Packaging

Braun Audio Returns with the LE1 Reimagined by Precipice Design

Anyone that knows me, knows I am a huge fan of the industrial design work that Deiter rams did for Braun. His influence and the work he did for Braun can still be felt today on so many product lines by other companies like Apple. 

Braun has been absent from the audio world for more than two decades, but original stereo systems from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are still in demand. Not because they offer a superior audio experience, but because of the design and visual aesthetic they present.

The hottest Braun stereo collectible is probably the SK5 “Snow White’s Coffin” record player and radio. It is sublimely minimal in its execution with white powder-coated steel sandwiched between wooden side panels under a plexiglass case. The design was a radical departure for stereo gear when this was introduced in the 1950s. 

Snow White’s Coffin

One of my personal favorites from the Braun stereo family has always been the Braun Audio 1 from 1962. To me, it feels timeless. You can feel where it came from (the SK5) and understand the visual direction Rams was taking Braun over the next decade. 

1965 Braun Audio 1

In addition to the Audio 1, Braun introduced a set of minimalist speakers in 1959, the LE1. The LE1 is so simple in its design form. White rectangular slabs suspended on chrome tubular legs with a perforated black metal grill. The form is almost sculptural in quality and an even more radical departure from stereo systems of the day. You have to remember, in 1959 most stereo systems looked like a large wooden piece of furniture that would blend in with what was in your living room. The LE1 stands out. It’s meant to be seen as well as heard. 

The LE1 from 1959

The LE1 was the first electrostatic speaker available on the German market, the LE 1 provided a new housing for internal electronics produced by English engineering company Quad, then trading as Acoustical Manufacturing Co. Ltd. The LE 1’s electronics were based on the Quad ESL-57, producing a distinctively detailed sound that still stands up well against the standards of contemporary hi-fi systems today. At the time of its introduction, the speaker was technically and aesthetically ground-breaking. Within the Braun audio program of the late ‘50s, the LE 1 was intended to accompany the first Braun component Hi-Fi system, the Braun Studio 2. 

The 2019 LE01 Series

For the first time in 28 years, Braun is back in the audio business. Well sort of. Braun Audio is returning with a reinvention of the aforementioned LE speakers from 1959. A perfect reintroduction to the heritage of Braun Audio, the new LE Series focuses on the purity of design, purity of performance and the purity of sound Braun was known for in the past.

These beautifully minimalist speakers have been re-imagined by Precipice Design. The London-based design company developed all consumer and trade touchpoints including brand and product narratives, packaging, photography, iconography, digital assets (website, and mobile app), video content, and point of sale concepts, print catalogs, and advertising, helping to re-establish Braun in the premium audio sector.

When you look at the complete set of design materials that Precipice created for Braun you are immediately aware of the heritage of vintage Braun while positioning them squarely in the modern market place. The imagery that is used across all touchpoints echoes the minimalist aesthetic that Braun became known for, not simply in the products they produced but in the owner’s manuals, advertising, and packaging that was produced during their heyday.

As I looked at the new website that Precipice produced I was struck by how it so closely mirrored many of the Braun printed items I’ve seen from the 1960s an70s. The minimal color pallet, sparse layout, concise messaging. The same look and feel are carried over to the mobile app, and on to the packaging. With the packaging focusing on the purity of sound while focusing on the brand’s heritage. Only key information about the product shown on the packaging. The uncomplicated packaging is typical of Braun and reflects the aesthetics of the classic speaker through dark tones and a graphic of the speaker itself.

The speakers themselves are an homage to the original LE1 updated to reflect today’s taste and improved technologies. Where the original 1959 speaker would probably prove to be too large in today’s home environment, Precipice’s vision shows how the LE1 can be reimagined to fit more discreetly into one’s home.

The new speaker brings the same vision Ram’s had in 1959. A minimalist slab in white with a black grill floating above a chrome stand. The speaker is angled slightly backward, and the controls are almost invisible. Precipice also introduces a solid black version of the speaker and two additional sizes, all of which use the same visual language. 

Floor stands have been designed as well, but I have to say I don’t think they work as well. They seem rather chunky except where they have been extended and used with the smallest of the speakers.

There is no word on availability yet. I’m betting these will be available this fall for the Christmas shopping season. The product was introduced around the first of September this year so you would think they would be ready for sale by mid-November at the latest. Pricing will range from $1200.00 for the largest of the 3 down to $380.00 for the smallest.

I don’t need these, but I wouldn’t mind having them. Full information and specs are available on the Braun Audio website.

Uinta Golden Ale Packaging Celebrates Our National Parks.

Last year, the National Park Service celebrated 100 years of service, and to commemorate the anniversary Uinta Brewing is ready to release Golden Ale Park Series Beer. The rotating park series was brewed in celebration of the diverse landscapes across the United States and the over 84 million acres of natural beauty that our National Park system promotes and protects. The packaging is available with four different park-inspired packaging that reflects the style of travel posters designed during the height of the WPA era of the 1930’s. While the beer inside the can will remain the same, a refreshing golden ale with an ABV of 5.3% and notes of Wilamette hops and Crystal malts, the outer packaging will feature a rotating line-up of National Parks. right now there are just 4 parks represented, but hopefully they will release more over the next year. I love the design and illustration featured here. It’s a refreshing approach to a product area that can at times be predictable, even in the craft brewing segment.

can-line-up

“Many of the explorations that have inspired our beers have happened in and around National Parks and we’re excited to pay homage to that with this rotating series. We’re fortunate to have five National Parks within 5 hours of the brewery and hope that our Golden Ale encourages consumers to get out and explore those that surround them.”

Uinta’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Mills

Packaging That Tells a Story.

I love clever package design, especially when individual pieces combine to tell a much larger story. Traditionals Torroni nougats packaging designed by Happycentro does just that for Sabadi.
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Each candy bar is a single chapter filled with marvelous illustrations. When the bars are placed side by side they form a complete panorama that is a reflection of the Sicilian countryside and the rich natural ingredients used in each bar. I love the illustration style that is reflected on each of these pieces. it is a visual personification of the mix of cultures, art, cuisines that make up Sicily and its people.
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Staropramen Celebrates Prague

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The liquor packaging business is tough. You need to design something that stands out form the crowd, is memorable, reflective of the core brand, and fits well within the shelving of stores. BBDO was charged with designing limited edition packaging for Czech Republic Staropramen Lager. (my beer of choice when I was in Prague) SunInBev asked BBDO to create a design that kept Prague at the heart of the overall packaging. The result is a series of cans that when stacked side by side build Prague’s famous Carls bridge that spans the Danube river. The limited edition Staropramen cans were introduced to Ukraine & Russia in the spring of 2014 with another limited edition launch for the UK and 4 other European countries coming later this year. I love the look of the overall design. The green and cream color reflecting the Staropramen brand, combined with the black line art with the tight engraved look gives this a feeling of fun and sophistication.

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Creative Director – Rytis Juodeika, Anze Jereb

Art Director – Alexander Rogovets

Copywriter – Taras Droom

Head of Design Studio – Martynas Birskys

Designer – Tanya Tkachenko

 

 

Fedrigoni and Leica Create a Limited Edition X2.

To promote the durability and extreme quality of Fedrigoni’s “Constellation Jade” paper, the bespoke paper manufacturer created a video featuring a limited edition Leica camera where the leather banderole was replaced with one made from paper. Beautifully shot and edited, the video below takes what some might call a mundane product and elevates it to the same level as one of the worlds most exclusive luxury brands, Leica Cameras. In addition to replacing the camera’s banderole, a sample book was designed to act as packaging for the limited edition Leica X2.

While the video is impressive, the slide show below shows the actual packaging that was created to hold the camera. Designed as a combination box and book, it is filled with high processes that show off the quality of Fedrigoni’s paper product, while giving a company history, and tying it to the Leica camera it protects and becomes part of. The packaging is absolutely outstanding in the photos. Really nice design that echos the components of the camera. while highlighting the quality of the   “Constellation Jade” paper used to create it.

Idea, Concept & Design Geometry Global

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Firewood Vodka’s Stand Out Packaging by Constantin Bolimond.

bbaa6440d53c578978bf234405da59cfPackage design is a multifunctional art form. The package must function as a container or vessel for an object, and it must stand out. In the case of liquor packaging, where your product is competing in a sea of similar looking products you need to really stand out. If you have been in a liquor store, or the liquor aisle of your supermarket lately, you might have noticed how most bottles look very similar, and it is a label that attempts to differentiate a brand or product offering. There are exceptions to the rule, and companies like Stranger & Stranger have set the high bar for memorable liquor packaging, but this design from Constantin Bolimond for Firewood Vodka is a true winner.

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The package plays off of the brand name, presenting itself as a wooden log. A cut branch is the spot for pouring the vodka. Labeling is debossed and enameled highlighting the logo of a double axe tied into a knot. Visually this is a fantastic play on the name, and an outstanding way to represent the product. There is no way this is going to get lost in a wall of vodka products where the packaging is designed to show off the clear liquid inside in a shape that looks like so many others.

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Stranger & Stranger Does it Again

When it comes to packaging for wine, beer, and spirits, no one does it better than Stranger & Stranger. I have posted about their work before but this new series of wine packages for Safeway and Truett-Hurst is absolutely fantastic.

The bright colorful paper wrappers are sure to grab the attention of any shopper in the aisle, and the packaging truly stands out from typical wine labels that can vanish on a 20 foot shelf of glass. The price range on the wine runs from 12 to 50 bucks, and since there is no Safeway here in the Kansas City metro area, I might be taking a road trip to pick some of these up.

We had an idea. Instead of putting more wines on the shelf with a label, grape variety and country on it, we thought about why someone might be buying that particular wine. Then we wrapped the bottle in paper covered with recipes, pictures and stuff relating to whatever that occasion might be.