ad hits a home run when it comes to addressing a sweet spot. A good ergonomic pillow is way better than a pill!
By the Emperor! That’s a gorgeous design!
Alex founded his independent design firm in Barcelona (his birthplace) before moving to New York City. This was after completing his education at Elisava Escola Superior de Disseny. He has honed an instinctive manner of functioning through his design, drawing, and typographic practices.
These aspects have led to his emotive graphic style. For Alex, typography has two levels of functionality. Comprehension happens after seeing the word’s picture, which occurs first. Just look at his design for the back cover of Frank Herbert’s Dune! It’s amazing!
Whoa there! Hold your horses!
So basically, what this ad says is that the new Jeep model can go on any terrain. It is quite capable in that regard. What it does not say is that it can plow through contour lines like a hot knife through butter.
Contour lines on a map denote the terrain of the land. So basically, no terrain is hard enough for this particular vehicle. It is a pretty decent vehicle when it comes to all things off road, like a Toyota Landcruiser.
Jamba Juice stepping up their game
Banana peels are almost universally used to denote slippery things. As most of us have slipped and fallen, we tend to heed caution when we see such a notice. But out of all the warning plates, this stands out the best!
It is eye-catching and you can see it from a good distance away. Plus, from what we have learned, this is found at a Jamba Juice, so it is pretty on-brand with their customer base. Making everyday things unique. Way to go!
Chair designed by Oki Sato
Design, according to Oki Sato (the self-described “spinning-top” of Nendo) is a way to interact with our never-ending human curiosities through a kind of dance. His unbridled and childish enthusiasm for design as well as its boundless possibilities is truly astonishing.
His courageous and persistent belief that the earth is a wonderful thing and a source of equilibrium that extends far beyond tangible is a result of his mixed Canadian and Japanese ancestry. His spark is quite well reflected in this unique chair that we see here.
Prop the box lid anywhere!
Ah! Finally, puzzle box creators went ahead with this simple addition. Can you even imagine the struggle to find something suitable to prop the box lid or to just keep looking at it, craning your neck at impossible angles? That’s uncomfortable.
But this is just another ingenious example of common sense based design. You just need to prop the box lid using the already attached contraption. It’s not rocket science to know how to bend it properly. Little things like this have the biggest impact.
Burger King immediately springs to our minds when we see the color patterns here. Beige, Brown, Yellow, Red, Green and Beige. From the bottom up that is. That relates to Bun, Patty, Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce and Bun. As that is the BK standard.
Pretty neat, sitting on a burger themed chair eating a burger from burger king. Burgerception, much? All in all, it’s pretty neat to have something like this in a restaurant setting like burger king. Matches the vibe to a T.
A suitcase with a built-in scale
Everyone has faced the dreaded luggage scale during pre-flight check-in and somehow prevailed. But the few times you do get caught with a bag that’s just a little too big, it’s probably because you lacked a weight measuring instrument when you really needed it. That is why this is just the best!
Imagine, all that hassle and worry about your overweight luggage is now behind you. Your luggage functions as a scale, saving you precious time and, most importantly, the panic that would then ensue before boarding a flight. Isn’t that what we all need?
No more stains!
Another ingenious piece of common sense engineering that we have here! Yeah, that’s right, we call it common sense engineering. We use that term because that seems to be the foundation upon which most of these inventions are designed around. Just look at this!
The soap dispenser is right above the drain. So whatever amount of soap that escapes the hands, falls straight to the drain, which in turn minimizes the chances of the soap staining the sink in the long run. Another victory for common sense!
Now that’s neat!
We all know how frustrating it is to see we have run out of something, after we have come home from shopping. That is where this thoughtful gesture and addition comes into play. It lets you know when it is about to run out.
So that you will remember to add it to your grocery list the next time you go out. But seriously though, use more sustainable options like metallic wraps, saran wraps and beeswrap. It’s more needed that ever for us to think about the plastic problem.
Nothing lazy with this Susan
According to common understanding, a 1917 Vanity Fair advertising for a “Revolving Server or Lazy Susan” is where the phrase “Lazy Susan” first appeared in writing. One could purchase a Lazy Susan made by the Ovington firm for $8.50. Plus having it in a fridge is just the best design!
The Lazy Susan has a reputation nowadays for being a tacky throwback from the 1950s and 1960s, but its history is far more illustrious than that. The idea has been traced by scholars as far back as England’s 18th century, when it was more widely recognized as the dumbwaiter.
Two birds, one stone
Cleanliness matters everywhere we go. Especially on a public place like a road. That is why something like this is pretty ingenious in its own regards. It divides the road as well as cleans the road, the same time! Pretty neat!
In places that experience heavy snow, like Canada, this would be an ideal way to clean the roads. Not with normal water but with salt rich brine water. Some can argue that it could lead to significant savings in taxpayer money.
Easy drink and easy fill!
We need the help of gravity for the food and water that we swallow to reach the stomach. That is why, as the illustration depicts it so clearly, we hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle to make the transition easier.
Plus, everyone knows the hassle of trying to fill up a water bottle from a spout that is too short to accommodate a long bottle. That’s where this ingenious design chips in. Just slant the neck and the cap at an angle. That’s it!
Lamp design by Umut Yamac
British architect as well as designer Umut Yamac is known for his interdisciplinary designs that explore the interactions between architecture and light. Theoretical concepts are evaluated through such a hands-on creating process, frequently drawing inspiration from the environment, in which the workshops perform a crucial role.
A role in the creation and completion of each project. Just look at this lamp. It is just ingenious. Superb design in all regards. Plus, Umut’s decision to incorporate origami designs into this is just fantastic. Can’t get enough of this design, to be honest.
Now that’s how you do it!
So far, by reading what we have written, you might get the idea that we really love strong design. Even though this is not a design per se, it is so pleasing to look at. It looks like something from OCD heaven!
Just look at how the cables are arranged and neatly fed through an outlet specifically designed for them. If there was any fault, it would be really easy to find where the cable in question connects and runs into. Bliss!