As designers, we love to see great design of all kinds – from true innovation to elegant redesigns. 

We take so much of our everyday lives for granted.  Sometimes we all need to take a step back and take stock.  This is true for designers as much as anyone: reimaging the everyday can result in some truly innovative products. 

Here are five of our favorite product redesigns.

1) The Highly Functional Redesign

The breakthrough design of the modern “Biro” or ballpoint pen made writing a whole lot easier and a lot less messy.

The pen takes its name from its creator László József Bíró.   Bíró was born on 29 September 1899 in Budapest in what was then Austria-Hungary and invented the pen as an alternative to the smudge- and blot-prone fountain pen in 1938, just as the Second World War was about to begin.

Bíró got the idea for his eponymous pen on a visit to a newspaper printing press which used quick-drying ink and a roller and inspired him to consider how that print process could be simplified right down to the level of an ordinary pen.

Why we love it:  Say goodbye to ink blots and hello to mobile writing technology.

2) The Update

The first upright vacuum cleaner was invented in June 1908 James Murray Spangler, an asthmatic Ohio department store janitor, occasional inventor and cousin of Mrs Susan Hoover.  Her husband, William Henry “Boss” Hoover bought the patent from Spangler later the same year and the invention went on to dominate the electric vacuum cleaner industry throughout the early- and mid-20th century –  to the point where the “Hoover” brand name became synonymous with vacuum cleaners in the UK and Ireland.

But in the 1970s, one British designer had an idea that would end Hoover’s domination of the industry.  Inspired by a sawmill that used cyclone technology, and frustrated by his vacuum cleaner’s diminishing performance, James Dyson had the idea of using cyclonic separation to create a vacuum cleaner that would not lose suction as it picked up dirt.  The Dyson Dual Cyclone became the fastest-selling vacuum cleaner ever made in the UK, outselling those of some of the companies that rejected his idea, and becoming one of the most popular brands in the UK.  By early 2005, Dyson cleaners had become the market leaders in the United States by value (though not by the number of units sold).  Today, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2016, Sir James Dyson’s net worth is £5 billion.

Why we love it: Who knew people could get so excited over a vacuum cleaner?

3) The Sonorous Restyle

The style of the humble bike bell has remained almost constant since John Richard Dedicoat invented it back in 1877.  But that didn’t stop Knog, the Australian bicycle accessories company.  Its innovative reimaging of this classic product is bringing a new look and a new sound to bicycles everywhere.

Why we love it: This super sleek and sexy design is a kickstarter success.

4) Music on the Move

When Sony invented the Walkman, its portable audio cassette-tape player, in 1978 it really did create “A Revolution In the Streets”, becoming one of the most successful launches of any new product in the past half-century and changing the way we listened to music.   In 1984 Sony followed up the launch of the Walkman with its Discman – the first mobile CD player.

It wasn’t until 2001 that our ability to play our own music and listen to it privately changed all that much – and then the genius of Steve Jobs and the incredible advances in music and mobile technology meant it changed radically: enter the iPod.

Why we love it: What’s not to love?

 5) All Shook Up

Great design doesn’t have to be complicated.  Sometimes, the best ideas are the most simple.  When our client approached us to redesign the salt shaker, we jumped at the chance, despite the simple design not having changed for centuries.

Our design team got to work understanding the clients vision and his frustrations with the existing products available.  The collaboration culminated in the cubby shaker – which you can buy online today – and which, through a thoughtful redesign which harnesses a simple rebound technique, eliminates the clumping salt and challenging grinding mechanisms of other salt shakers.  Made of the best quality BPA Free Eastman Tritan and suitable for unrefined salt, pepper, dried herbs, and spices, you can buy it online here: http://www.cubbyshaker.com/product-page/cubby-rebound-shaker

Why we love it: It showcases our seasoned professionalism.

 

As we’ve seen from these examples, there are many reasons why you might consider a product redesign.

 

 

 Product Redesign     Industrial Design      Mechanical Engineering