The MADE Dry Goods Container provides all-in-one storage and measuring of any bulk food product. Its simple and sleek design eliminates the need to use a measuring cup, enabling users to measure and dispense goods with one simple tool. A functioning prototype created by Made was given to Swarm for color exploration, and although the function of the product never changed, Swarm refined many details for usability, aesthetics, and manufacturing. With materials selected, and the user experience refined, Swarm managed sourcing and the first production run. To support the launch, Swarm also developed the brand identity, packaging, and POP displays.
The Made was a winner of Design Arts Utah in 2015.
User interface design
Brand identity / logo / POP
The Str/ke Mvmnt Cross Platform was developed to provide a stable platform for intense cross training, increase durability, and keep weight to a minimum. Swarm worked closely with Str/ke Mvmnt to refine the sole by building a complete CAD model, then iterating on the form to refine the details. The result is one of the most stable, supportive, and durable cross training shoes that still maintains excellent tactile feedback.
Most commercial audio speakers damage the aesthetic of their surroundings as much as they add to the atmosphere sonically. The design is often boxy and obtrusive with unsightly wiring added as an afterthought. The hexagonal Cloud CS-S3 Surface Mount Speaker, on the other hand, adds visual as well as audible appeal to its environment.
The attractive design of the CS-S3 is more than just visually stunning - it has a unique functional purpose The speaker is split into two interlocking pieces which can rotate around each other. The obtuse angle between these two pieces is designed so that when the speaker is fixed to the wall, it can be aimed in any desired direction. The CS-S3 is a full-range speaker that offers consistent dispersion across broad frequency ranges and is sonically matched to Cloud's C series for uniform acoustics. It's available through Cloud in black or white.
Just like Brad Pitt’s character in Moneyball, we set out to “change the game” when we began working on our Sky Hook™ project. By evolving our design studio around a new premise, we created the intellectual property (IP) first and then found the client.
You should always know what your customers want before they do, so we set out to create IP that the audio industry hadn’t yet realized. Having worked both in and around audio products for over a decade, we recognized a distinct need. SkyHook was the culmination of our intimate knowledge of the audio industry coupled with our outsider’s perspective gained through work across many different industries. This blend helped us create a novel solution that the industry craved, even when they weren’t looking for it.
Sky Hook™ is a tool-free, fully automatic, self-adjusting clamp that eliminates the need for power tools and makes speaker installation far easier, streamlined, and cost-effective. The patent-pending Sky Hook system is designed to simplify and reduce installation times by 75%. Installers can simply cut a hole, attach wires, and press the speaker into the hole, while Sky Hook adapts to the surface thickness with a preset clamping force that eliminates the possibility of breaking the dog leg or cracking drywall. Removals are also fast and easy with a quarter turn of a screwdriver.
The next step for us was to find a partner.
Klipsch®, a tech-driven 70-year old audio company, decided this design solution was a perfect fit to gain significant edge over their competition. A wholly-owned subsidiary of VOXX International Corporation (NADAQ: VOXX), Klipsch recently announced the addition of more than 50 new high-performance custom speaker solutions for residential and commercial applications featuring swarm’s, “revolutionary new installation technologies, designed to save integrators time and money.”
We developed the idea fully and then brought a finished prototype built around Klipsch’s existing technology to the manufacturer. A major spark happened and Klipsch was instantly interested in establishing a formal collaboration with our studio. The end results were nearly as instantaneous. Just one year after their first meeting, Klipsch debuted the new line of speakers at the September 2017 Multimedia Tradeshow, CEDIA, co-branded with swarm. Read more here.
Product Conception & Design Development
Patent Application & Receipt
Lamp No. 1 by Woodrow & Co is an in-house project that strives to balance simplicity against complexity. It distills the lamp to its most basic elements- the bulb, the body, and the cord. With its distinctive curves, the iconic Plumen 001 bulb serves as the focal point of the design, contrasting a deceptively simple maple base. The true beauty of the design, however, lies with the interaction. Drawing inspiration from classical pull chain lamps, one simply pulls the power cord to activate the lamp.
Eventually all businesses need to change directions and sometimes that means a complete overhaul of their whole brand. This was the case for Cane Creek Cycling Components. A world-renowned manufacturer of high end bike parts, Cane Creek was best known for the patent they held on a little-known and highly technical bike part, the threadless headset. Their corporate branding was very stark and simple. Picture lots of white backgrounds and large blue text if you will.
However, as they moved into a new market by developing uber cool suspension products for mountain bikes, (see our work on the DBinline) Cane Creek needed to update their brand image to one that was cohesive across all product lines, focused on their corporate culture and appealing to a younger demographic.
Beginning with logo development for the Double Barrel suspension line, SWARM worked on every piece of brand collateral that Cane Creek developed over the next 5 years. A few notable projects include: Website Redesign, Print and Digital Advertising, Technical Posters, Brochures & Catalogs, Product Graphics, User Manuals, a Web-based Configurator (The Headset Fit Finder), Animated Renderings, Trade Show Displays, Fixtures and Tents, Soft goods and Product Packaging.
The Cane Creek DB Inline packs the industry's most adjustable performance into a small package. Its unique design allows users to easily dial in the exact experience they’re looking for, and take their trail or enduro bike to the next level. As a long standing Swarm client, Cane Creek wanted help turning their existing prototype into a sexy, user friendly beast. In addition to pushing the design language to the limit, Swarm also developed improvements to cut manufacturing costs, reduce weight, and make the shock easier to use across a broad spectrum of bike configurations.
User Interface Design
Swarm developed this unique branding piece for Cane Creek to display their shock systems in a way that communicates the technical nature of the product. They were looking for a creative, portable, easy to use display to show their line of shocks at CrankWorx in Whistler, BC. This display is an extension of the technical brand image that was previously developed by Swarm, and has been used to showcase Cane Creek’s products in retail shops and trade show displays around the world.
Short Run Production
Your bone-dry skis were fine this morning, but when the sun came out and warmed up the surface of the snow, they quickly became grabby and dangerous. Normally you'd have to call it a day or drop $50 on a hand-wax job. Those days are soon to be over.
In 2015, Swarm was presented with an idea. It was one of those HOLY COW light bulb moments — an automated ski-tuning machine that operates just like Redbox. Witness the miracle of birth — it's a SkiQuicky!
Swarm was faced with numerous challenges to make SkiQuicky a viable product. The machine had to be completely self-contained, reliable, easy to use, and had to accept a huge variety of ski and snowboard shapes in various states of cleanliness and disrepair. It had to reliably handle all this without damaging people's skis, and without the skis damaging the machine. Additionally, it needed to run unattended for an entire season with minimal maintenance. Challenge accepted.
Swarm developed a number of patent-pending technologies to hold the skis, disengage alpine ski brakes, and apply a premium coat of wax. Swarm developed a complete automation system — including myriad sensors, robust controllers, reliable servo motors, and an entire wax-handling system. We then wrote the code for complex firmware and a complete cloud-based backend for real-time remote management of thousands of machines around the world.
The finished product is a fully automated ski- and snowboard-waxing machine. In about four minutes your skis are shred-ready. Each smart machine is aware of the current snow conditions, and selects the perfect wax. For just a few bucks, skiers can have a full day of amazing ski performance without planning a day ahead, leaving their skis at a shop, and racing back to the shop before the lifts open to pick up their gear.
Look for SkiQuicky at a resort near you for the 2017 / 2018 season.
Mechanical System Engineering
User Interface Design
Cloud Based Backend Development
Brand Development / Logo Design
Short Run Production
In 2011 Edwin Cycles hired Swarm to help translate their signature hand built style into a series of bike frames that would be more efficient to manufacture. The frame was designed to be both light and stiff. Swarm developed a series of replaceable custom dropouts to accommodate single speed, or geared variations. These dropouts work with the latest 142x15mm solid through axles for maximum stiffness and pedaling efficiency. Swarm also designed super stiff CNC machined seat stay and chain stay crowns. These features, combined with optimized tube geometry, led to an anodized aluminum frame weighing only 3.4lbs with extreme pedaling efficiency. Hand built quality at an affordable price.
You know the adage; the competition doesn't matter: Do what you do, and do it incredibly well, and you will win. This is great in theory, but terrible in practice because winning almost always requires reacting to what your competition does.
When the competition in the filament winding market started getting stronger, ENTEC reached out to SWARM to assist them in expanding their foot print in creating a new set of standard machines, updating their brand and launching a small marketing campaign. The goal was to convey that this is the NEW Entec with a focus on innovation and expanded services. SWARM was tasked with updating branding, website creation, developing new machinery & colors for efficiency, safety, and visibility, and creating an advertising campaign to differentiate ENTEC from the other players.
The end result has positioned ENTEC on top of its game with a strong brand which permeates every aspect of their business. The advertising campaign (Insert link to ad) brought increased visitors to an engaging high tech website where they can view a new line of advanced machinery that asserts the branding elements as uniquely ENTEC products.
Machine Color Development
Photography & Video
Graphic Design/Advertising Campaign
The Goat is a low-profile inbounds and side country ski pack. When a full pack is too much and shouldering won't cut it, The Goat is what you need. Groomers or powder? Shredding the bunny slope or launching cliffs? Aunt Edith might dig lift served terrain, but you know better. The Goat is manufactured in Boulder, Colorado using repurposed materials that are difficult, or impossible to recycle. From used mountain bike tubes to spent climbing rope, it is made using the most eco-friendly materials available today.
The Goat is an in house project.
Soft Goods Design
The concept for Nectar was developed around a tradition of going for beers after mountain bike rides. We like to do internal design projects in between the projects we do for clients as a way to clear our minds and as a sort of "palette cleanser". After going through the design process, we realized that NECTAR needed to be more than just a design- it needed to be on our bikes! NECTAR is a bolt on seat collar with an integrated bottle opener. It is designed to hold your seat exactly where you want it for maximum pedal power. Simple, clean, awesome.
The Nectar was funded via Kickstarter
Ruffsack is a company, which sells affordable truck bed bags, providing users with the ultimate in cargo management. Swarm assisted Ruff Sack with nearly every aspect of their startup company, including Product design & Engineering, Logotype & Identity Design, Website Design (www.ruffsack.com), Creative Content creation, Tradeshow booth design & Fabrication, and setting up sales channels. They’re first product, the Standard Duty bag is created from simple tarp material and gives users a cheap and easy way to keep cargo in place and dry in their truck bed. The innovation of the product isn’t in the concept, but the execution as there are patented processes developed by Swarm to minimize seams and zippers, which makes it more water resistant. This product sells well in Cabala's stores.
Swarm also designed their follow-up product, the Heavy Duty Bag. This is a smaller zipper bag that is water proof and nearly bomb resistant. Users love the no worries approach to cargo storage that can still be removed from the bed and folded up.
As the social movement of tiny houses and downsizing takes off, people are simplifying their living space to reduce their footprint for a myriad of reasons. Along with urban gardeners, they have a distinct need for space-saving schemes and smartly designed products. SWARM worked with RedHed Tools on several projects to address the need for a high quality garden tool system that provides the ability for gardeners to do more with less.
The RedHed Garden Tool System was created with quality and craftsmanship as paramount factors. Equally important was simplicity and ease of use. Starting with product development, SWARM was tasked to create an interface between the tool heads and the handles that was not intrusive to the product, was “dead simple”, and had the utmost in durability. Through research and industrial design, SWARM generated a lightweight and clickable aluminum connector (patent-pending) that met all the targets. This unique interface was then carried over to create a full system.
The Garden Tool Master Kit includes 1 bag, 4 steel tool heads and 4 hickory handles plus extender, that create a total of 32 tool combinations. The tools are powder coated to survive a lifetime of use and feature a nostalgic retro-look. SWARM worked with this design directive and integrated it into every element of the system: from the vertical lines that hide tooling marks on the aluminum connectors to the classic look of the packaging.
SWARM developed both a soft and hard case to provide a quick and easy system targeted at two different consumers. Mimicking a tool roll, the soft case had to provide cost-effective tidy storage in a lightweight package for the urban gardener. Constructed of heavy denier nylon, the water-resistant custom storage case neatly stores each kit piece in its designated spot, with pull-tabs to lock them in place.
A blow molded hard case was then developed to target the professional landscaper. Primary goals were to keep the production costs down by shrinking the size of the soft case. SWARM provided a creative tool layout for enhanced user experience, smart tool placement and efficient use. Working with the offshore manufacturing vendor, SWARM created tooling and sourced the product. To meet the demand of the upcoming market season, all items were delivered on a shortened time line.
The Perfect Planner is a unique tool that enables users to create professional gardens with quick and easy layouts and proper spacing. SWARM created prototypes to determine size requirements, parameters, measurement increments and angles. To eliminate parts and SKUs, making it internally easier for RedHED, each piece is interchangeable. SWARM created one mold with easy assembly using durable fiber impregnated ABS plastic. The full kit includes planting guide and flags for planting layout all within a stand-alone package that educates the consumer and sells itself.
To target the big box retailer, SWARM created Double Shovel packaging that includes a reduced number of tools yet allowed for system addition. The packaging needed to explain product benefits, reduce retail footprint and be durable. Utilizing prototyping and 3D modeling, SWARM worked with the box manufacturer to create a minimal cardboard piece that hangs and clearly communicates the product message at first glance.
Many people are stunned that catalogs even exist anymore. The internet is supposed to handle all that. However, the simple fact remains, catalogs work! You can hold a catalog in your hands, mark it up, put it down and pick it up again a day later. It can, and often does, stay around for weeks. Throw in the added bonus of text with SEO and online ordering capability and you have the perfect cocktail. People read the catalog, decide what they want, and then go online to place the order.
Arisun Bicycle Tires uses an annual catalog to distribute their product information. Their goal for the 2015/16 catalog was to change their look to be more American and “edgy”. Swarm tapped into that voice and worked directly with the Chinese factory and the US Distributor to create a sharp design that pushed the envelope and made a competitive impact in the United States.
Part social commentary, part novelty product, the Grenade Flight Bottles are bottles created specifically for carrying liquids onto a plane. They fit all guidelines created by the TSA for containers to hold liquids, with a minor visual twist, they look like the grenades the TSA is looking to keep out of the airports. Done as a personal project, the Grenade Flight Bottles ended up getting licensed and manufactured by Kikkerland novelty products for a short time. We’re not quite sure why it didn’t sell better…
Be Headware had developed its first model — a beanie with integrated Bluetooth speakers — but it wanted to upgrade every aspect of the product. BE was looking for better sound quality, better usability, and a better look, and it needed the new design to fit with the design constraints of the hat. BE turned to Swarm because of our backgrounds in audio design and engineering, our impeccable fashion sense, and our boyish good looks. Time was tight — the company needed Swarm to move from first sketch to production in just a few months. The project was completed on time and the client couldn't have been more pleased.
If there is a savvy adventurer out there pushing beyond their comfort zone, they probably have Mountainsmith gear in their quiver. Founded on the pursuit of backcountry bliss, Mountainsmith is a popular brand that makes gear that can withstand years upon years of rigorous abuse.
Mountainsmith worked with SWARM to create their 2016 and 2017 Dealer Workbooks aimed at engaging dealers through dynamic visual storytelling to provide product education and stocking guidance. As most adventures do, the project had a short time constraint and needed to proceed like a fine Swiss watch.
Using their product roadmap, we worked with the product sample arrivals to accelerate the layout in advance of each photography phase thus creating a multi-level workflow. The end result was a quick turn around that was able to get the final two publications completed on time.
Do you know a great spot for fly fishing that's easily accessible by car? If so, we would argue that it's not that great a spot. Most of the truly great spots for fly fishing are well off the beaten path — away from the noise and pollution of roads and civilization. The Exodus Fly Fishing Pack was designed exactly for this reason. It makes your gear easy to carry through rough terrain all the way in to that perfect spot. And since you can't just plop your gear down once you've waded out into the river, the Exodus gives you easy access to your gear while you're wearing it.
Together with the William Joseph fishing gear company, we designed a pack that can easily carry all the gear that a serious, all-day fly fisherman needs. The Exodus Fly Fishing Pack also comes with a vest which can clip into the backpack straps. This vest has large pockets that make it easy for the fisherman to access gear while in the water. Bob Marley said Exodus was "movement of Jah people." We disagree. We'd say it means comfort, convenience, and yummy, yummy fish.
Way back in the '70s and '80s, everyone who was serious about music and everyone who was serious about entertainment had a big stereo system. Everything was big. Speakers weren't just speakers — they were TOWERS. They had components the size of a desktop computer that only housed a graphic equalizer. Receivers were equally enormous and were covered in sheets of faux wood adhesive. They had big knobs. The volume control was the size of a scotch glass. It was very tactile. Something felt good about turning the volume up with that huge knob. It felt like you were controlling something extremely powerful — maybe at NORAD.
These days, everything fits in your pocket and is operated with touchscreens. It's all very slick but it's lost some of the feel of the old component systems. The Earjax Bluetooth speaker is designed to capture the best of those two worlds. Compact and light, it has all of the convenience, features, and modern appeal of modern Bluetooth speakers. But just as important as the function, the Earjax Speaker captures some of the old-school tactile pleasure that used to be so much a part of the listening experience.
We're buff. If we aren't actually working out, we're either asleep or getting ready to work out. Anyone who works out as much as the Swarm crew (look for our calendar in fine bookstores) knows that a nothing chases away the post-workout muscle aches like a good muscle roller. Unfortunately, many of the rollers on the market are hard and straight — about as useful as Grandma Mildred's rolling pin. Because of their design (or lack of) they can actually cause pain rather than relieve it.
It took us several rounds of concept, but we designed the Enso Muscle Roller to be different. It has 8 EVA foam roller discs which slide onto an aluminum rod and lock in place. The discs have varying diameters so you can set up the roller to focus pressure where you need it. This customizable configuration makes it possible to target your post-workout muscle rolling to make it as effective as possible.
Swarm also sourced production for the Enso Roller, and continues to work with overseas vendors to ensure high quality standards.
As the workplace changes, the desk must adapt to new pressures. Rimmed with cutouts that dock with specialized accessories, Desk No. 1 constantly adapts to your changing needs. From cable management, to beverage storage, this desk is evolving.
We designed several desk accessories that we find invaluable in daily usage. These are designed to be easily 3D printed. They can be downloaded from Woodrow & Co's website and printed yourself. This is the desk to fit the desktop manufacturing revolution.
Desk No. 1 ships flat, and assembles quickly with basic hand tools. It is made from premium birch plywood.
Because of its rigorous quality control and dedication to using only the finest ingredients available for its oils, Young Living is one of the world leaders in essential oils. However, the folks at Young Living felt that its packaging failed to reflect the level of quality that their product offered. Young living hired Swarm to design a bottle and cap that would reflect the quality of its product. We considered several designs, and ultimately settled on one we felt reflected the beauty, elegance, and simplicity of the product and of the brand. Swarm worked with both the marketing and manufacturing officers from Young Living to ensure that both the visual and material quality would reflect Young Living's existing product line.
You can file the Penblade Knife in the "why didn't I think of that" file. You should have — you'd be a millionaire like each and every member of the Penblade organization. The Penblade knife opens and retracts just like a ball point pen, so it's easy and intuitive to use. When not in use, the blade is hidden inside the body of the knife where it can't hurt anyone and it can't be damaged itself. The folks at Penblade soon discovered that the Penblade had many uses, and decided to market it to hobbyists and crafts-lovers — anybody who could use an ultra-sharp, ultra-precise cutting tool. Swarm produced a promotional informational video and 3D motion graphics. These now live on the Penblade website. They accurately showcase the Penblade's many uses for crafts-lovers, hobbyists, and non-medical types the world over.
Leonardo Da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. He invented the first helicopter in 1493 (that's about 450 years before the second helicopter was invented), so we figure that's a pretty solid design philosophy. The Neubee Cradle follows that philosophy exactly. This simple cradle can quickly be transformed into a toy box or a toddler bed without tools. Since there are no screws or traditional joint methods, the Neubee is extremely safe for your toddler. It also breaks down quickly into flat boards that are easy to store and transport. The Neubee Cradle is part of a line of children’s furniture designed by Swarm for Woodrow & Co.