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  1.  
    Hey everyone. I'm a graphic design student, and currently one of my class projects ist to design custom cans for a local company called Trash Amps. So you have an idea, Trash Amps are speakers that are more or less made using recycled aluminum cans as the enclosure, with a plastic insert (the black part at the top is the plastic insert. Currently they retail for $50. Here's a picture of a real one:



    The client we're working with as a class presented us with a bunch of different target markets he wants to hit, and much to my delight, one of them is the "cyclist" market. He wants to have displays of these in bike shops.

    I know $50 is pretty high for something that bills itself as being made from "trash", so let's pretend they retail for like $30 or $35. My question is, what would be your reaction if you saw these in your LBS? Is the concept clear (I won't say what it is because I want an honest account of whether or not it's clearly communicated)?

    tl;dr -- What do you think of this cycling-themed aluminum can design? What does it make you think of? Keep in mind I didn't design the grafitti logotype or the "reuse it for music" mark on the plastic insert. Those were given.


  2.  
    I like the reynolds type decal on the front, Don't care for the idea as a whole, kind of impractical if the idea is to use it on a bike> If its just to sit on the desk or replace computer speakers thats another thing, and yeah unless the sound is amazing (doubtful) then $50 is not going to bring the sales flodding in.
    BTW alumi8num is almost always a 4 didgit 6000 or 7000 series number depending on alloy and heat treatment (just for authenticity)
    • CommentAuthoradrian13346
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: socal3rensho 1.Don't care for the idea as a whole

    2.unless the sound is amazing (doubtful) then $50 is not going to bring the sales flodding in.


    I agree with this, and it seems like more of a overpriced novelty item (no offense) I wouldnt pay $50 for it.
    • CommentAuthorstalag13
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2012
     
    As a design exercise, I would go for something more bicycle oriented. Like a water bottle. The can on it's own, even with a tubing label and WC stripes, just doesn't read very well. Now if you dropped that thing into a Cinelli water bottle, or one of those Campy bottles with the handle, then you might get more traction as a viable product within a bicycle shop, pricing aside.
  3.  
    I think I should clarify that I don't really have a say in the aluminum can thing or the price. Frankly I agree with you all on the points about practicality, price and sound quality. It makes a surprisingly good sound for what really is "a tin can," but I'd still rather have a normal speaker that's purpose built. I tried some sketches trying to integrate the whole shebang into a water-bottle-holder-compatible unit but that didn't work out so well.

    Regarding the aluminum grade, the general consensus I've found on the internet is that soda cans are 3XXX of some kind, which is why I used 3104 instead of a realistic 6000-7000 series found on a bike. Would it be more successful if I just pretended it was a bicycle-grade?
  4.  
    The other idea I'm working on is designed to look like a head tube with polished lugs, I'll post that shortly.
  5.  
    I've been toying with the idea of actually embossing it but I'm not sure how I'd go about it. Possibly the badge too. Or I was considering having the badge be a debossed foil sticker.

    • CommentAuthorCheyTac
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2012 edited
     
    I just don't see how this would be practical for a cyclist. I wouldn't use them ask a speaker I have my headsets for that. I could only see myself storing small tools in there. Even then there are bags for much less than 50 bucks. As far as design goes, I'd would go with a more retro feel. If I saw these at my lbs this is probably what I would think "oh hey that's kinda cool. Don't really see how I could use that but it's cool."
  6.  
    ....what art/design school are YOU going to?....
  7.  
    Okay let me clarify / re-iterate. I did not come up with Trash Amps. Trash Amps' owner is working with my Design class to create new, original designs for the cans that are part of the product. I can't change the use of the aluminum can, nor can I change the price point. Like I said, I think the price is high myself and I would buy normal speakers before a Trash Amp. It totally is a novelty. The client has specified that one of the target markets he wants to make designs for is the cycling market.

    I may bring some of your guys' points up with the client and ask if he would be interested in developing a cycling-specific enclosure like a water bottle or something, but seeing as he's having trouble keeping the price down with these, I don't think he'll go for that, at least not yet.

    I'm asking for opinions on the designs that would be printed on the cans. There are a few here. Chey, when you say retro, do you mean distressed? More ornate lettering (vs. the sans-serif)?

    I'm studying art & design at Cal Poly SLO, for whatever it's worth to you, James. If you have input on the label designs I'm open to critiques.
  8.  
    It would be cool instead of soda cans it would be cool to be an actual headtube or a hub body. That would prob be more justified to spend about $50
    • CommentAuthorchku
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2012 edited
     
    Not sure what Dieter Rams would have to say about this one...

    As far as your task goes, the red one is very good. Good colour. Clear signification. Illuminates recycled aluminum as the main design element of the whole contraption (the flat red will show the aesthetic qualities of aluminum). The copy is all spot on, simple. 3104 is a clever one. Run with this.

    edit: Possibly take the same components and change the background colour for variety. eg: yellow & pink for the grand tours; polka-dot (King of the Mountains jersey) would look really pop with the aluminum background.
    • CommentAuthorparkman14
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2012
     
    Posted By: bensonisajewIt would be cool instead of soda cans it would be cool to be an actual headtube or a hub body. That would prob be more justified to spend about $50

    agreed
    • CommentAuthorCheyTac
    • CommentTimeMay 10th 2012 edited
     
    Posted By: iscratchmymindOkay let me clarify / re-iterate. I did not come up with Trash Amps. Trash Amps' owner is working with my Design class to create new, original designs for the cans that are part of the product. I can't change the use of the aluminum can, nor can I change the price point. Like I said, I think the price is high myself and I would buy normal speakers before a Trash Amp. It totally is a novelty. The client has specified that one of the target markets he wants to make designs for is the cycling market.


    I think we understand this. We're simply saying we don't see how it could work

    And yes I meant more ornate lettering and intricate designs for the head tube badges. Although I'm not sure how well it would go with the graffiti text the client has chosen for the company logo
  9.  
    Agree with CheyTac, the graffiti stuff is wack for the heading image. Maybe it can play a smaller part on the beck, look to retro headbadges for inspiration, Im sure theres something there you can pull form for an idea.
  10.  
    CAL POLY SLO ALUMNI !!!!!
    1985
  11.  
    As someone with a lot of fabrication and problem solving experience, your part in the project none withstanding, you sometimes have to take a step back and shitcan (awesome pun, he said shit and can referring to this item) a bad idea instead of plowing more money into it.

    I understand the whole "learning by doing" philosophy, and the proactive role the school takes partnering with industry, so your pegged into a position that is constrained by the projects objectives and the limitations imposed by iether your professor or the company sponsoring the project.

    Its a cool idea on its face, sort of fits a wierd niche with the whole "green save the world" crowd, but a novelty item at best. How about suggesting to the manufacturer they gear (haha he made another bike pun) it toward the marketing end of the spectrum instead of a consumer product.

    Hot chicks at sporting events handing out stickers while a six pack of an energy drink or soda product playing the advertising hook is playing from a coozie clipped on to the stap of her thong!
    • CommentAuthorkstang
    • CommentTimeMay 11th 2012
     
    Put it in a PBR can, distribute to Amazon.com and Urban Outfitters, and be done with it.

    #madman
    • CommentAuthorFit4Life
    • CommentTimeMay 13th 2012
     
    How about a bottle holder made of recycled aluminum that clamps to the handlebar? I could keep pedaling when I grab the waterbottle.
  12.  
    Do you have to quit pedalling to reach inside the big triangle now?
    This has been tried before and ussually results in the "giddy-up Horsey Launch" when a big bump is hit. The further from an items center of mass the more extreme the motion. Think about why being at the bow or stern of a boat is the most likely to accelerate sea sickness.
 
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