About the award
In April this year, Bolin Webb’s unique silicone Razor Case was announced as the “Best-of-the-Best” winner of the prestigious Red Dot 2017 product design award in the personal care, wellness and beauty category.
Red Dot, founded in Germany in 1954, is the most widely recognized international forum for product design. Entries are judged by a panel of 39 design experts, and only the most distinctive are recognized through an individual award. The best products of the year, including the Bolin Webb silicone Razor Case, receive the highest accolades of a “Red Dot: Best of the Best” title within their respective product categories.
Of the 5,500 product entries, only 100 receive the “Best-of-the-Best” award.
This year, the official Award Ceremony took place on July 3rd at the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany. The annual event honoured the designers and manufacturers that won the Red Dot Award. The Aalto-Theater opera house provided an appropriate and celebratory backdrop for the Red Dot award-giving ceremony.
Bolin Webb founder Derrick Webb and designer Hugo Martin took to the stage to receive their well-earned trophy.
To commemorate this big occasion, we spoke to Bolin Webb Founder Derrick Webb and designer Hugo Martin to understand more about how the design was conceived.
What was the goal when designing the Razor Case?
‘Like all Bolin Webb products, the design had to be innovative, contemporary and have a sense of movement and poise’- Hugo
DW: Bolin Webb wanted to develop a razor case that was practical, tactile and visually appealing. In our view, there was no case on the market that provided a practical and durable travel solution in a humid environment. We wanted to change that.
HM: The goal was to create a simple product that was totally fit for its purpose. From a functional perspective, the product had to be flexible so that it could perfectly encase both the R1 and X1 razors. The materials had to be robust, protective and importantly waterproof as the razor would usually be put away wet.
Was the design concept based on a particular approach?
‘Our design approach is team based. We need people with fresh ideas who work well together. They share the same excitement about creating new solutions and products’- Derrick
DW: We look for inspiration in other walks of life, and then work together to combine function with an aspirational look-and-feel. For the razor case, I was inspired by the protective rubber shoes I used to wear as a child to protect my feet from a rocky shore – a material fit-for-purpose.
HM: The design approach was based on simplicity. The task was to find an elegant solution that can be made from a single material – made in a single tool with no superfluous detail. Like most simple designs, the final product is a result of the time taken to develop and prototype many iterations; each time simplifying and refining until it can’t be simplified anymore.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
‘I take inspiration from many different sources. I don’t have a particular role model that I think inspires me more than any other.’ – Hugo
DW: I am inspired by the application of materials, finishes and creative product detail to meet and expand upon a given product need. The use of silicone for the razor case was a natural choice in this instance, and the product is enhanced with small but significant design features that both add to its utility and to its appeal.
HM: When starting a new project, I consider the direction I want to take but then look at trends in design very broadly. I find it refreshing to look at categories of design that are not connected to the product I am designing. This help to keep the ideas open and fresh.
Future Design Trends
Where will the design industry be in ten years; what trends and developments do you expect to see?
‘With access to powerful design tools, it has become increasingly possible for smaller agile teams to compete in the market’ – Hugo
HM: Design trends come and go like fashion but design that is based on simplicity, ease of use and use of well finished materials always pass the test of time.
Technology is moving on so fast now but people don’t necessarily want this to be front of mind. “Humanizing” technology into products that people want to interact with is where designers can add significant value.
The Red Dot Award
What does winning the Red Dot: Best of the Best mean to Bolin Webb?
‘It certainly inspires you to keep striving to achieve the best work you can project after project.’ – Hugo
DW: Winning the Red Dot award is an important recognition of our work to bring excellent product design to the world of shaving. There is no reason why men should be condemned to using inferior or dull razors – a tool they will pick up, use and put down regularly over the many years of the beard growth they experience. The same applies to the accessories we make.