Precipice is a leading design agency with a seamless, cross-disciplinary approach weaving design and analysis that both delivers on strategy and solves business problems. They use KeyShot throughout the design process, from beginning ideation to final renders. Here, they tell us more about their approach, why they use KeyShot, and the part they had in re-establishing Braun in the premium audio market.
What’s unique about the design process at Precipice?
One of the main differentiating factors between Precipice and other agencies is the company’s unique 50/50 split between analytical and design teams. This team composition really gives us the edge over other, oftentimes larger, agencies. Where other agencies often fail to work effectively across these two areas, our teams co-exist, with design and analysis interweaving throughout the process to ensure the most appropriate design outcomes, from conceptualisation to commercial launch.
What is the primary 3D modelling software at Precipice?
Our primary 3D modelling software is SOLIDWORKS which we complement with other programs, including Blender, which we use to produce engaging imagery for the various formats we require.
Where in the process is KeyShot used?
Throughout the process. Of course, we use KeyShot for final renders but, more broadly, the software supports us from the very beginning and throughout the whole design process. At the start of any project, we begin by using KeyShot as an iterative tool using it to simulate structural packaging, products, and environments for our clients. KeyShot is also invaluable to our strategy team during the research process as it enables rapid photorealistic representations to be shared and iterated.
What are some projects KeyShot has been used on?
We use KeyShot for pretty much every project we work on, including two recent projects. KeyShot proved indispensable in providing the packaging and all marketing assets for the recent relaunch of the beautiful Braun LE speaker range. KeyShot was also invaluable during a project for Circassia, a pharmaceuticals company for whom we’ve redesigned a product used for diagnosing asthma. In this instance, KeyShot was utilized for promotional film-making, training videos, and digital marketing imagery. As well as using KeyShot to produce final renders for all of our projects, we also use the software to design assets for the Precipice Design website, brand guidelines and animations on our YouTube channel.
How did the opportunity to work with Braun Audio come about?
Pure Audio was looking for an agency to help re-establish Braun after a nearly 30 year-long hiatus from the premium audio market, so they approached us. Given our previous work with audio pioneer, Bang & Olufsen, we were certainly well placed to deliver on what was a very exciting brief. We were invited to pitch against two or three much larger agencies but, our ability to deliver video assets, packaging, web, point of sale and app design, eliminating the complexities of working with multiple agencies, was a key factor in us winning the business.
Considering the history of the Braun Audio line, how was the project approached?
Although Braun is a household name, few are aware of its rich audio heritage and the impressive range of products the brand offered between 1921 – 1991. The challenge for us lay in reintroducing Braun to the premium audio sector, which it had long been absent from, with a credible proposition across all brand touchpoints. We also faced the challenge of designing for a brand that had already achieved legendary status and thus has its own distinctive branding, and being respectful of this whilst seamlessly remastering it for consumers today. During the ideation process, Precipice Design led a rigorous research program that used a bespoke consumer sample to glean feedback on numerous iterations of phrasing, imagery, and packaging to ensure maximum relevance and impact.
How does KeyShot save time or improve quality?
KeyShot saves us an enormous amount of time during our iterative design process as we’re able to quickly update 3D form and applied graphics, and accurately simulate them in multiple environments. Essentially, KeyShot gives us a full multi-production studio in one digital home where we can simulate whatever we need. Ultimately, if we were to do all of this work manually it would take hours, days in fact, but KeyShot enables us to work far more efficiently. The digital nature of KeyShot also means that we can share our creations with other companies and our clients so that the files, like our work and our team, are collaborative.
What advice does Precipice have for those interested in pursuing Product Design?
Product design skills are ever-expanding and evolving, and the expertise required for success now goes way beyond the ability to understand 3D. It is crucial that prospective designers are strategic thinkers and possess a deep understanding of core product disciplines, and how UX and UI, brand graphics, packaging and digital marketing work alongside and in conjunction with these. The remit for product design stretches across a far wider spectrum than it has ever done before, so it’s essential that those working in the field remain immersed in the macro landscape and continuously upskill. It is also vital to the success of young designers that they retain the sense of malleability that their studies have instilled in them, throughout their careers, in order to remain relevant to employers and customers alike.