November 22, 2016

Enthralled with Small: Our Obsession with All Things Tiny

Teeny tiny trends in consumer branding

Has your Facebook feed been commandeered by videos of carefully crafted pop tarts and lasagnas? Recently considered trading in your spacious condo for something a little cozier? Never forgotten the small but mighty YouTube sensation Marcel the Shell, who fearlessly hang-glided into all of our hearts on a Dorito? Same. Needless to say, from real estate, to food marketing, to teeny little worlds, tiny is trending, and there’s no saying which consumer brands will downsize their marketing mix next. 

So, why exactly are we, the consumer, so enamored with all things miniature? Well, there are a few theories:

First, the theoretical take: “The creation of small worlds gives us the illusion of control,” miniature artist Thomas Doyle explained in an interview with Vice, “allowing us a place of retreat, where time has stopped.” Chilling psychological implications aside…

The reason I’m so smitten is the attention to detail the construction of something tiny requires is truly mesmerizing. My brain hurts just thinking about how carefully these inspirational quotes were illustrated, or these tiny graphite sculptures were crafted.

Lastly, and the theory I think everyone can agree on: It’s adorable, y’all. Because what’s better than a puppy? THE TINIEST PUPPY. Below are some of the most recent, viral, and mind-blowing in miniature movements, in my humble opinion.

Tiny Food

I’ll admit, the concept of finger food isn’t exactly revolutionary, i.e. Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins, Pillsbury’s pigs in a blanket, and of course, cupcakes (three staples of any well-balanced diet). However, bite-size has been taken to an extreme in recent with “Kawaii Cooking,” a craze that began in Japan and has since caught on worldwide. These mini food creations have garnered millions of views and are inarguably impossible not to watch.

Tiny Homes

Tiny living has become so trendy that HGTV has devoted a series to it. And I’ll disclose, I’ve been partially convinced of the merits of living small. Among many advantages, financial and environmental, tiny homes also tend to be built in the most thoughtful, design-savvy ways to maximize storage and functionality in a minimal space. Not convinced? Check out the additional virtues of tiny homes here.

Tiny Art

As an experienced doodler with painfully small handwriting, tiny art holds a special place in my heart. And apparently a lot of people feel the same way! There has been a surge in art shows, Instagram accounts, and blog posts devoted to miniature masterpieces in the past few years, substantiating that bigger isn’t always better.

So, should we all invest in doll-size stoves, downsize to 200 square-foot prefab homes, and lobby for teeny museums to house the tiny chefs-d’oeuvre of our time? Maybe. Only time will tell. For now, I’ll just leave this here…