Dyson is perhaps one of the most recognizable designs in the vacuum and fan industries. And that is no accident. Dyson has made their products unmistakably unique. They have done this through thoughtful design and marketing, consistent product branding, and a reputation of “never losing suction.” This brand identity is carried cleanly through their products, website, and manuals.
The Dyson design begins with their products. Each product has a distinctly clean and modern look. Clear storage bins in vacuum cleaners allow you to see the turbine engine that runs them. As you can see in figure 1, clean and well places lines define their products even as silhouettes: the line of the handles, the distinctive base, and the line of the body. In figure 2, you’ll notice a repetition of color:
- Red for buttons and controls
- A dark grey or off-white body
- A solid highlight color: yellow-orange, blue, or purple
The blade-less fans have a clean, rounded look, each with the same base. And the Dyson airblade hand dryers follow the gray/white body color with a yellow highlight where the air comes out. Dyson has taken care to provide high quality products that meet a quality design standard. Design products are a perfect example of strong product brand image.
The Dyson website establishes a strong product brand image. Upon visiting the site, you are immediately confronted with the distinct images of Dyson products. The website navigation is well divided into the three main product lines: vacuums, fans, and hand dryers. The content focuses on vacuums, without sacrificing ease of navigation between other product lines, a logical choice as vacuums will be a large draw for consumers.
The website has a strong alignment to a four-column grid. The invisible lines of this grid clearly separate content in the website. At a glance, visitors can quickly identify the sections on each page. This is no small feat as this website contains a significant amount of information that could easily overwhelm the audience if poorly organized.
The manual for the Dyson vacuums continues to promote its product brand image, giving an illustration of the distinctive design on the front of the mainpage. The cover of the manual—containing the word dyson, the model number of the vacuum, and an illustration of the product (as seen in figure 3)—maintains a simplicity that emphasizes the product’s uniqueness. The colors of the manual draw from the products and website as you’ll notice in figure 5.
- A solid black background on the cover matches the black background of their website.
- The gray and white text on the font cover and the lighter and darker gray used in the screens and to fill the vacuum body in the center pages of the manual match with the off-white and dark gray colors of their products.
- The blue and yellow highlights from their vacuums, fans, and airblade are also used to highlight key instructions in the manual.
- And, the distinctive red used in the buttons on their products is used in the warning graphics and key points in the line art instructions.
The slightly taller profile of the manual—measuring 8¼ by 11¾ instead of 8½ by 11— along with the modern looking font of the logo (as seen in figure 4) give the manual a more modern and sophisticated look and feel. These hints of modernity leave the consumer feeling that when they purchase a Dyson product, they are getting the cutting edge of modern technology.
The manual also makes strong use of proximity and alignment. It has a strong left line with text on one side and caution signs on the other. A rotated header, printed on the outside margins, carry that line from edge to edge of the manual. In addition, the manual makes good use of proximity. The graphic maintenance instructions sit at the center with written cautionary care instructions in different languages in the pages surrounding them. This allows users to open quickly to the universal and perhaps more valuable instructions for maintenance.
There is another company we all know that promotes a strong, consolidated product brand image. Take a moment to compare figure 2 and figure 6 below. Like Dyson, Apple has strong consistent product brand image that they leverage to create a strong user base. Like Dyson, Apple products are known for products that “just work” and keep on working. Dyson is the Apple of household products.
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