DYMO LabelWriter 400 Label Printers
2006 Gold - Excellence in Design Award from Appliance Design Magazine
Bleck Design Group collaborated with DYMO to develop a new product line based upon the successful Labelwriter 400 single roll printer. The goal was to expand the product line by meeting unmet user needs. Users worldwide consistently cite the beautiful design as an important product feature. We love hearing that!
Research: We started the project by reviewing quantitative marketing data, focus group results and preconceived product concepts. We evaluated the existing products through user analysis and engineering testing. This research identified opportunities for improved ergonomics in label loading, performance in the printer, and component packaging. The need for twin label rolls and multiple label styles was confirmed.
Concept Evaluation: We developed models for testing technical improvements and we created design-marketing models for the proposed product line. These marketing models were tested with sales channels and the project was given the go-ahead.
Development: We developed the production design for the printing assembly, a final industrial design, and the overall manufacturing and assembly concept. We released the printer assembly to tooling and transferred the overall final design to DYMO's internal team.
1994 IF Hanover Fair Germany: IF Award
1999 IDSA/Business Week Design of the Decade – Silver
In 1992 Bleck Design Group created the original industrial design for the Polycom Soundstation. This iconic design quickly captured the audio-conferencing phone market, and continues to be the classic speaker phone seen in conference rooms world-wide. The original design lead to several generations of Soundstations that built on the original concept. The classic design remained in production for many years. A great return on the Polycom's investment in design. Over 1.5 million sold.
Many decisions led to the success of this product. There are many lessons in this project about how an innovative industrial design can multiply the effects of other business decisions. When the design was conceived (1991) the trend in design was rectangular and simple. Several major companies had conference phones on the market that performed identical functions. Polycom's founder, Brian Hinman believed the design was a critical part of success and that differentiation was key. Management set a goal to be unobtrusive on the conference room table and this lead to an extensive effort to minimum size in all dimensions while creating an iconic design. Bleck Design Group designed the Soundstation to tell a story. The Soundstation form has three arms pointing around the table to show the 360 degree microphone coverage. The lines on the end of each arm reference a traditional microphone and emphasise the voice quality. The speaker diameter is accentuated to emphasize quality of sound. The Soundstation's attractive size resulted from extensive engineering and design to nest internal parts. This saved about six millimeters in height that resulted in an elegant form.
Design Classic Lessons
Bleck Design Group does its best work with visionary management that sees opportunity ahead, and wants a design to match their vision. This high level management commitment to design provides the catalyst to push engineering and design to achieve excellence. Differentiation based upon function and customer values has a long life. The design proved simple, memorable and differentiated.
Video Conference systems for Polycom
Telecon 1997 – Best of Show Award
Via Video was a start up in Austin, Texas founded by a veteran team with a vision for simplifying and reducing the cost of of video conferencing for all businesses. Bleck Design Group was engaged to develop the industrial design and mechanical engineering for the product and enter production in nine months.
Initial engineering evaluation showed that cooling the electronics without a fan would be the major packaging issue. Bleck Design Group studied the issue and proposed an overhung front edge for air in-flow and that the major hot components be split left and right. (The overhung front edge for air flow became a patented feature). A standard Sony Camera was specified to save time. These two specifications became driving forces in the design.
We developed the design around the cooling system, camera and need for easy user installation. Bleck Design Group provided a complete concept to production design program including tooling sources for early production. Polycom acquired ViaVideo shortly before the first products shipped and within one year had 60% of the market. This project was an engineering and time driven project to capture a market opportunity.
Remote Control: The Polycom video remote control has remained in production for many years due to the functional design based upon user requirements. Polycom's software group developed a simplified user interface and Bleck Design Group designed a unique form to differentiate the control in the conference room and simplify operation. A unique feature is the switch that activates the user interface on the display. Pick up the control, the UI pops-up. Put it down and it is off. The product form was designed to be easy to pick up and hard to put in a pocket. The arched form created a larger geometric size, but the visual form was made small. The side profile and form are also instantly recognizable among many other remote controls.
This product is the second generation video conferencing system that carried forward the design theme for Polycom's products. The VSX 7000 addresses a higher end market and incorporates a wide range of accessories for a flexible modular system.
PaperPro ® ProPunch™
Manual Three-Hole Paper Punch for PaperPro ®
Accentra is the office products company highly successful PaperPro ® staplers which dramatically improve ergonomics and user experience in stapling. PaperPro’s inventor had developed a vertical entry concept that reduced user effort. Bleck Design Group was retained to transform this concept into a production design and create an elegant industrial design.
The result is an sleek, sophisticated-looking product that requires only half the force of conventional paper punches. It allows users to punch through up to 12 sheets of paper with the press of a single finger. Vertical loading means better ergonomics, improved paper alignment and a smaller desktop footprint. Bleck Design Group provided user research, industrial design, mechanical engineering, manufacturing documentation and design for manufacturing analysis.
Xerox PD Reader
When Xerox park spun off PD reader to develop the world's first executive electronic document reader they selected Bleck Design Group for industrial design and production design. We developed the small, compact and lightweight design utilizing the latest technology. The patents and technology in this product eventually become common features in modern lap tops and tablet computers.
Sequoia Electronic Voting Machine
Electronic Voting Machines - Innovation in Government Systems
1999 IDSA/Business Week Design of the Decade Award – Silver
1990 IDSA Award - Gold
1990 ID Magazine Award - “Best in Category”
Bleck Design Group and Sequoia Voting Systems worked together for nearly 15 years, developing successful electronic voting machines. Through two generations of products, Bleck Design Group developed Sequoia’s industrial design and mechanical engineering.
More than 100,000 Sequoia Voting Machines have been installed since 1988. The design is consistently cited for its ease of use and installation.
This was one of Bleck Design Group's first major designs that has enjoyed an extremely long production life. A design based upon form and function, it proves the value of putting the user and customer first, and basing design on exceptional ergonomics. The Sequoia Advantage voting machine was designed to be secure, easy to set up, and durable. The unique folding voting panel required less than 18 pounds of force so that elderly poll workers could easily lift the panel into position. The panels are blow-molded ABS to save weight and create structure. The design's ergonomics were driven by meeting the needs of both disabled and able bodied voters. This product is still in production and remains a reliable electronic voting system.
Sequoia Edge electronic voting machine provides secure voting in a portable reliable package. The design meets stringent durability and security requirements, ADA regulations, and has a built in printer. The lightweight leg system packs easily into the case, and the case stacks for convenient warehousing.