25/04/16: Product Design: Malle London X Bicester Heritage
A few months ago we were invited by Bicester Heritage to view the collection of rare and exquisite race cars at their WWII bomber station HQ, just outside the village of Bicester. Bicester Heritage had a proposal for us – when racing or taking part in rally’s across the British Isles and Europe, they always need to take a lot of tools with them to keep their wheels on the road.
The design brief came in the form of a found 1940’s RAF mechanics tool-roll, which we studied with great enthusiasm – heavy dusty and solid, with many many compartments for the Spitfire mechanic. “Can you design us one of these, but better… for those race cars, that will last a decade or two?”.
05/06/15: Product Design – The ‘Land Collection’ for Malle London
The ‘Land Collection’ for Malle London was the second capsule collection of moto-luggage. All crafted without synthetic materials – using organic cotton, waxed cotton canvas, brass and vegetable tanned leather.
Each piece was deigned to carry the tools of the user, with the added functionality of integration into the motorcycle, or re-appropriated for use when riding.
07/06/15: Film – Behind the scenes with Lizzie Jagger for MCM
MCM were shooting the new collection under the moniker of ‘Game on Diamond Land’. We were asked to join to create a short ‘behind the scenes’ film.
We shot throughout the day and interviewed Lizzie Jagger about her life growing up in London and New York and the influence of fashion from her family.
07/06/15: Film – ‘The Kings of Winter’ for Malle London
A short film for Malle London about the art of motorcycle ice racing. “While the rest of us wait for summer, a few men and their machines defy winter and take to the ice. We’d been tipped off about the race the day before
– we traveled up to a huge lake 2 hours from the Canadian border – when the ice is thick enough a small group of motorcycle riders spread the word and meet in the middle of the lake. This is the story of that race.”
10/04/15: Film – The Rotring Manifesto
We have been working with the German brand rOtring for several years, when we were asked to thing about a new campaign, we decided to speak with a few creatives about their tools of the trade.
These interviews became short films about the roll of drawing and ‘thinking with your hands’ in the context of their day to day creativity.
10/03/15: Film – The MCM Story
When MCM was about to launch their new digital experience online – they wanted to tell the story of their unique heritage and legacy. Their story may have started in a small hair salon in Munich, but it now garners a global cult following.
We were given access to the MCM archive, with videos and imagery dating back to their start in the 1970’s. We were tasked to create 3 short films that give a brief insight into the MCM story.
The Eclipse clock starts at midnight, where the entire clock face is dark, gradually the light starts to appear on one edge and slowly it increases in a crescent shape across the entire clock – until it is completely lit up at midday and then it slowly reduces back to darkness at midnight. A perfect eclipse cycle that completes every 24 hours. Last year we were prototyping a new clock design in the studio and some of the Paul Kasmin team (PKShop) dropped by for a meeting. Robert was then asked if he would be keen on collaborating with one of their artists on a product design project, which resulted in the Eclipse Clock design with Iván Navarro.
A little background on the collaboration and Robert’s design process: “I started by doing a lot of research on Iván Navarro’s expansive portfolio of art projects and his diverse use of materials, techniques and his aesthetic compositions, ultimately exploring his innovative approach to light sculpture and thinking about how light could create the illusion of time, so that the design could still be appropriate in a gallery as well as in your typical downtown NY loft. At our first meeting I pitched a lot of ideas and hand-drawn sketches to Iván, about reflection, light embedded into glass, mirrors and opaque/transparent surfaces. In our first discussion Iván was very keen on movement and referenced the mechanical nature of old clocks. After a month or so and much insistence on my part, we agreed that actual physical “movement” would be extremely complicated to achieve in a product and I explored the digital/electronic solutions further – that still created the illusion of movement and time.
This is where we first collaborated on the concept of the eclipse – Iván wanted a wall mounted piece and I wanted something large enough that symbolised the sun and that also made a physical reference to the pendulum of a clock (if it were suspended from above). When I started to create the bezel – it was the largest possible size that could be spun in aluminium and this determined the large 500mm diameter of the clock face. The next challenge was the lighting and the clock-face/eclipse effect itself. Working out how to design an eclipse effect and ensuring that the clock is not only accurate over a 24 hour period, but that it’s usable and intuitive to the user – there was a lot of mathematics, timing calculations and light tests to create the warm glow across the surface.
Iván also wanted to use the clocks face as a communication medium and the word ‘Petrification’ was engraved into the surface, he described this – ‘as a deliberate reference to the archaeological process wherein historical time is consecrated through layers upon layers of organic sediments’. After further light tests in colour, we settled on the pure white face, warm light and the raw aluminium bezel, which has direct connections to many of Iváns more industrial art projects.” – Robert Nightingale, November, 2014
Rotring have been making creative tools for designers and creatives for almost 100 years, no other creative tools brand has this type of pedigree. But it’s not always about the physical tools, it’s more often the less tangible skills and tools that are behind some of the best ideas.
To help inform, instruct and inspire the next generation of creatives, we helped Rotring launch a new set of creative tools; The Rotring Institute – a digital platform of ideas, skill sharing and inspiration from the worlds leading creatives.
01/06/14: MALLE London
We have been working with the British luggage marque ‘MALLE London’ on several projects over the last 2 years – from product design and graphic design to creative direction and film.
MALLE London are makers of considered and purposefully designed tool bags, bags to transport your tools on 2 feet or 2 wheels, they are continually innovating for the needs of the ‘contemporary craftsman’. Visit MALLE to find out more.
01/10/14: ROTRING BRAND TRANSFORMATION
We have been working with rOtring for several years on a full global brand transformation project. Consulting on research, brand strategy, product design, packaging design, graphic design, art-direction, exhibition design, advertising, campaign strategy, digital design and innovation in general.
The first product to launch, as part of our design strategy in 2014 was the rOtring 800+, this revolutionary analogue/digital tool bridges the gap for creatives working on the page and the digital screen. We helped launch this product at New York Design Week and Berlin Design Week, as part of our global campaign strategy. For more information please visit rOtring.com
01/04/14: BIKEID IDENTITY
We’ve been working with the BIKEID team in Stockholm on a new design identity project for the 2014 design collection. Exploring design aesthetics, materials, graphics and the all important head badge. One of the key elements in this project was the BIKEID badge – when thinking about transportation and automotive identity, we’re very aware that most vehicles have a “face” and the subtle design cues of the form communicate the brand even if the actual brand name is not seen. We wanted to create a head badge that communicated several things at the same time – the face of the bicycle, an iconic “BIKEID” form that’s identifiable from a distance and a unique form that tells a story.
We wanted the identity of the bikes frame colour to be apart of the badge and overall identity. So we created a small round hole (an eye through the badge), that houses the BIKEID crest and incorporates the bicycles frame colour. For example – On the Limited Edition Copper bike the Copper frame shows through the badge, with the white BIKEID crest, colour matched to the leather and rubber used in the design. We also created graphics for different parts of the frame, in a subtle way. Some graphics are obvious on the frame, but others the user will find and discover as they get to know their bicycle. Find out more via KNSTRCT
01/05/13: NY Design Week Bike Map
“Leave your car or taxi at home and bring your bicycle. Not only will get get around town in a greener way, but you’ll get around town faster – meaning more design, more inspiration and more parties!” We helped BIKEID and Wanted Design bring a more bike friendly edge to the exhibition and design week at the 2013 NY design week.
The map shows all of the NYC bike routes and a highlighted “designer” route between the main exhibitions and design districts…and yes me mapped out a llm of Manhattan in a week! Actual pocket sized maps were distributed around the events during design week and attendees were also able to download a digital version for their smart phones. Find to more via Trendland
01/10/13: BIKEID Svart / MoMA
Well, our Svart bike designed with the BIKEID team has certainly been making the rounds in the design press over the last few weeks, since it’s launch at the MoMA design store last month. Robert was interviewed by KNSTRCT magazine last week, to talk about how the design collaboration came about and how the design developed. Here’s a little excerpt: “Being able to roll through a city while completely open to the sights, smells, and sounds, gives you a feeling of freedom little else can provide. Oh, and you can look as stylish as this.
BIKEID’s aim is simple, and that is, to keep it simple. Take the name for instance; “We… named it the Svart (Black in Swedish)”, Nightingale says, “not the most radical name, I know, but it’s a pretty accurate one.We’ve also kept all of the branding really subtle, which is important for us at BIKEID. Part of our brand story is about identity and we’re never going to have large race graphics down the side of our bikes. Our bikes are designed to become part of the identity of the rider, like a well cut suit.” Find out more at CORE77