Thursday, June 3, 2010


What is an Archetype? How is it related to design?

A good place to start is always the dictionary:

ar·che·type  –noun
1. the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.
2. (in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.

Here is an interesting product that can illustrate the concept and it carries over into design and architecture. 'wekker' which is the dutch word for alarm clock, is an iconic form triggering concepts: of loudness, bells ringing and getting up. likewise, the common round, dome shape of a loudspeaker evokes a similar type of idea: of volume. by combining these two archetypes, a new form was created while still sustaining a level of familiarity for users about its function.
I also like their Giraffe lamp!

I can think of a modern archetype which represents our fascination with technology and community connection - the iPhone or iPod. I conjur an image of one even when I am looking at a generic MP3 player.


Helvetic was my typeface of choice when I was in design school and if you are interested in knowing more about it - follow this link!
It's a sturdy type with a European pedigree. It is also not that readily available - Arial is close, but doesn't quite match it for elegance. Look for it in architectural and interior design periodicals and graphic presentations!! There is even a feature film about the typeface!

Hey - just for fun, take the typeface quiz:
I was Times New Roman - I hate that face, though - won't use it.