RACK STASH

ADDING A UNIVERSAL ELEMENT

Working alongside startups demands the need for a unique perspective towards their industry.  Rack Stash, being a startup company, found a need in the outdoor industry for vehicle racks to be stored when not in use.  Consumer's bike racks, ski/snowboard racks, kayak racks, etc. were always proving to be in the way, or even worse, falling on their vehicles when stored in their garage.  We helped Rack Stash to achieve a completely new product that solved this problem.

We created several prototypes, tweaking the overall design several times to get things just right for manufacturing and delivery.  Once prototype testing commenced, we realized that the initial design wouldn't hold up well enough to the rigors of the environment the product would be used in.  So, we reconfigured and retested until the deign could withstand the leveraged weight threshold we were after.  Finally, the product passed our testing standards and final stage details were honed in.  Details like the specific anodization color of the aluminum, where to source cost-effective and strong hardware, packaging design and marketing graphics, as well as how the product would be packaged and shipped to distributors and wholesalers.

The biggest challenge we faced during the concept stage, was to determine how the product would accommodate standard 2" and 1 1/4" receivers.  By utilizing an aluminum extruded design, we were able to create a product that could easily accept both receiver sizes and it also allowed Rack Stash to offer two products in their line-up instead of just one, which for a startup is important for the perception to their customers, as it helps to build legitimacy.  Since the interior components of the product are produced from aluminum, they were able to be anodized red to match the colors of their brand, which will make the product quickly and easily recognizable for customers when placed on strore racks.

We had worked with plenty of startups before working with Rack Stash, but businesses as small as these remind you of where every business once began.  The successful ones are passionate, open-minded, adept to change, and most importantly - trying to better our lives with great design.  For these reasons we'll always work with startups, as it's just as much fun for us as it is for them.  Startups allow us to utilize the latest technology for what it was built for... speed.  We can get things done rapidly and with less expense.  Utilizing rapid protoyping (3D printing), we can create and confirm in the same day and move on quickly to the next problem at-hand.  And that's what great businesses are built on, overcoming problems each and every day.

Designing a product for environmentally friendly manufacturing is a tricky topic currently.  As product developers, it's our responsibility to design the least impactful product possible, but...

As with just about every design firm in existence today, we hold Dieter Rams impact on the design industry with utmost regard and respect.  As we've found over our careers in design...

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