Sense of Unity for The Brand
The NuAns brand launches its first term product line-up using brushed felt fabric as the basic material. "We wanted to do something different, because we used leather for our Simplism product line, so we came up with the idea to use felt." Tetsushi Hoshikawa said.
"Felt is not usually combined with
digital gadgetry, but we were impressed with what Mr. Hoshikawa pressed...
that we wanted to challenge ourselves and not back down in the face of a
challenge... This motivated us to produce the successful products NuAns has
to offer," replied the two TENT designers.
The ideas for the functionality of the product had already been finalized before the finishes were decided upon. The NuAns concept for new answers prompted the idea to try a material that hadn't yet been applied to digital gadgetry and felt fabric became the frontrunner. However felt and electronics don't inherently work well together. The heat output of batteries can't be absorbed by existing felts for one. The adhesive application was difficult. And discussions about whether the material was water-repellant, stain-resistant and flame retardant were all necessary to consider in matching felt with these electronics, " Mr. Aoki said.
In fact, the felt fabric used in most of NuAns' products was specially made and exclusive to NuAns. All three of us love a challenge and are pleased with the product's results. "It's not a given that we will use this fabric for all upcoming products, but we used it for the first term because of the sense of unity it brings. We worked through many difficulties to be able to use the felt fabric but with such a successful result, we wanted it to be the initial image of the brand," Mr. Haruta reminisced.
The NuAns products launched this term feature color variations that have not been applied to digital gadgetry before. "We first selected the colors black and white to give customers a basic choice of either light or dark, but it seemed too limiting so we added both khaki and saffron to the mix. We chose those two colors because we thought they would blend well with interiors, goods or clothing and bags to make this digital gadgetry appear more like accoutrements," said Mr. Aoki.
Normally pink or blue are chosen as accessory colors for digital gadgetry. We wanted colors that blended more into daily life. 'We wanted to make something more elegant, more subtle,' Mr. Aoki continued. We finalized 4 colors to unify the brand and selected textures that would meld well together or show a lifestyle solution that would also look smart on the display shelf.
'We did not change much of the design or color by TENT, because they truly understood the concept and we appreciate the beauty that formed from the collaboration,' Mr. Hoshikawa said.
Aluminum and elastomer (resin) were additional materials chosen for their functionality and design to incorporate for the NuAns product launch this initial term.
For example, Elastomer is used for the cable portion of the BANDWIRE Lightning Cable and TAGPLATE Lighting Mobile Battery. The elastomer design is made to look like a luggage tag strap and has a built in cable that bends 180 degrees. The softness of elastomer allowed additional treatment to include imprinting of a 3D texture on the surface.
'We did not make it feel like cheap rubber. It was a challenge to bend thin elastomer without breakage, introduce electricity and also to have a refined 3D texture. But we thought we could do it!' remembered Tetsushi Hoshikawa.
"We always think about design in a meaningful way - we approached these products as though they were necessities and not frivolous accessories. We wanted to be deliberate about the shape of the tag and design the elastomer part to appear like woven cloth" Mr. Haruta said.
That policy was implemented into other individual elements such as cable enrobed by material that was textured like fabric, not like cheap vinyl. NuAns is focused on good tactile surfaces, that are fun to touch, with visual and kinetic appeal.
"The internet is filled with ideas and gimmicks. Our brand is known for providing functional ideas infused with fun. But people don't need the fun element to know quality when they experience it. NuAns brings a little stylish elegance to everyday lives," TENT said.
For example, we chose the felt fabric for the portable mobile battery so it would not damage other items in a bag and to be soft to the touch. We chose aluminium and metals for the lightning
equipment to ensure durability with consideration for the surface processing.
We strove to make each item something that would be sought after. The policy to create a quality, feel good product has permeated down to each detail of the NuAns line; for example, the lightning connector in the TILE and CONE lights are on a rotating spindle which hides and protects the lightning connector when it is not in use.