Every year the innovation platform Jovoto hosts a challenge to design a limited edition swiss army knife casing design for Victorinox.
The competition is one of the most well-known repeating challenges on the site with little to no restrictions place on the aesthetic theme or outcome. In recent years a general theme has been defined but for the 2015 competition it was left open.
I decided this was a good chance to branch into an area of product design which was new for me at the time. The challenge is purely graphical, you cannot change the function or materials of the knife and the logo must remain in the same location.
Two of the designs were created using manual techniques which were then scanned and adjusted for use in the final design, the third was created entirely digitally.
The first of my designs played on the idea of smart devices (amongst other products) being compared to the Swiss army knife to describe them as versatile and useful, eg “This phone can do anything, it’s the Swiss army knife of modern phones” by representing each of the functions of the knife as an ‘app’ icon on a phone graphic.
The next (top left) looks at trying to capture motion and energy through use of blown inks and fast, un-coordinated brush strokes.
The last design is similar in that it uses a bright spectrum of colours to convey dynamism. The design uses they symbolism of a rainbow or spectrum to represent diversity of people. This is to push the idea of social acceptance and accessibility as the colours connect the design to the LGBTQ flag but do not make a direct connection.
In hindsight, it may have been prudent to make the LGBTQ connection stronger to cement the message but I wanted to keep interpretations for the design as open as possible.
Higher Graphic Communication ‘Thematic folio’ produced to sharpen my technical competency and visual presentation capability in final year high school.
The Thematic Portfolio is essentially what other institutions would call a technical package, a fully detailed CAD package with supporting parts list and promotional material.
We were asked to choose a physical product to reverse-engineer, build in CAD, and then create a brand identity around. I was excited to use this as an opportunity to expand my Autodesk Inventor skills and build a strong brand image around the product.
I choose this Tesco torch with a rotating head that can be tilted 90 degrees. Given it’s rotating mechanism, features following or arrayed around the cylindrical body, and detailed components, I felt it was a good challenge for my skill sets at the time. If I had wanted to I could have omitted detail such as the orange detailing, the clip, or the bulb assembly and still met the requirements of the brief but insisted on including these details for the sake of it.
The thematic is, in essence, a full visual display portfolio for our chosen product where we act as though the product is of our own design and we must now visualise and communicate it to a client, manufacturer and customer.
This folio is comprised of three components:
A fully annotated technical package including parts sheets.
Rendered CAD assemblies and exploded views.
Promotional posters and leaflet.
The fictionalised ‘Nitor’ was presented as a utility device for both home use and the outdoors (in reality the torch was far too fragile to do either). The graphic presentation was based around plays on the idea of folding and direction changes.
This was a chance for me to play with some new graphic techniques including layered transparency and a form of flat design used for the icons. The text affect attempted to evoke the imagery of an eclipse.
The Zugriff (German word for bridge) is a conceptual product imagining if the opto-electronics Goliath Carl Zeiss AG moved into the field of portable audio.
Carl Zeiss AG has been a sector leader for over 100 years, manufacturing lenses, optical products and specialising in the manufacture of micro-electronics (by way of their optics). A large and sterile brand, their ‘image’ is quite hard to place, certainly they wish to put forward an image of loyalty, stability and enabling but how much of that actually shines through their work?
I decided that in the highly unlikely case that Zeiss broke form their optics-only model, such a speaker would want to embody the values of versatility, perhaps linking to their large sports-optics range. It should embody a ‘quirky’ high technology functionality and should embody the stability, balance and engineering associated with other Zeiss products.
The final designed carried through a mirrored 360 hinge mechanism to allow differing modes of sound output (direction vs ambient). The unit is highly durable, made of an experimental fibre mesh aluminium and designed to compliment Zeiss’s sports optics range.
In reflection I found this project very challenging, after all Zeiss isn’t what I’d call a flexible brand. I enjoyed the chance to broaden my scope on branding and to consider the semiotic meanings and associations embodied by brands beyond simple aesthetic surface-level messaging.