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Max or Min, the product has to win!

The purpose of design is primarily to elevate and improve the experience of life. Design is a tool we use to improve our efficiency. Many businesses have been able to differentiate themselves from their competition by appropriate application of design thinking. When a designer is hired by a company to elevate their product portfolio, the role of that designer becomes very powerful as he or she can actually device the fate of the future products that are to be launched by that company. In fact, if the company is a large corporation then the design decisions become even more critical as huge amount to investments are going to be done basis the designer’s proposals. So, think before you ink.

Having said that, what is most critical to the success of any project is the designer’s ability to have the most appropriate approach for the design project which eventually will be formulated as a design brief and the final design direction.

I would like to share two projects, both super successful in terms of generating revenues, yet have diametrically opposite design approaches: Minimalism and Maximalism.

Interestingly in both the projects, both the clients had the same requirement: Design a product that stands apart from the competition!

The i-ULTIMO 70 is a "Super Normal" Dessert Cooler designed for Orient Electric. It does exactly what it is meant to do without any frills and fancy. It looks nothing like any other air cooler in the market. It comes with fully collapsible louvres that prevent the entry of dust and insects, even when it is switched off, thus preventing mosquito breeding.

When we started to look around what the market offerings were, we were surprised to see how a simple air cooler was “over-designed” just for the sake of differentiation. Superfluous elements of design not only added visual complexity but it also burdened the product with extra plastic part costs. Most designs were sticking out but none were ready to gel in smoothly into your living or bed room, quietly. I remember speaking to a potential customer about his vision of a smart air cooler. He had remarked – “I want to feel the cool air and not see the source of it.”

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" with this belief we set out to create a design language which comprised of certain “Aesthetic Elements” that formed the basic DNA thread connecting all the functional elements to attain a cohesive design identity. The result was subtle, minimal yet distinctly identifiable. The product has reduced number of parts and easy to assemble components. The new Orient Air Cooler looks nothing like any other air cooler in the market. It comes with fully collapsible louvres that prevent the entry of dust and insects, even when it is switched off, thus preventing mosquito breeding. Our approach towards creating this “super normal” cooler design was all about reducing things to their functional essentials, without compromising on the aesthetic pleasantness.

i-ULTIMO 70 was launched by Orient Electric in 2018 and awarded by Super Brand India 2019.

It’s a no brainer to guess that maximalism is the opposite to minimalism. Here 'more is more'. Maximalism lets colour, shapes, tone and texture do the talking. Maximalism does grab your attention! And here is how…

Bluebird Pure was looking for a product design agency to help enhance their brand image with stylish, attractive and differentiated aesthetics for a domestic RO Water Purifier. Their technology promised up to 8 stages of purification and features like RO + UV + UF + Alkarich Technology and now they wanted "stunning looks" to allure customers.

When we were approached for this project, our endeavour was to create an iconic look which would clearly cut the clutter of retail space and find mind-space of the consumers. We felt, Maximalism was the most appropriate choice to explore designs for Water Purifier. After several rounds of iteration with the internal component layouts we finalized on the most compact "form factor" and developed a few physical samples to check the stability and ease of serviceability. The focal point of the product was the faceted surface on the front fascia which reflects the ambient light to create a dynamic visual effect.

SPARKLE was launched in the Indian market in 2018 and became an instant hit for the brand.

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