What really constitutes ‘good emotional design’ ? Does it have anything to do with the equally ambiguous concept of good taste? Page 117, Marc Gobe, Emotional Branding


Who lives in a vast city, knows how important coffee is to sustain everyone’s daily rhythms. Busy capitals as London has taken advantage of the coffee business. The price for a cup of coffee has reached nearly 3 pounds. From Café Nero, Costa, Starbucks to independent cafeterias, the prices are nearly the same. Coffee has become a huge business, but for its price, do people care about the way it looks? My experience as Senior Barista for the British company Peyton and Byrne proves it does. After a year of training, I was able to make properly patterns on the top of coffees with the use of steamed milk. I met customers who did buy a second cup straight after the first one or were so amused by the heart, bunny or bear on the top of their coffees to take a picture of it. The human’s mind creates connections between these images and feelings, such as love or affect, or associates them to one’s childhood lifespan.

Page 117, Marc Gobe, Emotional Branding

Don Norman said that “Everything has a personality: everything sends an emotional signal” (D. A. Norman, 2007), but is this emotional feeling transmitted from design, connected with good taste?

Good taste comes from the combination amongst objects, subjects or sounds. We usually assert someone’s good taste of music after knowing few tunes the latter enjoys listening to; we don’t consider the design of a solo sofa to be of good taste, but the balance amongst it and the context where it resides.

The pub “El Bosc De Les Fades” (The Forest of Fairies) on Pasaje de la Banca, Barcelona, is a perfect example to distinguish the concept of “Good Taste” and “Good Emotional Design”. As its name suggests, the interior design of the place was created to take the viewer into a world of fantasy and dreams through the mood lights, the sound of gentle waterfalls, drowsy crickets and peaceful flutes, and the sensation of a



limitlessness woods, although the restricted and windowless space. The reaction of people entering into the pub is comparable to the astonishment of a child who sees something for the very first time. Anything is true but artificial, and yet people get transported into a foreign world to relax and forget the real one. “El Bosc De Les Fades” embodies the concept of Good Emotional Design because of its singularity and originality which arouses people’s senses, and make they feel pleased, ecstatic and thoughtless.

It can be assert that personal taste is influenced by good emotional design, which is featured by novelty and distinctiveness. However good taste design does not need to evoke intense sensations into the referee, but instead balance and harmony. Good taste is more likely to be coined on one’s consciousness throughout the years and shaped by individual society’s regulations. The case can be observed in the history of fashion when each past decade is well identified by the combination of items which creates a particular outfit that embodies the good taste line of the society at the time. To conclude, good taste unconsciously grows up within the individual’s perception of the outside world inputs, but yet good emotional design has the power to mould one’s personal taste.

By Nicole Afonso Alves Calistri, 2016


D. A. Norman, 2007, “Emotional Design: why we love (or hate) everyday things”, Basic Books; 1 edition.



A. Norman, 2007, “Emotional Design: why we lore (or hate) everyday things”, publisher Basic Books; 1 edition.

Gorp, 2012, “Design for Emotion”, publisher Morgan Kaufmann.


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