Not every award-winning design needs to be ridiculously elaborate or overblown. Indeed, it is often said that simplicity is the key to success. Just take these prize ingenious designs, which succeed so brilliantly precisely because they are so straightforward. We hope to elevate your experience of using everything from elevators themselves to supermarket carts with some canny but uncomplicated concepts.
20. Elevate your existence with feat of ingenuity
We have all been there – you clamber into an elevator with your hands full of grocery bags, only to be faced with a push-button panel of options. You then have to adopt an awkward fumble – and perhaps drop half your shopping – to press for the required floor. If this is a familiar scenario, you will get a kick out of these buttons, ingeniously placed near the ground so you can operate them with your feet.
19. The latest word in smart travel
To spare its bus drivers squinting at a ticket to check the validity of its date, a British bus company has come up with a very singular solution. The firm prints a random word of the day on each ticket sold. For instance, the one for March 6 was “LARD.” At first, you may think this is a fat load of good, but when you are relying on busy public transport to get around, anything that speeds things up is a real godsend.
18. Trickle-down effect for dry-mouthed doggos
It is a case of waste not, want not with this wonderful water fountain. Its ingenious design is actually a two-in-one – a regular, human drinking fountain that pools any wasted water at the bottom for canine companions. And there is even a tiny hole to let that excess liquid run away so that mutts are never subjected to stale water.
17. Going Dutch when dining out
If you are a diner who is watching the dollars, this Dutch idea could really pay off when it comes to your wine. Indeed, with this incremental innovation, you only pay for the plonk you end up drinking. For once, a business practice which favors the consumer – a cash-conscious concept that is award-worthy in itself.
16. Emphatic empanadas spell out what’s on the menu
Ever wondered what is in an unidentified empanada? Well, this ingenious impression could revolutionize life for puzzled pastry consumers. Never again would they have to suffer not knowing what mysteries are contained within such tasty treats. Unless the word “CHICKEN” is being used as an accusatory challenge to would-be munchers in this instance.
15. Green means go in bathroom boon
Bosses at London’s Heathrow Airport have apparently made a highlight of its restroom fixtures. Indeed, these futuristic facilities have been fitted with traffic lights to tell travelers whether they are free to land or not. In a hectic, crowded airport, such easy-to-read indicators are a positive boon. After all, it sure beats peering at the tiny engaged-vacant sign on the door lock, and you can rest assured that in this case green means go.
14. Makeup your own mind when it comes to shopping
Sometimes, shoppers know exactly what they need and just want to get in and out of a store as quickly as possible. And this inevitably means without any interruptions from staff members, never mind the fact that they are just trying to help. These do-not-disturb baskets, found in a Korean cosmetics store, sidestep that problem neatly with a clever piece of color coding. Opt for a little black label, and you will be left to shop in peace.
13. Planner takes the pain out of dating
Planners are awesome, apart from every time you open one up and have to leaf about wildly to find today’s date. Sure, bookmarks are a thing, but they can also totally ruin the aesthetic. However, this specially designed planner has perfect perforations in the page corners, so you will always be able to put your finger on the correct date.
12. Cautionary coasters with simple message
Few public awareness campaigns are as eye-opening – or as sobering – as these metal coasters from Canada. Indeed, a marketing agency created the bar accessories in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2017 from cars destroyed in drink-driving incidents. It was a simple and effective design, which really drove the message home.
11. Parking spaces drive you up the wall
Sometimes, the simplest and most obvious ideas really are the best, as many a grateful car parker can now attest. Indeed, it is amazing that no-one thought of extending these zonal markers decades ago. Think of all the time and effort humanity could have saved in the parking lot – and all it took was a little extra lick of paint. Honestly, this practice should really be more widespread than it is.
10. Banana-shaped warning sign has its own appeal
It is probably not something that has ever crossed your mind, but when you stop and think about it, regular wet-floor signs are super dull. And while this banana-esque portable bollard may not be the most urgent design innovation of all time, it is certainly a lot of fun. After all, what better symbol is there for the dangers of a slippery surface?
9. Sound idea delivers sight gag
Sure, cheap ear buds are never of the greatest quality, but these examples are almost worth buying just for the hilarious way they are presented. Actually, it is a great ethos to work with – even if your product is not particularly premium, that does not mean the packaging style should suffer. If only more manufacturers took that approach, shopping would be a whole lot funnier.
8. Get your teeth into this packaging
Okay, it could be argued that it would be like pulling teeth every time you removed a piece of gum from this inspired packaging. Nevertheless, the presentation idea is still awesome – too bad it was just a mock-up for an advertising campaign. Let’s just hope that it becomes a reality one day. As the gum got depleted, we would have a handy visual reminder of why we look after our teeth in the first place.
7. First-class floor tiles
If you are about to say that this floor pattern is actually super infuriating, then go ahead – normally, we would have said the same. However, these particular tiles are actually to be found at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. In light of this, we are sure that you will agree that the envelope design delivers with style.
6. Stop at nothing to save energy
At first glance, there does not appear to be anything particularly unusual about this stop sign. That is, until you notice the solar panel situated on top of the futuristic piece of street furniture. Yes, the panel cleverly collects and stores energy throughout the day, allowing the stop sign to light up at night to alert sleepy drivers. It is practical, safety-conscious and good for the environment – what more could you want?
5. Shedding a little light on the lot
Back to the parking lot, and time for more traffic lights. Imagine driving into a garage and not having to drive around aimlessly for ages, looking for a vacant spot. It may sound like the stuff of dreams but it is actually a reality in some places. Indeed, these suspended lights turn red or green to signal whether a space is empty, so you would be able to secure a free spot with relative ease.
4. No stain on your character
Can anyone claim to have never spilled anything down themselves while eating BBQ? We thought not – which is why this restaurant’s thoughtful addition for messy munchers is such a brilliant idea. Accidentally dripped some sauce on to your pristine whites during a business lunch? No problem, help yourself to a handy stain remover. Yes, it is great when eateries go that extra mile.
3. New spin on getting into a good book
Yes, that really is an exit door, it is just disguised to look like a bookcase – and with a very good reason. Indeed, this particular portal is on a residential ward for patients suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. With the door only visible to those who know what they are looking for, the paint job severely reduces the chances of a confused person using it and wandering off. Once again, it is a really simple solution but one that should really be more commonplace.
2. Solving Rubik’s Cube now a challenge for everyone
At first glance, you may think that a Rubik’s Cube with no colors defeats the purpose. But look a little closer and you will notice the tiny bumps on each square, indicating that this is actually a braille version. Indeed, the Rubik’s Touch Cube is a real stroke of genius – why should visually impaired people be excluded from the fun of everyone’s favourite puzzle?
1. Shopping made simple by satellite
Korean cosmetics stores aside, sometimes we need guidance when it comes to the seemingly endless aisles of vast superstores. But what if there are no employees nearby to give us direction? This canny Canadian store has actually introduced GPS into its shopping carts, so navigating your way around its wares is plain sailing.