PUTTING THE “PLAY” BACK IN “PLUG & PLAY”
|Let's face it, “Plug & Play” devices are hardly ever as simple as we think they will be. “Plug & Pray” is usually a better descriptor. Thankfully Dymo wanted to bring some truth back to this often touted feature and they chose Achilles to help them on their way. It was up to us to give their new Label Manager PNP a fresh new look, along with the Label Manager 420P.
We were pretty excited to see a product that you could take straight out of the box, plug one cable into any PC or Mac and have a window pop-up to type your label text in. Hit print, and that's it. No driver issues, no complicated print settings, no separate power cable. It feels a little like magic.
For a professional desktop device, it is important that the footprint is kept as small as possible. That’s why the first thing we did, was not to start drawing flashy sketches, but to find the right component configuration with the smallest possible footprint. Once we had that figured out, the actual shaping could start. We needed to find something intriguing and playful without going crazy. The result is a strong, iconic shape that any comic book fan would recognize, a Text Balloon. The stance of this text balloon gives the product a touch of life. A desktop companion that is ready and willing to spit out all the labels you need.
Achilles was mainly responsible for the styling, but we also took care of the phase 1 engineering, in order to make sure that everything was feasible and producible. After all, a fun shape isn't any fun if it can't be made.