Adding Design Value to Familiar Product
with Humour

Suttichart Sarapaiwanich

            Most Thai products are mass produced and mainly designed to meet the purposes of use resulting in lack of product improvement; consequently, many cannot compete favorably with their imported counterparts which have similar specifications but are of higher quality. This research, then, aimed to seek unique design approaches in which a variety of Thai cultural aspects were combined with modern design to add value to Thai daily used products. 

          According to research on global products, humour was one of the most powerful design ingredients with the potential to create a rich experience in the use of products. Due to Thai people’ smiles and sense of humour and the recession of Thai novel publishing business, this research designed a Thai novel copy based on theories of humour. The copy embraced social satire illustrations hidden at the back cover. The design was found to add value to the novel copy. Not only could the design provide the reader with entertainment, it could also challenge the reader to experience discovery, plays, and creative activities.

The design processes of the new concept of the Thai novel that adding value from sketches to final mock-up print. The novel “Kumtai in Thong Ka Lhong” looks like an ordinary Thai novel in the bookstore but after reading till the end, the reader will find the added value by the satire book inside that will be interpreted to level up the thinking of Thai social value in some ways.

The new concept of the Thai novel from the critical design process uses the printing technique of thick paper cover to hide the satire book inside the back cover of a regular novel.

This motion graphic explain the structure and connection between the story in regular novel in satire product illustrations in the hidden book.

The results of this project found the new concept that turns the book into a product that has more functions rather than only reading. The new novel can quickly be reading for people who don’t have much time. The printing will be dynamic and flexible by separate print each part for content updates. The new functions are playable like a product, discoverable like digital media, and can create activities for the reader. It also makes a viral review like social media today.

            Humour is a valuable treasure in design, especially in Thailand. Thai people always have a sense of humour in any situation that can release stresses but that is not the only benefit of humour. Humour has many types by origin and intention of people, some humor like gag or puns will make laugh but some can offense other people by the different of cultures and experiences like the satire humour can use in the entertainment content or advertising that suit to target group like in this new novel. But satire, parody, irony, or slapstick can’t use in a consumer product that every consumer as the target. So the beware of humour usage must be the priority by designer and will test with sample target group before release.

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