Our approach was to develop a brand language that was true to Melnor’s core beliefs. Interviews revealed the brand attributes were true and unique and our team proposed product lines based on these themes. The main attribute that resonated with Melnor was comfort and ease of use. This became the theme that inspired the VBL and all product development going forward.
After the signature design elements were established in the VBL guide, products were designed, and engineers created CAD data. From that data, our prototyping lab created many rapid prototypes. The initial proof of concept prototypes were machined from a low density foam tooling board. This allowed us to visualize the CAD data quickly to evaluate the form and ergonomics prior to making appearance prototypes.
After several rounds of refinements, we created the final appearance prototypes utilizing our Objet rapid prototyping process. These parts were meticulously finished and painted to follow the VBL direction previously established. The grip portions of the prototypes had a detailed texture pattern that proved too fine to survive the sanding and multiple coats of paint necessary to properly finish the parts. To address this challenge, we fabricated the texture by Laser Cutting a 2D pattern out of vinyl and applying it by hand.
The grip areas were painted and coated with a Specialty Soft Touch paint to simulate a TPE finish. Using the VBL as our guide, we applied the graphic elements of the product using laser cut vinyl to make our client’s appearance prototypes look like production parts for their product line reviews and display at trade shows.