I wonder what they paid people to test the effectiveness of the pattern on the toilet paper. Did they feed all of the people in the team the same food? Sorry for being puerile, but without testing the effectiveness is just a theory right? While it is a little funny, one of the wealthiest families in New Zealand make toilet paper. There is an ever increasing demand and I am sure they are proud of their legacy. Of course they continue developing, manufacturing options include patterns, colours and of course the use of recycled material.

Everything has to be designed somewhere right? My father designed a device for KFC in New Zealand, which would allow them to quickly and easily segment each chicken into 9 pieces of the correct proportions. I wish he had asked for a royalty instead of a one-off design fee :D

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A friend of mine who reads Design Lobster emailed me after this issue to say that when they worked on toilet paper and sanitary pad products at P&G that the difference seemed to be mostly perceptual. ie the embossed products appeared thicker and thus were reported as more effective in research studies. So I expect the effectiveness is being measured in this way rather than the more rigorous way you're implying!

I love your family chicken segmenter story (though I'm sorry about the lack of royalty 😛). Obscure devices like this, behind the scenes, are behind so much of the modern world— a fact which never ceases to fascinate me!

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It's funny what has to be designed, there's someone behind everything we take for granted :)

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