'D' for Design

Aroma-rama? No, thanks.

Did you know that enduring several days of fever, delirium, and uncontrollable vomiting makes one both weak and snarky? It’s true. Lesson learned (and I’m starting to feel better, thank you).

Sorry Pier1, but this is for your own good.

Stop gobsmacking us with the ugly. Weren’t you trying to revamp your image? Focus-grouping your way toward the hip, urban set? Remember the lamp that we all so loved? Bring us more of that, because THIS is not the way to go…

Shall we dissect the wrongness of it all?

  • Clothes from Pier 1, circa 1991? Check. (Remember when they had clothes?)
  • Girl of indeterminate age? Check. (She looks like my friend from junior high.)
  • Fake flowers EVERYWHERE? Check. (Available at your local Pier 1!)
  • Bad color palette? Check. (Tan, sepia, apricot, burgundy, and beige? Ick.)
  • Aroma-rama? Check. (“Follow your nose.” WTF? Also: Toucan Sam.)
  • Photo blur behind the text, looking like the visual manifestation of funk? Check. (“So fragrant, you could find it with your eyes closed.” Ew.)

You know what this ad needs? The heavy-handed use of Papyrus.

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  • Katie
    April 16, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Ack! Food Poisening? Feel better soon!

  • Katie
    April 16, 2008 at 12:11 am

    *poisoning …oh spelling.

  • caroline
    April 16, 2008 at 12:55 am

    ah, i do remember clothes at pier 1!

    funny stuff.

    feel better!

  • Kylie
    April 16, 2008 at 2:55 am

    This cracked me up! I have no idea what this shop is, but your ad analysis made me laugh, as did the link to I Heart Paprys!WTF indeed? LOL

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  • Valérie
    April 16, 2008 at 6:44 am

    Also, can we talk about the weird model pose? I mean, a flower in the eye? Ooo, I get it, «you could find it with your eyes closed» therefore, sniff with your eye?

    Also-also, the use of 5 different fonts! eekk!

    Take care Nicole!

  • Liene at Blue Orchid Designs
    April 16, 2008 at 7:10 am

    hilarious and great analysis. the ad reminds me somewhat of a dilia’s catalog. only worse.

  • Kirsten
    April 16, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Really, really bad. And, due to the link to the iheartpapyrus site, I’m feeling really guilty about my role as co-editor-in-cheif of a 1997 high school year book that used Papyrus as its primary font. SHS Cards: I’m sorry.

  • amy purple
    April 16, 2008 at 7:50 am

    To me, Pier One is known for having wicker. I wanted to get a wicker hampers, so I went there a few months ago. NO WICKER HAMPERS! As a matter of fact, hardly any wicker. It seems like they just change their styles way too much so who knows what you’re going to get when you go there!

  • Caitlin @ C³
    April 16, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Lawlz @ Papyrus!

    Sorry to hear you were sick, though! :(

  • lindsey @ coveiter
    April 16, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Oh, I love the breakdown of the “wrongness.” You are SO right about it. yuck!

    { Lindsey }

  • marcy wacker
    April 16, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Love the I (heart) Papyrus site. I teach graphic design and every semester a student will do a project with poorly kerned Papyrus and I cringe. I know I will get a lot of flack for this, but can we talk about Zapfino, too?

  • Renovation Therapy
    April 16, 2008 at 8:42 am

    It’s so true! LOL

    I wonder if they are doing a big push behind those annoying reed diffuser scent-thingees. HOW I HATE THOSE THINGS!

  • Bobbi
    April 16, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Hahaha, I felt the same way, when I got their email advertisement yesterday. I didn’t even want to click over to view the online circular. Deleted immediately.

    Oh, and what is up with their sucky website? Ever since they removed all their individual items from the website and only allowed browsing via their SLOW online circular, its made me want to shop at Pier 1 even less. I used to go into the store once a month… I haven’t been in 6 months now!

  • Caitlin @ C³
    April 16, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Renovation Therapy – what’s wrong with reed diffusers? I think they’re much prettier than those plug-in things.

  • modish
    April 16, 2008 at 10:02 am

    HiLARious Nicole!! Hah!

  • Lauren
    April 16, 2008 at 10:11 am

    just in case papyrus couldn’t help their cause, they should maybe think of using some comic sans.

  • Erica
    April 16, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Yeah Nicole WTF is right! WTF is going on with Pier 1?

  • Elizabeth Seering
    April 16, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I subscribe to a blog called Photoshop Disasters (http://photoshopdisasters.blogspot.com/) and you really need to submit this to them.

    Thanks for the laugh!

  • luuve
    April 16, 2008 at 11:01 am

    nicole! hahhaha! this is soo great! i haaaatttteee horrible design..and always wonder who’s cousin at the office did it! because i mean really who thinks it’s nice!!! and then when I saw it I thought, “Wow! they are using a really young looking girl for this ad. This isnt a kids store!”

    I would’ve liked nothing more than to see (if they just have to be this queer about the aroma-rama) like a chick with her eyes closed..and a guy behind her with that fake silly flower! in like really cool clothes and glasses and just being the people who would ACTUALLY shop! at the store! i cant stand it!! DELETE THIS POST!! HAHAHAH LOL you are helping them sell it!!! hahaha lol

    bobbi:when i got the email advertisement i just deleted it!

    catilin: although the diffusers are prettier than the plug in thingys…they stink to high hell in the store! they have waaay tooooo many scents going on at one time!

    PIER ONE! please dont make me hate you!!! AGAIN! lol

  • Kate
    April 16, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I thought the same thing when I got this email. Maybe it was a weird server hiccup that caused this email from 1998 to accidentally be sent out. Ooh, maybe it’s a time-warp themed sale. That would explain the clothes and the use of the term “rama.”

    But seriously, what kind of large company reduces their online presence these days? The online store was the only convenient Pier One location for me, so now I don’t shop there at all.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling better!

  • Making it Lovely
    April 16, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Kate, I think you figured it out!

    Hmm… This post was REALLY snarky of me. I feel kind of bad.

  • TwinkleBee
    April 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    lol…you pulled it apart and nailed it exactly! Hehe nicely done.

  • Jen
    April 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Even worse are the in-store signs that read Mama-Rama! What were they thinking????

  • Jules
    April 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    There’s nothing to feel bad about, Nicole. We all have a little pepper in our salt shaker. Be glad yours is so damn funny. ;)

  • Janie
    April 16, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Ha! You are too funny…I completely agree with each and every point :)

  • Barbara
    April 16, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Whenever I hear something-a-rama, it makes me think of the 80’s and that tacky movie title “Sorority Babes in the Slime Ball Bowl-O-Rama”, and that is definitely not a good association to have.

  • luuve
    April 16, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    nothing to feel bad about…

    you reeeeally have to think…YOU’RE A DESIGNER FIRST! when you see things you dont like you have to speak on it..you didnt say you wouldnt ever shop there..or you didnt bash the store…you bashed the design..and its TOTALLY FINE!

  • mary.c
    April 16, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Oh my gosh, this is totally hilarious, and I couldn’t agree more!

  • Toi
    April 17, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Too funny. I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t figure out Pier One anymore. I’ll stop losing sleep over it at night now.

  • julie mack
    April 18, 2008 at 9:21 am

    oh papyrus!

  • Anna @ D16
    April 18, 2008 at 10:52 am

    Oh my god, thank you for ALL OF THIS. The entire post.

    Pier 1 is so gross. I saw that AROMA-RAMA sign in their window the other day and almost starting crying out of pity for their total lameness.

    And I hate “reed diffusers”, too, so thanks to the other person up there who mentioned them. I live in fear of someone giving me one as a gift.

    Also, the Papyrus site: DYING. omg. Have you seen this?

  • Kate
    September 16, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    there’s a reason the girl looks young. she’s my friend and she’s only 16.