Product form is a messenger of the intended user experience, and one can adopt a layered approach to form development. The structure, or skeleton, of a form defines the underlying anatomy and proportions. The structure is critical to making it "look right". The surface of a form is layered on this structure and begins to define character and style. Details, color and graphics provide the surface with additional character.
The surface of a product form can be characterized as collections of transitions between faces, and the nature of these transitions imply different qualities.
C1, or tangent continuity, conveys utlility, practicality, and lack of refinement.
C2, or curvature continuity, suggests sophistication, fluidity, and invitation.
Further, once a characteristic corner vocabulary has been established, it can be applied consistently to create a coherent brand or style identity across different products.
Ready for a surface development challenge? Start with a form structure for a cube. Working in clay and using sketches to develop your ideas, design and model surfaces for a cube that convey different characters: young; old; happy; sad; angry; calm.
See the results from class!