Friday, November 6, 2009

The Cutting Edge

I have been fighting the blade escalation of razors over the years, stubbornly continuing to use my trusty, 80s-era Gillette Trak II. How can it possibly do the job with only two blades, while all the newer models have three, four, even five blades in a row? It works fine, although the mechanism for holding the blades in is wearing out and becoming less effective. I have to admit though, I prize it mostly for its design.

Absent are the swooping curves and swirls of different colors wrapping around and in between each other in contrasting waves prevalent in current razor design. Here we have a clean, disciplined, structured design — a series of solid, functional, raised grips on a sleek silver handle. Everything is lined up — the handle clearly defined; the neck, appropriately abruptly, bent. A contrasting black metal seam runs down its spine, revealing and highlighting its manufacture.

This sort of restrained design language seems to be out of favor on many products these days. Cars, yachts, even toothbrushes — all seem to have numerous looping, curving intertwined surfaces — a design trend that seems to have evolved from the overdesigned, Nike running-shoe sector. Hopefully, there will be a return to santity, and maybe I'll even find a replacement handle of this model.

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