Interview of 3 Saverglass designers
3 sames questions related to creation process linked with glass makers asked to 4 worldwide know design agencies based in Australia "Reb Design", in USA "Icon Design", in England "Claessens International" and in France "Daedalus Design"
First observation : no split between the "New World" and the "old Europe", rather a common will for always pushing away the possibilities of technical realizations
Converting point : the quality of the dialogue in the triangular relationship between client / Designer / Glass maker stands for the success of the project.
The questions :
- What do you expect from glass suppliers in the product design stage?
- When presenting a project to your client, do you recommend one or more specific glass suppliers?
- In your opinion, what are the challenges remaining that need to be taken up by the glass suppliers in terms of glass packaging and the decoration process?
JOHN EMERY, REB DESIGN, AUSTRALIA
Question 1 : When the design team pulls together a concept, she really needs solid feedback as to whether it’s achievable. It’s no good getting one’s client all excited about a design direction and then finding it’s impossible to achieve on the production line. At our end, we need answers reasonably quickly as to whether our concepts can be realized and what constraints we will need to work around.
We were very fortunate to have one-on-one dialogue with the head of production at SAVERGLASS in the preliminary design stages of a project. Production samples are also very important, not only for the design teams piece of mind, but also for the clients. True to their word, SAVERGLASS delivered bottle samples bottles which allowed us, for example, to continue on with product photography for ad campaigns.
Question 2 : Obviously we need to be mindful that clients expect to afford a range of options, not only in bottle styles but also in suppliers. Like most businesses, they are driven by the dollar and the need to budget wherever possible, but more often than not, they quickly come to realize that a unique bottle is just as integral to the branding exercise as are the graphics applied to them.
There are a large number of glass manufacturers out there, all pushing an enormous range of products. I must take that my hat off to SAVERGLASS here – they’ve obviously got a very good understanding of the marketplace and what it requires.
It’s very evident that SAVERGLASS also has a very strong design team on board which has an exceptional understanding of the wine and spirits area.
Question 3 : I’m not sure if anyone is qualified to answer this, but what the heck, I’ll give you a wish list !
- The ability to generate cheaper moulds and in turn the ability to produce shorter run proprietary bottles.
- Printing on compound curves – e.g. the shoulder of a bottle. Printing to the bottom edge of the bottle. Finer detailing – finer screens. Ink experimentation – not dissimilar to automotive paints – e.g. fish scales in metallic paints to provide luster.
- Detailing – e.g. highlighting the bar top or a ridge of a bottle in a particular colour (including the edges).
JEFFREY CALDEWEY, ICON DESIGN, NAPA, CALIFORNIA, USA
Question 1 : Of course, I am looking for logistical and technical assistance from a glass maker. Only the manufacturer knows their own limitations and of course, we designers sometimes like to push the limits. What I really want is an ally in the design process.
Question 2 : Frankly, I tend to recommend SAVERGLASS first.
The process of design is so taxing, why complicate the effort by using a supplier who has inadequate sales and support staff.
The people at SAVERGLASS are not only professional, but seem genuinely enthusiastic about design and the ultimate welfare of the client..
Question 3 : In the mass profusion of ‘liquid luxury’ brands, distinction is the only salvation. While applied paper labels have run the gamut, there is a whole world of proprietary glass shape and decoration combinations yet to be explored.
I believe the glass companies must immerse themselves in this new world to a much greater extent, both in terms of virtual display software and small lot production capabilities.
PETER ELMORE, CLAESSENS INTERNATIONAL, LONDON, UK
Question 1 : At the design stage, Claessens welcomes a positive can-do response from glass manufacturers. We have an enviable track record of creating innovative bottle designs for existing brands and new product developments for our Clients. We believe that the bottle is as important a marketing tool as the branding, advertising or in-store point of sale material.
We also expect the manufacturer to be enthusiastic about unusual aspects within the design and pro-active in helping to solve any perceived problems. The relationship should be a partnership between the Client, the Brand Design Agency and the Glass Manufacturer.
Question 2 : Recommendations to clients are never offered lightly, our reputation is at stake with every piece of advice and on any recommendation. We try to match the Client to the Manufacturer on various levels, primarily glass quality, the ability to do the job, approachability and making the Client at ease, location and of course, cost. If a certain job cannot be undertaken for whatever reason, recommendations of other glass manufacturers is very refreshing and can only be good for creative standards in the industry.
Question 3 : Cooperation and liaising between the various producers that it takes to create a product is very important. Capsule manufacturers, decorators, labels producers and bottling lines is essential if the brand and therefore the client is to be successful.
Increasing legislation related to heavy metals in EU & the USA is beginning to impinge on the design process. Guidance, research and solutions from the industry should be top of the agenda and with many glass manufacturers moving into decoration partnerships this should be a natural step forward.
ERIC VOIGNIER, DAEDALUS DESIGN, ANGOULEME, France
Question 1 : The designer, within the brief defined by the customer, gives free rein to his imagination. Nevertheless, in the end, the project has to be producible.
So, the quality of the exchange between the glass manufacturer and the designer determines success of the project. The designer expects from the glass manufacturer technical comments, but also that he sometimes agrees to repel the limits of its skills to respect in best the originality of a design.
To illustrate this comment, DAEDALUS has recently created a decanter for Cognacs DELAMAIN. One of the characteristics of this project (validated by the client) was to obtain a generous facing which exceeds the usually practiced standards… By means of dialogue with the technicians of the research department of SAVERGLASS, they accepted the challenge and surmounted the generated technical problems, for the biggest satisfaction of all.
Question 2 : Every glasswork design represents specific difficulties of manufacturing, that by experience, we can anticipate and as a consequence, recommend to the customer the savoir-faire which will best fit with the goal to reach (weight and glass quality, distribution of the masses, the profile of the shoulders of the glass-making, etc.).
Question 3 : The ideal would be to be able to push far away the constraints of the production, to free from it a little more, and give free rein to the creation of even more original forms… Regarding decoration, and moreover silk screen printing, when will we be able to obtain a global decoration of the glass without “shadow” (especially on shaped items)?