Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Murray Camens - Philips Roller Radio design icon.

Murray Camens studied industrial design in South Australia before following his career to London. Murray first worked for Conran before gaining a position with Philips in Eindhoven.

I met Murray in 2010 at his office in Amsterdam during my PhD research into Philips CID in Melbourne. The iconic Roller Radio was often a feature of my lectures to students on design practice so I was delighted to learn of the Australian connection. It has taken over twelve months but I have recently added a bright yellow Roller Radio to my collection.

Iconic Roller Radio by industrial designers Murray Camens, Graham Hinde and Bob Vranken

Industrial designer Murray Camens.

Text below from an interview with Robert Blaich. Here

In the mid 1980′s a Philips Consumer Electronics marketing survey revealed that by the age of 20 brand loyalties are already well established. The study also had some bad news for Philips. It documented that young people in Europe considered Philips Consumer Electronics products as stodgy and uninteresting to young people and that they preferred Japanese products. A Youth Task Force was established to study the problem and set the course for action.
As a member of the Task Force I proposed that we concentrate on the “Life Style” of the Youth” (A new term at the time) and we put forth a new design of a radio-cassette recorder called the “Roller”

The design was based on a concept by a young English Designer Graham Hinde (who’s in practice called GRO Design in Eindhoven, The Netherlands). Together with designers Murray Camens and Bob Vranken the idea was developed and Philips launched it with much fanfare. It caught the fancy of young people in Europe and was very successful. The “Roller” has been celebrated in design award competitions and was featured in articles about product design trends. It became a “Design Icon”. The “Roller” was also the spark for a full scale program called “Moving Sound” The program was designed to capture the hearts and minds and lifelong loyalty of young people worldwide. “Moving Sound” was also a breakthrough for Philips in introducing a coordinated program of promotional materials . Design was the key element in driving the highly directed marketing and communications effort; Product Graphics, and Packaging design were the basis on which all subsequent sales displays, advertising and promotional material were developed. The term “Moving Sound” indicated that the radios were portable ( moveable) and that they Moved You (Emotionally)

From the “Moving Sound” program was conceived as a long term strategy in which successive generations of products, promotion and advertising would be launched. Each year a new “Moving Sound” series would be introduced, just as sportswear and other fashion products present new looks to the fashion conscious youth. The “Moving Sound” program had benefits not only to Electronics but to Philips image in general. ” Moving Sound” was in it’s fifth generation by 1991 and had sold millions of radios. The “Roller and Moving Sound” programs are excellent examples of a Design Led program. We did the basic research, designed the products, packaging and display materials and strongly influenced the advertising design. The designers themselves were young and multi-national ( English, Australian. American and Dutch)

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