Harmony H224 Interface

Client: Sterling Audio

Loft, LLC

Guitar Center approached Loft to design a new line of headphones for their in-house brand, Sterling Audio. They already had the blueprint for high quality studio headphones; all they needed was a groundbreaking design that would both elevate their brand beyond their pro audio competitors and stand out on the shelf.

During this project, I was responsible for benchmarking research, 2D and 3D ideation, and an entire phase of the project calling for high quality renders for the product's packaging and promotion on Guitar Center and Sterling's websites.

Market Research

These headphones were intended for a studio environment, so we first had to pin down exactly who our users would be. The headphones would be reliable, yet affordable, so they could be used both in bedroom studios and large, professional settings.

We also researched the competitive landscape to see what design directions were successful in the current market and who our main competitors were. We cross-referenced our design expertise with the client's sales figures to narrow in on a few key SKUs.

Finally, we examined the current Sterling brand language. We received direction from the client that this product line should be pushing the brand in a more mature and 'pro' direction.

Ideation

The team participated in an extensive ideation session. This consisted of sketching on rough CAD underlays, modeling our favorites, and sketching over those again to quickly achieve a high resolution of detail.

Refinement + CMF

Parallel to our concept refinement, we developed six mood board directions we felt were appropriate for the Sterling brand in a studio setting. Then we created variations in color, material, and finish for our CAD concepts based on those boards.

Vintage Mechanic
Black and Silver
Sterling Silver
Smooth Silver
Dark Tones
Warm Black
Details

I was finishing up my degree back at school when the design was finalized, so I missed some parts of the development process. This included engineering for the hinges and final CAD and CMF.

Photos courtesy of Guitar Center.

© Dan Grove or respective copyright holders