M Industrial Design combined high quality audio technology with Paul Frank’s cool brand equity. We successfully integrated Julius into this portable iPod dock without the product seeming toy-like. With its specially crafted stereo loudspeakers, you can take the party with you wherever you go!
We approached our client SpeakerCraft with the idea that we would like to partner with them on an electronics product design project, not just deliver design for hire. The timing was right and SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt had been in talks with Paul Frank about creating consumer electronics tied to the Paul Frank brand. They felt designing an iPod player would be the best starting point.
M Industrial Design decided that we would approach the project as partners and agreed to work for a royalty position on the project. We don’t do this often, but given the strength of our relationship and history, we felt the opportunity was worth the risk.
We worked with SpeakerCraft to identify the internal electronics and product features that would hit the price point target. We then created design concepts that would engage consumers and leverage the strong Paul Frank brand.
Part of the design challenge was deciding how best to use the Julius character and still communicate that the product was a high quality audio device and not a toy.
The design concept we finally decided on was a serene “Buddah” pose with Julius holding the iPod in his lap. We worked out the appearance design and mechanical engineering details in CAD and built models based on FDM prints finished in our shop. CAD files, material and finish specifications and models were sent to the factory in Asia to document the design.
Best Buy and Target welcomed Julius into the retail world and he’s been rockin’ it ever since with some great user reviews!