Nissan z

Design vs Brand Prestige

Something I thought about when looking at the Puma x MAISON KITSUNE collaboration line (specifically these yellow and black sneakers):

Wow, Puma makes some really cool shoes, even though Puma isn’t considered as prestigious or “cool” as Nike or Adidas.

In a similar vein, I find the new Kia and Hyundai/Genesis cars very cool from a design perspective — specifically the Kia K5 (the wolf grey is insanely cool) and the Kia Stinger (Panthera metal). Kia Telluride is also very cool (all black).

With Hyundai, the new Elantra front end (the Elantra N with a 6 speed transmission is super cool), and the bold styling with the Hyundai Sonata. For Genesis, the new G80 is insanely innovative from a design perspective (far cooler than any Porsche, Audi, BMW or Mercedes sedan).

Which makes me think:

When we desire things x, y, z … how much of it do we want for the brand prestige and name, or just the design?

My thought is that most people buy things for the name and brand prestige. Most people are too basic — they want the basic and boring Louis Vuitton bag, the Leica camera, or to drive the BMW or Porsche. Far more interesting to get the less common things — which are actually sexier and more disruptive/interesting from a design perspective. Even in some ways, buying a Tesla is too basic — everyone knows it is (already) the best car out there. If I were to buy a Tesla, it would almost certainly be a used Model S (either from their website, or from a prior owner on Craigslist).

Why the iPhone “Pro” is so bizarre

After getting a new iPhone 12 Mini, I thought to myself:

Wow, this is clearly the most superior iPhone out there — far better than the iPhone Pro (normal size) and the max.

But why does everyone desire the Pro? For the name and prestige. But truth be told, there’s not much that is uber-“Pro”on it. I feel the MacBook Pro series naming convention makes sense as many working professionals (or serious hobbyists) use those devices for extreme computing or processing. But a phone is a phone at the end of the day — iPhone best for texting, FaceTime, and Apple Photos sync.

My thought was this:

Wow, after Jony Ive left, Apple is falling apart from a design/aesthetic/ethos/branding perspective.

Consider how Steve Jobs said he would never make a big iPhone, then after he died, Apple execs made the iPhone a lot bigger (just to compete with Samsung, and to appease the market). Then they made the bizzare iPhone “Max”.

No iPad mini (or big)

When Steve was alive, he put in insane amounts of effort with the design team to make the iPad the ideal size. Then after Steve died, Apple went ahead and made the ‘mini’ and the ‘big’ version, which was bad because eventually the iPad mini got made redundant with bigger iPhone (too many choices now), and even the bigger iPad seems to not have much benefit over the ‘normal’ sized one.

Weird colors?

To continue my weird Apple rant — after Jony Ive left, the colors offered by Apple is insanely bizarre and weird. Green and Sky Blue for iPad Air? Super weird. Same goes with the new iPhone 12’s — nobody likes the blue color. For the new iPhone 12 Pro— I feel they only made that new ‘Pacific Blue’ color in order to have the (poor) iPhone 11 Pro owners to upgrade their devices (again), or to have new purchasers flex the fact they have the newest iPhone Pro, rather than have the most beautiful design.

Design > Sales

I suppose this is my simple takeaway:

As producers, let us prioritize design over sales.


Don’t buy things for the brand name and/or prestige. Always choose design first.


Mood by Eric Kim

our lady of the gate of dawn-4 mother mary wallpaper

Lines from man-made designs and nature:

Porsche Panamera x Cheetah

Ford GT

Porsche Panamera



Peregrine Falcon

Video slideshow: Man vs Nature