Why would four badges on the same product each need their own manufacturing process? It’s all about environment, says Diametric.
Ask a professional photographer what camera they would buy if money were no object and the chances are their response will be a Hasselblad. The company is revered within the photography world for producing some of the highest quality cameras on the market worldwide.
And when Hasselblad was in the final stages of producing its brand new range of H5D cameras, it turned to Diametric to provide the essential finishing touch – the product and branding badges.
The H5D range had to reflect the qualities of Hasselblad’s cameras – precise, high quality and durable. The logos and branding on the badges also had to have incredible visibility in order for the branding to be seen in any environment – be it a shop window with the sun shining directly upon it or on a TV screen as the product has been seen in programmes such as Britain’s Next Top Model.
With this in mind, Diametric was tasked with creating a series of four badges to be used on the H5D models and another for the special Multi-Shot edition.
Hasselblad’s product designers in Sweden provided Diametric with the specification for the badges and it was down to Diametric’s design and manufacturing team to ensure the products not only met but exceeded expectations.
Fitting the badges to their environment
Of all the badges on the H5D, the one to be placed on the grip had to be the most durable of them all. With the potential for being handled more than any other area on the camera, Diametric recommended to Hasselblad a particular manufacturing process to ensure the badge retained its quality, no matter how many times it was handled.
Once agreed with Hasselblad, Diametric’s team of experts created an aluminium badge with a matte black background. Importantly, the text bearing ‘H5D’ was raised and then diamond cut. By creating tiny horizontal ridges across the text, potential for scratching the surface area was greatly reduced. The diamond cutting also had the advantage of creating a more technical look, in line with the qualities of the camera.
The H5D name badge on the side of the camera also needed to suit its unique environ- ment. Due to its position on the product, it needed to be incredibly thin so as not to affect the overall dimensions of the product. To overcome this challenge, Diametric created an electroformed badge using very thin, chrome plated metal.
Diametric Sales Account Manager, Shaun Kara, said: “Hasselblad’s product designers were very keen on chrome for this badge to reflect the feel and quality of the product but it also had to be thin so it didn’t alter the camera’s width. We sampled different finishes so Hasselblad’s product designers could see what it would look like in matte and bright chrome. They decided on matte and the solution was an electroformed badge made of very thin nickel with this very industrial-looking matte chrome on top.”
Diametric also advised on the best lacquer to use to coat the badge once it had been placed on the product and recommended a polyester-based product, which would retain the feel of the chrome and ensure durability.
The electroforming process was also used for the back decals of the camera, which were emblazoned with the resolution of the particular camera within the range.
One final die cast aluminium badge bearing the Hasselblad logo completed the branding of the product and a smaller run of 300 badges bearing the words ‘Multi-Shot’ were also produced for the Multi-Shot models within the H5D range.
The biggest challenge
Shaun Kara says the biggest challenge of the project was ensuring impeccable accuracy of tooling. He said: “The moulding for the camera body was so tight and accurate that there were no margins for error. Every single one of the badges needed to be 100 per cent correct which meant the most accurate tooling in the world. The only way to approach this sort of challenge is with experience and an incredible eye for detail. Our manufacturing staff spent extra time checking, double checking and triple checking the tooling before production to ensure it was right first time.”
The extra mile
Diametric knew its job did not finish once the badges had been manufactured and deliv- ered. In order for the product to look its best, the team went the extra mile and provided Hasselblad’s production team with the best tools to fit the badges to the products. As well as specifying and supplying the best adhesive for the job, they created bespoke applica- tion release liners to help the Hasselblad team line up the badges for application. Special cutting guides were added to the process, with a chrome plated marker on each run of badges.
Shaun Kara said: “I’m a big fan of Hasselblad’s cameras myself and the whole Diametric team was incredibly excited about the launch of this new product. We didn’t want to just deliver the badges and say ‘that’s the end of that’. We wanted to do everything we could to ensure this was Hasselblad’s finest product yet and that included going the extra mile with the application release liners.”
The H5D range was launched to the market in September and are now in the hands of some of the world’s finest photographers.
Shaun Kara said: “We’ve been working with Hasselblad for over three years and each project we carry out gets more and more exciting. It was a challenge creating so many dif- ferent badges, each with their own unique needs, within a relatively short time scale but the key really was the preparation work and understanding the environment each badge would be used in to select the right process. Taking the time to stand back and look at the bigger picture was what made this a success and ensured that each badge was created with ultimate precision and to the exact size and specification.”
Ove Bengtson, Hasselblad’`s Product Manager for professional cameras added: “Our cam- eras are all about precision and quality so it’s important to us that that runs through every element of our product design – even to the finishing touches like the branding badges. Diametric really understood this and looked at our overall vision and aims, which meant we had a bespoke answer to our challenges and needs, rather than an ‘off the shelf’ solu- tion.”
Diametric provides high quality industrial badges, nameplates and labels for some of the biggest brands in the UK and worldwide. Its team of experts in design, branding and manufacturing work together to provide the essential finishing touches to products, to any timescale and budget.
With the widest range of processes, from 3D doming to injection moulding, Diametric is able to advise on the best solution for every project and can create bespoke processes to achieve individual aims.
In addition to Hasselblad, it counts among its clients the likes of Jaguar Cars, Sunseeker, Naim Audio and Foster Refrigerator.
To find out more visit www.diametric.gb.com and www.hasselblad.com.