Dumb New Year's Glasses

An intentionally dumb, unintentionally viral product

Every New Year, novelty glasses shaped like the upcoming year make an appearance. The year 2020 (with two zeroes) lent itself to the ideal design for these novelty glasses — the cutouts for the wearer’s eyes would fit perfectly inside each zero.

Inspired by Emoji Masks and Nathan Fielder, I devised my own interpretation: New Year’s glasses where the zeros were blocked off and instead, the wearer peered out of each “2”. I felt that other people might find my intentionally ridiculous product as funny as I did, and realized that there was a small opportunity to sell these humorous novelty glasses.

I was eager to be responsible for the entire product development process: iterating on designs for a product, manufacturing it, and bringing it to market. After approximately ten design revisions, I settled upon two sheets of thick card stock, laser cut to different profiles laminated together to form the product. Knowing I would need to make these myself, the design revolved around reducing the number of operations and keeping cost down. After a long day in my university’s laser cutting lab, I made more than 200 sets of glasses. With the final product in hand, I developed and launched a simple website to market the final project.

It went viral and sold out almost immediately.

This project was not only a lot of fun, but it also exposed me to important factors of a product design business, from designing for manufacturability, to cost savings, to shipping considerations, to the importance of marketing.