The new Acer Aspire Gemstone concept

Discover the true nature of technology

www.circle-line.eu

ACER’S PERIODIC REPORT SPECIAL

DESIGN ISSUE

Acer new Design
Launch
Milano, 3rd May 2007

acer-euro.com/gemstoneconcept

EVENTS

Summary
3 4 6 8 10 12 14

EVENTS

The sign of design

THE VALUE OF DESIGN WINNING TECHNOLOGY
Design driven by Technology

The

PROFILE CONCEPT

The ProFile concept in the professional notebook line
ACER’S PERIODIC REPORT - SPECIAL DESIGN ISSUE PUBLISHING COORDINATION CIRCLE LINE MARKETING & COMMUNICATION SRL VIA GRAZZINI 7 - 20158 MILANO - ITALY TEL. +39 02 332231 www.circle-line.eu

GEMSTONE CONCEPT
The new Acer Aspire design concept

WEB SITE
Acer goes live with creativity and innovation

design

of

sign

May nights can be very warm in Milan. You know the city: a lively commercial and financial centre half way between the Alps and the sea, also known as one of the world’s capitals of fashion. This city, believe it or not, has strong artistic traditions: there were many artists living and working here. Take Leonardo for example: he lived here for 25 years, painting ‘the Last Supper’, ‘La dama con l’ermellino’ and some other masterpieces, making architectural projects for the city Castle and designing (in his free time!) the so-called ‘Fantastic Machines’. There must be something about this city that frees the imagination… Milan can be a truly inspiring place. The creativity and innovative thinking behind Leonardo’s Fantastic Machines are definitely a good reason to choose Milan for an international product design event. But what is design after all? We could say it is a combination of several elements: proportion, detail treatment, surface, function and usability, philosophy... it’s hard to summarize it correctly, but in a few words we could say that authentic product design is something that makes people change their habits, breaking more than one barrier at the same time. The aim was to create a show that was both surprising and breath-taking. A show that immersed each participant in nature’s elements at the product expo islands, created to reproduce different product experiences (sound, light, touch, simplicity, profile) from the projected graphics and icons, from the relaxing sounds of nature played over loudspeakers and from the revolutionary simplicity of the new Aspire and TravelMate notebook designs.

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ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
Communicating design revolution

customer service
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THE VALUE OF DESIGN

The of

value

4

Design
Good design doesn't just happen it's created by talented individuals
Good design doesn’t just happen. It’s the combined effort of countless talented individuals who either set out with a specific design goal in mind, or who allow form to follow function when designing their products. Quite often, the very best designs are a combination of the two, receiving instant recognition and coveted awards in recognition of their success.

Ever since man first learned to create, design has always been a part of our world, enriching our lives with shapes, forms and functions that, over time, have evolved into a category of their own, bringing new concepts and meanings to everyday objects and driving the creation of many others we might otherwise have never seen. As humans, our attraction to objects as a whole is both subjective and objective, emotional and rational, instinctive and voluntary. We analyse objects with our eyes and hands but it is the image these objects leave in our minds and the imaginary insights they provide us with, that make our hearts fall in love with them.

But what exactly separates good design from bad? One man’s poison is, after all, another man’s pleasure, so as a general rule, there cannot be a single, absolute definition of what is, or indeed what isn’t “good design”. Having said that, there is one very accurate way of finding out: The market is always right. Take a look at many objects and appliances that are now accepted as commonplace items, and chances are, they are either the “originals” or simply copies of what were, clearly, such good ideas that they became symbols, achieving instant cult status and piercing our souls to the point where they change our lives and pave the way for millions of imitations. Often the aesthetic qualities of a good design hide a product’s true nature. Before putting pen to paper, a designer must first consider whether the purpose of the object is to help the user by providing a specific function, or perhaps even by removing a complication, so that the user is encouraged use the object which becomes more pleasurable and rewarding as a result. It is only when these considerations prevail over all others that the very best objects emerge. Once a design object reaches cult status, the design is no longer accidental, but industrial. Industrial design takes creative design concepts a stage further, by enhancing details like the location of elements with respect to one another, colours, texture and ergonomics to produce an all-round better product, and technology is the ideal place for industrial design to flourish.

WINNING TECHNOLOGY

6

Design Technology
driven by
Acer products: designed to empower The Acer Gemstone and ProFile concepts
Technology has been the single-biggest industrial design innovator of all time, and the speed at which new technologies are being discovered and introduced means that technology, and electronic instruments in particular, have altered both our perception and hunger for design. Acer has always taken an active interest in the design of its products. From the very first TravelMate to the award-winning Veriton FP2 desktops and the latest Ferrari notebooks, the emphasis on design has always been one of Acer’s primary concerns. Acer’s focus on design has been awarded both by the IF International Forum and Red Dot Design Center - two of the world’s most important and acknowledged design academies. In the last ten years, a wide range of Acer branded products have been awarded for innovative design including: notebooks - Ferrari 1000, TravelMate 3000, TravelMate 8200; desktops – with the Small Form Factor Aspire L350 and with the mainstream Aspire E series; pocket PC with integrated GPS capabilities – c500 series; LCD monitors Gamers line and the multimedia LCD Al2032; Digital Still Cameras – the ultra-slim CU-6530. Breaking down the barriers between people and technology is not just about processor speeds and cutting-edge multimedia components. It’s about our perception of technology – the way we embrace it, use it and incorporate it into our lives. For Acer, the perception of its products as empowering solutions comes before anything else. With the Gemstone and ProFile concepts, Acer has given its designers room to express their creativity, insight and passion for innovation, placing more emphasis on the industrial design of its products than ever before, and allowing its designers to create two notebook lines that are as much works of art as they are works of engineering. The new Aspire notebook Gemstone design expresses a unique personality that improves the user-experience through ease-of-use and through four main product attributes: expressiveness, friendliness, comfort and versatility. From its exquisite proportions to its carefully implemented design elements that enhance both function and usability, the Aspire Gemstone design offers a new approach to technology and heralds the start of a new era for Acer’s design values. The new TravelMate ProFile design is an evolution of the Folio design, further expanding the appeal of the TravelMate line by delivering a maximum productivity with minimal fuss. The spirit of the ProFile design centres around the enhancement of the smallest details, carefully examining the values and needs of the professional TravelMate user and transforming them into real solutions whose collective value is greater than the sum of its parts.

PROFILE CONCEPT

The

in the professional notebook line
Performance is in the details

ProFile concept

8

Change is the only constant in business.
The invention of technology is endless. The most important issue that an inventor should face is how to shape his invention for tangible rewards. Pure creativity alone does not guarantee successful products. Industrial product design should follow a design principle that leads to a streamlined design without unnecessary clutter, enabling the user to use the product with maximum productivity and minimal fuss. To achieve this, Acer commissioned an in-depth global market research project to study both user experience and insight, aimed at understanding what customers look for in a notebook: a discreet and agile form with soft, inviting curves like a very personal belonging, and matching this knowledge with the physical constraints of technical design, that’s to say the internal design of the notebook. Only by looking at both the interior and exterior was Acer was able to arrive at the new ProFile design theme, centred on simplicity, portability and lightweight mobility. The underlying character of the ProFile design conveys a sense of self-assurance and innate ability with deep black tones that complement both home and business environments. The new TravelMate is more than just a design change. Acer has worked hard on refining the details of its TravelMate line to deliver better ergonomics both on the outside – with the round treatment of edges and optimized port placement – and on the inside through a more comfortable keyboard shape, improved build quality and overall durability in addition to a host of personalized security features. The TravelMate ProFile design embodies a solid, protective and productive personality. The TravelMate ProFile design features an advanced magnesium alloy cover that is 20 times stronger yet considerably lighter than plastic, adding stylish protection while minimizing weight for effortless mobility, and combining the unmistakable Acer qualities of performance, features and exquisite looks in a refined display of mobile power. The new design concept symbolizes Acer’s long-term commitment to the brand-name PC business, and represents a new era of industrial design for the company.

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GEMSTONE CONCEPT

10

Nature shapes. Technology creates

Acerdesign concept Aspire new

As markets become flooded with an endless choice of similar products, companies must distinguish themselves through carefully thought-out designs. The ultimate goal of industrial designers is to create designs that entice customers to choose one product over another at first sight. Industrial design is the opening means of communication between product and customers, and clearly reflects a company’s brand position. Creating high-quality Industrial Design requires extensive, time-consuming research into industry requirements and a thorough understanding of end-user behaviour. Acer regards Industrial Design as much more than a product’s looks; it is a culmination of the company’s carecentric product development mindset, and Acer’s continuous efforts to design products that empower users and enable them to live more productive and fulfilling lives. Acer has revolutionized the look of its Aspire notebooks by marking a clear product identity around the Gemstone concept. The contrast between the high-tech, dark and glimmering exterior and the perfection of the pearl-grey interior is as unexpected as it is remarkable. The combination of different colours and materials highlight the notebook’s smooth, rounded and natural shape while special detail treatments – such as the shadow effect of the logo – endow the new Acer Aspire with far greater expression.

Open it up, and the quality extends further though hightech design details such as the Dolby surround sound speakers, the jewel-like inlays and the neon media flow line that highlights the media keys and the Acer Empowering Key, offering new interpretations of wellknown signals. In the new Aspire range, familiar components are placed in such a way as to capture and guide the user’s attention, helping to build and enhance their mobile experience. A quick look at the features confirms the promise of the new design: a glossy display with CrystalBrite technology, Dolby Home Theater Virtual surround sound speakers, Arcade Deluxe multimedia suite, intuitive media keys and video conference capabilities all combine to make the new Aspire a sort of multimedia paradise. This is a product that expresses a unique identity and brings innovation into the hands of people who enjoy multimedia power as much as they do good design. The new Aspire design marks a clear product identity and has been developed to differentiate between Acer’s consumer and commercial lines. The new Aspire theme follows Acer’s new organizational structure based on a Consumer division committed to developing complete and easy-to-use solutions in the areas of consumer IT products, Digital Home and Convergency. This division will also work towards further increasing the performance and functionality of all product lines aimed at multimedia and digital-entertainment lovers.

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WEB SITE
From the 4th May onwards, a banner on all EMEA websites will invite guests to click and enter the new ID minisites, taking users to a dedicated destination pages that will further explain the new notebook design, both Gemstone and ProFile concepts.

Acercreativity goes live with
and 12

innovation

Eyes wide open to the new Acer Industrial Design

Last September, the Acer corporate website was significantly revised to provide a more interactive experience for its visitors. It was redesigned around a highly user-centric architecture and around a clear layout in order to drive visitors towards their ideal computing solution based on their user profile. Acer has focused on online communication to create an immediate and effective point of contact between itself and its visitors. These changes reflect Acer’s attention to the evolving needs of its growing number of customers and its dedication to providing solutions that make technology immediately accessible for its customers. Following the new communication strategy, Acer has built several dedicated info-points into its homepage that highlight special initiatives such as the launch of the new industrial notebook design.

In the past few days, Acer chose a surprising way to create momentum and expectations: a blackout splashpage temporarily shaded all EMEA website home pages for 5 seconds, inviting visitors to come back and discover the new notebook design. From 30th April, the blackout page counted down the days to the official launch, reminding visitors to save the date.

ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN

design
14

Communicating revolution
The new Gemstone concept

The history and processes that went into creating the Gemstone concept mark a radical departure from all previous design concepts. More than just a mere design study, Acer has broken new ground with the Gemstone project, following the preferences of an image-conscious public to create a value-concept it can apply to an entire product family. The Aspire Gemstone concept is about change. It’s a break from tradition, almost a revolution in Acer’s product design approach that looks beyond simple product benefits to discover a value that remains in the minds of the user.

The Gemstone “story” is so revolutionary it deserves to be told. The focus on the creative thought, highlighting the design rationale and the collaboration with BMW Design Group, is essential to understand the changing face of Acer’s design awareness and the future success of the Aspire brand. A Gemstone is the ultimate gift of nature, expressing status, fascination, appeal and value at a glance. With the Gemstone concept, creativity is the product. As the Gemstone concept is revolutionary and entirely unexpected, it was the ideal candidate for a teaser campaign. The goal of the teaser was to anticipate the

arrival of something extraordinary and prime the market for the change. In addition, the teaser campaign created buzz and expectation, enhancing the impact of the final product campaign. By communicating something truly unique, the teaser campaign doesn’t actually reveal any details about the product it is teasing us about. And that is exactly what happened with the Gemstone concept launch. The first phase paired the printed teaser campaign with the online campaign, as described in the previous pages.

Both visuals and teaser claims are based on a key concept: “Nature shapes. Technology Creates”. This headline expresses how nature has the ultimate control over the shapes and forms we value in life, gemstones being the most precious. Acer gives paramount importance to the force of nature and delivers this concept before anything else. Only then does the headline mention how Acer’s technology gives people the power to create the most incredible things. The second phase closed the teaser campaign by unveiling the product at the Acer new design launch event in Milan. Gathering more than 300 people from the EMEA Region, the event inaugurated a new era in notebook design for Acer.