Product, Branding, Packaging, Web, Sales, Retail Compliance
BACKGROUND: People love sitting in racing seats -- It’s just one of those things -- and with gamers sitting for multiple hours during a single session, we saw an opportunity to create a dynamic racing seat that would appeal to gamers as an ultra- comfortable place to park-it for hours at a time. (Banana seats certainly weren’t doing the trick!)
OBJECTIVE: To create a dynamic, comfortable racing seat that would appeal to young people in general, and gamers in particular.
PROCESS: Starting with the Rocker 100 Series we obsessed over the rocking curve, the dips and contours of the sitting surface, and the potential processes we’d use to manufacture this furniture piece once completed. We carved and tested and carved and tested and carved and tested. Finally we knew we had one of the most comfortable chairs we’d ever sat in, so we did a white light scan and rebuilt every surface digitally. The entire AK Gaming line utilized the surfaces we'd spent months perfecting for the Rocker.
RESULT: The AK Rocker, Racer, and Rally have given millions of people a dynamic gaming experience in their own home, and have generated over $50 Million in sales for the world’s largest retailers. In fact, Best Buy now credits AK with, “starting the Gaming Furniture industry!”
The AK Rocker was featured in DreamWorks Disturbia (2007) and Columbia Pictures Talladega Nights (2006).
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, Mike Pratt, David Bradley, Kirk Larsen, Brandon Collette
Product, Branding, Packaging, Sales
BACKGROUND: As AK took hold as a seating brand in over 1 million US households, there was an opportunity to expand the line into fun, young, everyday lifestyle items.
OBJECTIVE: Design a seating line that was comfortable, engaging, and aimed at providing a comfy and fun sitting experience for people under 20. Also, to extend AK's reach by providing an aesthetic that works in rooms where the AK Gaming items are less likely to be found.
PROCESS: Using as reference the sitting surface we had spent time perfecting for the AK Rocker, we worked with one of the top air-bladder suppliers in Southern China to create a complex inflatable bladder for the AK Creature series. Attempting to create such an organic, puffy shape out of flat pieces was challenging, but, alas, the Creature was born.
RESULT: A furry family of light-weight, and seriously fluffy, Creatures that became the seats that everyone was "dibs"-ing and, dare we say, fighting over. And bedrooms, front-rooms and family rooms of all kinds welcomed the Primate, Yeti, and Mammoth (the first three styles) into their environment.
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, Mike Pratt, David Bradley
Product, Branding, Packaging, Sales
BACKGROUND: With the success of the AK Gaming items, retailers were asking for expansion into additional furniture categories. We identified Office Seating – with an emphasis in PC Gaming – as a category in need of innovation, and as an excellent line-extension for AK.
OBJECTIVE: Create an AK office chair that bridged the gap between PC Gaming and everyday office seating.
PROCESS: We dug into our own office sitting experience, recognizing a lack in comfort and style at price-points under $200. Additionally we worked with professional PC gamers to discuss the most important and desirable elements of their sitting experience while gaming for 10+ hrs per session.
RESULT: The AK Octane successfully built on the equity of the AK Gaming brand as it retained a hint of the racing seat look while effectively bridging the worlds of conventional office seating and PC gaming. The Octane captured interest quickly, and became the best selling office chair at Best Buy for 2 straight years.
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, David Bradley
Product Design, Creative Strategy
BACKGROUND: Having seen one of our African Chair phone stands, Little Tikes contacted us about doing a furniture piece for kids using the same concept.
OBJECTIVE: Create a Little Tikes molded furniture line for kids, centered around the African Chair concept.
PROCESS: Our deadlines were tight, and after a few pages of sketches we landed on a general concept that resonated with our team and with Little Tikes. So we started carving foam and wood and building usable prototypes. With a bunch of little kids willing to give our prototypes a good sit, we quickly – and bluntly – got the feedback we needed and zeroed in on final designs.
RESULT: Multiple exciting, new furniture concepts ready for Little Tikes to launch as American designed and American made items. The African Chair is a 2 piece, traditional side-slot design that can be flipped over and reconfigured to receive a tabletop with locking inserts. It effectively sets the stage for a variety of additional kid furniture pieces to be added to the family.
Design Contributors: Christian Poulsen, Joe Bowers, Scott Warner
Product, Branding, Packaging, Sales
BACKGROUND: Tangled ear buds should never exist. But they do, and they need a straightforward, simple solution to help them get, and stay, untangled.
OBJECTIVE: Create an ear bud holder that's easy to use, keeps wires from getting tangled, and stays with the user without being a nuisance (bulky or large).
PROCESS: After testing everything we could find, we took what others had done well, merged-it, simplified-it, then arrived at a solution that bests the others in the category.
RESULT: The X-Wrap features 3 connection points to allow the user to finish wrapping right where the cord ends. It’s small, lightweight and flexible, and will fit easily inside a pocket without causing a bunch of bulk. It also sports a gear loop that allows it to connect easily to a gym bag or ski jacket. Plus, it makes a great Chinese throwing star!... a soft one anyway.
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, Wes Gegg
Creative Direction, Graphic Design
BACKGROUND: Nike Basketball’s assignment was to develop a new and revamped brand identity for the 2008 US Olympic Team whose counterparts had fallen short in the two previous Olympic tournaments.
RESULT: The new branding system brought in patriotic imagery, making subtle reference to national symbols like the eagle, the flag and the crest, borrowing Chinese influence in a respectful homage to the host nation’s millennial culture and art.
Design Contributors: David Young, Rodrigo Suarez
Product, Branding, Packaging
BACKGROUND: One29 was being asked by multiple sources to consider key-management devices. They came to us to find a simple, producible solution that would eliminate the need for a key ring, and provide a less awkward (and less painful) experience for people as they use their keys each day.
OBJECTIVE: Design a simple key manager that makes removing individual keys and key-sets easier, while staying small and sleek enough to keep the bulk to a minimum in people’s pockets.
RESULT: The fusion of two simple shapes, a square and a track-oval, yielded a great result. Along with a satisfying “snap!” that occurs when the user opens or closes the gate, the Key Square fits individual keys so no more pesky key rings. It easily clips to a belt loop, backpack, or anywhere else a person might want to clip their keys -- while keeping the keys appropriately accessible.
Design Contributors: Aaron Puglisi, Christian Poulsen, Scott Warner
Product, Branding, Packaging, Sales
BACKGROUND: So many phone stands, but nothing that effectively allowed multiple viewing angles, both orientations (portrait and landscape), and that fit every phone on the planet … regardless of what case it had on it.
OBJECTIVE: Design a phone stand that meets the general needs of every smartphone user.
PROCESS: A bazillion prototypes! We quickly cut early prototype tooling to find the right balance between the correct number of ridges (each ridge translating into an additional viewing angle) and material stiffness. Ridge height, backboard height and material grip had to arrive at a perfect balance.
RESULT: The Prop is a hands-free mini-stand that supports cell phones, digital cameras, or any small electronic device. Watching videos, playing games, chatting on Facetime, etc. are all easy at the user’s customized viewing angle. With hundreds of thousands of units sold, it’s becoming a significant little accessory for a bunch of today’s phone users.
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, Wess Gegg
Product, Branding, Packaging, Web, Sales
BACKGROUND: Recognizing that people work comfortably with dry-erase, we wanted better integration into their minute-by-minute workflow. We were sure that effectively using the same dry-erase item at a desk and in a conference room was possible.
OBJECTIVE: Design a dry-erase system that would meet the functional needs of a broad user-set while being comfortable and intuitive to use at a desk, around the office, or even on a court or field (in coaching and training situations).
PROCESS: After determining that customizability was one of the key traits, we set out to find the perfect clear, moldable material. A dry-erase friendly acrylic finally won out. We also wanted to provide standard templates a person could print and use for productivity, entertainment, and learning. Creating and testing content for the templates gave us a chance to engage kids, teens and adults for helpful feedback.
RESULT: We finally landed on three items in the Cocoa line: Writeboard, Slate, and Slim. The Writeboard and Slim were desktop versions that could be carried to a conference room or to other seated meetings, while the Slate was designed to be used in active, on-the-go, training scenarios. We developed over 500 unique templates and delivered the artwork to the customer as a free, downloadable PDF on our site, and as a CD included in the clamshell packaging. This entire line rolled out nationwide at Office Max.
The Slate was featured in Paramount Pictures Star Trek (2009).
Design Contributors: Scott Warner, Jeremy Saxton, Steve Berry, Kirk Larsen
BACKGROUND: Wicked has built a brand with an attitude and a presence that has begun to out-pace the level of their products. They see great opportunity to provide new, fresh, world-class products to an even greater number of guys age 25-45 (their key customer base).
OBJECTIVE: To create a line of headphones -- from the ground up -- that sets a design tone for Wicked’s initiative to provide fresh, new items to their core consumer while capturing additional shelf space with world’s biggest retailers.
PROCESS: Finding the right reference images and items was key to finding the right path for this product line. With plenty of helpful insights from the client, we were able to identify the proper metaphors for this 3-part product line.
RESULT: A line of over-ear, on-ear, and in-ear headphones that sets a visual language and standard for the future of Wicked Audio. With the “shield” aesthetic firmly in place on this new signature line, Wicked is now able to build and iterate for the next several years as they release new models to support their growing presence in each category.
Design Contributors: Joe Bowers, Christian Poulsen, Scott Warner, Laura Mumm
Product, Branding, Packaging, Sales Material
BACKGROUND: Big, fat, overstuffed wallets need to go! The world needs a slimmer, simpler solution.
OBJECTIVE: Simplify the card and cash carrying experience to match the growing desire to de-bulk our pockets.
RESULT: The Slim’s ultra-thin profile fits neatly in a pocket or purse and keeps credit cards, cash, and ID organized and protected. The easy-in, easy-out design provides the convenience of a money clip without the damaging effects of a metal clasp.
Design Contributors: Scott Warner
Identity, Packaging, Typography
BACKGROUND: Leviv is a fresh new hairstyling company that has achieved success by taking an unconventional route.
OBJECTIVE: To develop a brand that communicates its value in a contemporary, sophisticated way while feeling fresh and real.
RESULT: The typographical approach not only made it memorable and original, but also helped the product stand out without noisy distractions. The elegant and minimal aesthetic of the line rapidly attracted attention and won shelf space next to other well-known brands.
Design Contributors: Rodrigo Suarez, David Zavala, Gabriela Barreda
As part of a study in materials and form, we designed a table series and an open-space seating concept that's gotten a bit of interest, and both are now ready to get traction. Let us know if you want in. (We'll customize color as desired.)
Identity, Illustration, Packaging
BACKGROUND: Nike needed packaging, catalog and point-of sale materials for the Nike Kids watch offering.
OBJECTIVE: The project brief required that the box meet specific criteria based on shape, number of inks, and media… additionally we wanted to generate original graphics that were young and fresh.
RESULT: Packaging and Sales Material -- With the addition of fun, hip, and whimsical urban graphics, we were able to make the first exposure appealing and exciting for the younger user.
Watch dial face -- The watch dial face of the Nike Range was inspired by the control room of a submarine and designed with kids in mind. The bold graphics and easy-to-read numbers appealed to both kids and parents while retaining the design essence of Nike.
Design Contributors: Steve McClard, Rodrigo Suarez
Product, Branding, Packaging
The All Tie is a quick and flexible cinch-tie that makes it easy to bundle, close, and secure almost anything again and again. Keeps chips, cereal, and produce fresh, and secures wires, cables, and hoses in a snap. Easy to fasten and remove, the All Tie keeps your life under control.