Innovation That Matters

Design competition seeks alternatives to museum shop coffee mugs


Looking to move away from the ubiquitous coffee mugs and provide museum shops with more innovative products to sell, Release 1.0 is a design competition that offers winning contestants a fair deal. Unlike most other design competitions, winners are promised a percentage of sales revenue, as well as the traditional good publicity and international exposure. Not limited to a single museum, the winning designs will be stocked by spaces such as the ICA in London and Berlin’s Deutsche Guggenheim as well as being sold online at Those lucky enough to be picked will receive 7% of the product’s wholesale price, which compares well with the industry standard of 3-10% for commissioned designs. Submissions are made via Release 1.0’s website, with entries displayed on the website to whet the appetites of potential buyers. Entries currently range from a knuckle duster that measures spaghetti–Godfather-style–to a football scarf that can be turned into a soft sports ball. It’s a fine example of how to tap into the talents of Generation C(ash)–those gifted members of the public who want to be rewarded for their creative output–and a reminder to other retailers that it’s never too late to get your customers involved in your production process. Spotter: Mark Wilson



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