Many software companies in the Silicon Valley measure their success from release to release. Version 1.0 gets you started in the marketplace and each subsequent update is a milestone that confirms your viability in the marketplace. But as all enterprises know, it is not a single individual that creates successful products, but a whole crew of dedicated team members who have worked long hours and brain-bending hard on making the next version of your product the one that leaps ahead of the competition.
In Clint Eastwood’s movie Gran Torino, the prized possession of his character Walt Kowalski was a green 1972 Ford Gran Torino in which he had installed the steering column. This car was representative of his work at the Ford Motor Company. It was a symbol of pride, and was prized for what it represented to him. The movie revolves around this machine, and how it was representative of his life’s work and passion.
Every person in the work world loves to show off their work product. In my business this is often represented by a plaque or trophy of some sort. As nice as it is to receive an award for your work, the trophy is only a representation of the actual product. What we strive to do, is make the award as relevant as possible to the product your staff has worked on. The product should be a permanent reminder, a memento, of the product or company years down the road. With a glance, the memento should speak volumes about the giver and the work of the recipient. That is the most powerful recognition available.
One recent project centered around a company that makes anti-malware software, called Malwarebytes. This company has a great futuristic culture and has recently redesigned their hero robot. This robot represents their software’s defense against all the malware-bots in the internet galaxy. This mascot has been used as a symbol of the company’s work and is quickly becoming an icon that is memorable to all who see it. It is great branding, but more importantly, it is a symbol of their company’s mission.
So when we were asked to design a piece as a memento for all the staff that worked on their latest release we dug into their story and created a piece that had the hero robot literally in the center of the project. We started with drawings and designs moving to a full production piece. It was a crystal cube with 3D laser engraving in the middle, sand etched recognition of the release on the front, and the dark blue world of internet danger as a background.
We started by taking a look at the full rendering of the robot
And then we created a design around the robot.
Finally we produced a couple samples. We produced two variates, one with a background, and one without.
Which do you prefer?