Design Trends: The Appeal of Transparent Design

by | Feb 21, 2020 | Design, Designing, Industrial Design, Inventions

As an industrial design firm, we love to keep in touch with all the major product design trends that come and go within the product design community. As technology, innovation, and design grow and change, there are a lot of different trends that help teach us what does and doesn’t work in terms of efficient product design. An industrial design firm like Mako Design is always dedicated to not only keeping in touch with some of these interesting product design trends, but also trying them out, seeing how they work, and studying their effect on the functionality and effectiveness of a product.

If you remember any major product design trends from the ’90s, you might remember the popularity of transparency in electronic products. From phones to handheld gaming devices, transparency in our product was a fun and innovative way to approach aesthetic design in some of our favorite daily products. As design has evolved from the 90’s we’ve seen less of the popular transparent product design trend as the more modern and minimalistic design has become increasingly popular. However, like all trends, product design trends come back around once more to refresh our minds on the appeal of why they were a top product design trend, to begin with.

From an industrial design firm like Mako, we’ve noticed that minimalism has become a huge trend in product design, thus, Mako Design has picked some of our favorite transparent product designs to assess the appeal of this recurring trend.

A Turntable Redesigned With a Transparent Product Design

Vinyl turntable has found themselves to be quite popular as they’ve made a great comeback in novelty items and as a collector’s hobbies. The passion that a lot of people have with vinyl and record players is that they appreciate the sound quality of vinyl more than other forms of music listening. Having a high-quality turntable stands at the most vital centerpiece of having a functioning record playing system – therefore, for this reason, designers and audiophiles all over the world have worked to design and create some of the most high-quality records players that produce a crisp and clear sounds that any audiophile would appreciate. Inspired by the Dieter Rams 1955 Braun PC 3 SV, Gearbox’s Automatic Turntable MKII is transparent design reinvented into the classic turntable! With a high-quality functioning belt drive and Bluetooth connectivity, this record player is sure to suit both the aesthetics and sound quality needs of audiophiles everywhere. The slick and see-through design adds a unique and interesting element to the record player as you easily see through the device, allowing you to witness the mesmerizing way that a turntable works internally!

Want to see some cool innovations in music? Check out these music inventions that will help you learn how to play easier!

A Famous Beginning for Transparent Product Design

Nothing gets as minimal as this transparent speaker named – Transparent speaker. Initially starting off as Kickstart project, Transparent Sound is a Swedish audio brand that creates audio products that are simple, functional and high-quality. Their main belief as an audio brand is to create home products and objects that never feel outdated even after years of purchase. Their collection of items is popularly known for their extremely minimalistic and monochrome design that showcases how simple and aesthetically pleasing it could be for audio products to exist not only as functional products within the home but conversation pieces that add sophistication to the home’s décor.

      The speakers are designed to be just as much as high fidelity and high-quality sounding products just as much as they are designed to be great interior pieces. The speaker is made with the exact essential pieces that make the speaker function. The most appealing aspect of the transparent speaker is the transparent design that shows the inside of the speaker and the minimal amount of tech pieces actually used in order for the speaker to function. The speakers’ design is supporting by a simple black or white frame and encased with tempered glass panels, giving the product a more luxurious and delicate feel that also allows you to look into the product and see the inside of the speaker.

Combining Fashion and Product Design Trends into One 

Transparency in fashion isn’t a relatively new concept as using see-through material such as silk, rayon, or the trendy nylon has been used to make statement pieces in many fashion lines among the past few years. However, with a relatively interesting and equally controversial product design trend is transparent design in bags or luggage. Our possessions are generally private and personal to us, so what does the use of having a transparent bag or carry on do for us? For those who are invested in the word of fashion – transparent bags have become a new staple piece that trendsetters are beginning to invest in.

      Following the idea of minimalism, the product design trend applying to carry on luggage gives fashion fans the chance to stand out at airports by doing the complete opposite of what most people would do – conceal their private belongings. The appeal of the transparent design not only serves as a statement piece but also a new way of approaching the minimalism. The structure and design of the see-through luggage from an industrial design firm’s view shows how simple and put together the whole piece is, with some benefits being that the user is easily able to find their items without the need of rummaging through their bag.

If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent

Company Team

MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.



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