I’ve got to a point in my designing that its becoming to difficult to mix up my ideas (demonstrated in Tuesdays morning task) as Ruark has a running theme of the same basic shapes, the same interfaces etc in all of its products so, of course, I have to keep in lines of these to be able to stay in keep with the brand. Because of this, I’ve been noticing that I’m simply just changing the size or the form of the product slightly from sketch to sketch. Following my last blog post with regards to creating a more portable range of speakers, I think I’m definitely on the right track in coming to a final idea. However, I’ve been trying to think of ways that I can stay within Ruark’s confirms of design while creating my own product. Something that’s come to mind is perhaps changing the main outer material of the product and/or providing an option to the customer. At the moment, Ruark only seem to offer a range of finishes as apposed to a range of material choice. And even then, the choice is minimal as demonstrated below, the R1 has four finishing choices; ‘Rich Walnut Vaneer’, ‘Soft White Lacquer’, ‘Soft Black Lacquer’ and ‘Limited Edition Sea Green’.
Something I particularly noticed when doing my market research in John Lewis, was that some of these products didn’t necessarily feel of a high end quality despite their look, sound and price tag. So, I’d like to research more into materials in order to come up with a design solution to some of these things. Because of having always worked with wood, I instantly considered high quality woods such as oak however I need to way up the pros and cons of using a material like this for creating a speaker (especially a portable speaker) it can be quite heavy, does it affect the sound quality? Maybe this is why Ruark are already offering a Walnut veneer instead. I then started thinking about higher market, high end materials and began considering leather. Leather is a fabric that I’ve never worked with or don’t own much of so I definitely need to research more into it but, I think a leather could definitely offer a higher quality feel and appearance to my product. Having a leather option would also of course add an extra choice for the customer.
I like the look and feel of some of the soft leather products pictured above. I think this could really work well incorporated within some of my designs. Again, I’m unused to working with this material so am unsure of its properties and finer details but it is definitely something to look into further and for consideration.