Novelty Glasses Makers Run into Design Difficulties with ‘2011’

Rarely, to our minds, does one piece of merchandise present such a serious challenge to typographers, product designers, and novelty merchants at all one time than this. We’re of course talking about eyeglasses shaped in the form of “2011” for New Year’s Eve. After a while decade of being spoiled by two zeroes right where the eyes needed to be, novelty suppliers suddenly found themselves in a tough spot they likely hadn’t been in since the 1971 (though clumsy, at least the 80s had that 8 and the 90s had the 9). The Wall Street Journal‘s Nando DiFino files this great report on the difficulties designers have had on coming up with where to put the eyeholes, from simply putting one of the 1s into outline with a knock-out center to alternatives with thrown-in holes right in the middle to just dropping the product line entirely. It’s apparently been a serious issue within this very specific market and makes for a great read about the importance of design, even with something decidedly unimportant.