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Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby yo » December 31st, 2015, 2:40 pm

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Aaron, I mean this is the best possible way because I know you can take the feedback. I think you can do much better.

Overall. I don't think Under Armour is a brand fit. They are all about physical activity. They are about physical exertion and metaphorical combat over games. If they were to do headphones they would likely do training sport headphones. This would be a better brand fit. Music as motivation to perform and train.

On the designs themselves. All of the concepts feature headbands that completely pierce the ear cans. The construction is not often used because you can't really get a good seal or adjustment. It is also more difficult to hide the wires in the band. Notice Sol Republic, who most popularly use this style, they had to have a wire go to each can. It is not a popular method because now you have two wires.

All of the can shapes are very geometric. The ear is not geometric. Check out other cans and they are more ear shaped. Even beats, under the graphical headband, is very ear shaped. Check out our Polk Buckle, Striker Pro and Definitive Symphony 1's, which are consistently rated some of the most comfortable.

Minor point, most ear pads are leather because it naturally creates a seal with the skin which increases bass response and sound isolation. The textile one breath more but most people prefer the performance of the leather. They also wipe clean which is important.

Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby apowers » December 31st, 2015, 7:08 pm


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Thanks Michael, it's been really difficult to get strong feedback from others lately so I'm glad to take the harsh criticism.

Under Armour is very much an athletic brand, focused on athletic movement, and while competitive gaming may not be a direct correlation I wanted to form a statement that questions why athletic brands haven't made any sort of leap into this enormous new world that is e-sports. The other reason I chose Under Armour is because Kevin Plank has gone on record multiple times stating that he knows tech is the future, and the brand is continuing to push into this new world of athletics, wearables, and tech. So why not look at a new sport that is doing all of that at once?

This is just my thinking, I understand it may be a stretch and they may never do such a thing but since I was 12 playing competitive video games I dreamt of a major athletic company disrupting a landscape of gear that hasn't changed in quite a while (specifically pc gaming).



As far as design goes I'm very happy to hear your critiques, given that this was done on such a short time-frame I approached this project from a naive technical perspective in hopes of discovering something that maybe hasn't been done before due to normal constraints.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on headphone design in general, there's some really valuable information here that I probably wouldn't have heard from anyone else! (even my instructor critiquing this project had designed some major headphones and didn't bring these things up)

Next project will be much better, thanks again for the feedback as always, Michael!
Aaron Powers
Nike Intern
Academy of Art University Graduate - 2016
My design school journey: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=28022
My Behance: https://www.behance.net/Apowers
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Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby KenoLeon » December 31st, 2015, 7:18 pm

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I don't think it is necessarily a bad fit down the road, but maybe the football (american & some soccer ) headsets that coaches use (which bose seems to dominate) could be a better starting point, just my 2 cts.
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Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby yo » December 31st, 2015, 8:01 pm

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Aaron,

No problem. On headphones, it is so easy to sketch and CAD something that looks good but fits terribly. I learned a lot as well designing our headphones. Notice all of the construction changes from the Polk Buckle to the Polk Striker Pro. Always room to improve. Some professionals don't pay as much attention to this stuff I find.

On the brand aspect, don't confuse competition by how brands like Nike and Under Armour define sport. They define it as athletics. E Sports are the antithesis of their core values. For the same reason you don't see them getting into motorsports. I had these conversations many times there. Professional racers are extremely athletic, and motorsports are the most popular sports... but they don't align to the brand values.

What other brands would make more sense in gaming?

Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby apowers » January 5th, 2016, 1:27 pm


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I see what you mean now Michael, I definitely was viewing athletics and competition as being one in the same. I'll keep dreaming that someone takes a leap into e-sports :D

But in the meantime, I'll set this mini-project aside and take what I've learned and apply it to the next project! Thanks again for the feedback, I really needed it!
Aaron Powers
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Academy of Art University Graduate - 2016
My design school journey: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=28022
My Behance: https://www.behance.net/Apowers
IG: Sketchpowers

Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby yo » January 6th, 2016, 3:56 am

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My pleasure. Just my point of view (albeit a pretty educated one based on my relationships) but you of course need to have your own POV.

I think it is still interesting to think about what brands make the most sense in the space. I'm surprised some of the other more fashion headphone brands that appeal to youth culture haven't gotten into it. Skull Candy gave it a shot after they bought Astro. The headset looked great on the package photo, but it looked awkward on the head and was uncomfortable. Of instead they had started with one of their other comfortable models as a base it would have been interesting.

Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby mcpbowman » January 13th, 2016, 6:42 am


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Long time stalker but first time poster on this forum - I just wanted to say that your journey has been truly inspirational.
Following it has been a perfect example of how much difference practice can make. Especially with the helpful advice from Yo every step of the way!

I look forward to following future posts and maybe posting a bit more, but for now, I need to pick up my pencil and practice myself.
Thanks for the motivation! :)

Re: Apowers' Design School Journey

Postby munkitkat » March 19th, 2016, 1:29 am

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Love your ideation. That's the kind of ideation that sparks conversations and additional ideas from other designers.
Some of the pencil shading is starting to look smudgy.
I remember back in the day we had to do 18" x 24" sheets of just lettering. Why don't you try doing Michael's sample multiple times on a 8.5" x 11" sheet. Make sure you pay attention at the letter construction, don't let your brain do what it thinks it should do.
You may also want to draw a couple of faint lines on your drawings so that your lettering is straight. It will help you to keep your letters the same height and in a straight line. :)

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