Or, What’s Out Is Out, Part 3

Want a look that says you never left the 70s? Try these trends with Donna Summer blaring from your 8-track player:

  • Avocado
  • Harvest gold
  • All-black
  • Olive

  • Mirrored surfaces
  • Multiple-colored silkscreen portraits à la Andy Warhol

  • Long tresses, ponytails (male staff)
  • Unkempt facial hair (ditto!!!)

  • Eco-preaching (in now: Do it, don’t blab about it)

  • Smoking

  • Helvetica

  • Benches
  • Step-down seating areas
  • Furniture shaped like human forms
  • Shag carpeting

And, though I believe it’s illegal in 38 states and several Canadian provinces:

  • Disco balls

That’s the Little List of 70s Don’ts. Can your company make tasteful or tongue-in-cheek use of an element from this list? Maybe, if done with skill. Maybe, if you know your Ideal Customer very, very well.

Whether starting up or considering a redesign, be cautious. These tired color, fashion, and furnishing trends have been done, and mark your business as uninformed. Using interior design, graphic design, and staff uniforms/grooming standards from another era can limit your customer base to people who have positive associations with the decade in question.

This list is a bit shorter than the previous two, because negative associations are starting to fade from 1970s design. What’s left on this list are elements that may just never be cool again. As we leave the 70s behind in our memories, taking inspiration from the decade can be done, especially with a younger market that didn’t live through it the first time. Watch out! Overkill is just that, to any customer. If you’re guilty, take charge today and start planning a revamped Customer Experience!

Moderation in all things, and if you’ve got to have that conversation pit in your store or restaurant (oh, please don’t!), find a way to renew, revitalize, and take the concept into this millennium. Time warps are only funny to a very limited market!

Care to agree, disagree, or add to the list of dated 70s design trends? Leave a comment below!

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


‹‹ Part 2  What else is out?  Part 4 ››