How many designs stand the test of time? IDC is proud to say that the design it developed for Thermos over 20 years ago is still in use. Thermos came to IDC in the 90s keen to improve the design of their flagship Thermos flask, the Premier 34. The now iconic style and shape of the flask was effective, but the company believed there were still ways to bring a better product experience to the user.
IDC’s engineers love a challenge, and this project challenged them to develop an entirely new product concept; but crucially one that was based on Thermos’ existing tooling for vacuum flasks. IDC’s team redesigned the product to make it a more modern and visually exciting product that would sell on home and international markets.
Through the careful examination of the tooling and tooling engineering layouts, IDC’s engineers identified areas within the existing tooling cavity where major design changes could take place. This had to be done without effecting the overall functioning of the tooling. This gave IDC's industrial designers a clear understanding of where they could make changes to the design. Taking these options, reviewing the trends in the market as well as exploring ways in which user experience could be improved, the designers then set to work creating a new aesthetic and adding helpful and appealing features to the designs.
The end result was a distinctive new product concept, which introduced a soft touch handle feature, a new multiple cup design with finger protection from hot areas, and a new base design. The design concept included modification to the cavity side of the tools, which introduced a dramatic visual difference to the product. These changes were made in such a way that they allowed Thermos to use redundant tooling, bringing a new fresh approach. IDC was able to turn out the design in record time and at a low capital cost.
IDC’s MD, Stephen Knowles explains, "The great irony is that Thermos wanted to reuse old tooling because the project was only intended as an interim product refresh for 1 or 2 years and yet the IDC design has remained in production for over 20 years, selling millions of units. That makes us extremely proud and is a testament of the talent in our team and the incredible value of great design.”