DESCRIPTION: The GRIND is a simple on-ear headphone special project targeted at the core consumer mentality. Priced at $60.
TEAM: Director/iD-Pete Kelly, iD-Don Stiff, Concept Validation/Co-Design-Dave Vogt, Engineer-Randy Hull, Art Direction-Chris Metcalfe
COMMENTARY: As simple as this headphone looks, it has very methodical mechanical design and engineering. It has a minimum part count and minimal part complexity to meet cost targets.
It was designed to compliment street style fashion, to look great all black or covered in and color graphic. It further wins over the consumer by being very comfortable and sounding great.
DESCRIPTION: Barricade XL, Barricade and Barricade mini are a collection of bluetooth speakers designed to go anywhere. They are designed and engineered to survive things like tailgating, rafting, boating, camping and many other of life’s fun activities!
TEAM: Direction/iD-Pete Kelly, Dave Vogt, Concept Validation-Dave Vogt, Project Manager-Jason Luthman, Art Direction-Chris Metcalfe
COMMENTARY: Previous to the BARRICADE project, Skullcandy had less than stellar success with a set of themed speakers that eventually led to buyers purging all inventory. The BARRICADE speaker project was a last chance attempt to claim success in the speaker category. This was a quick strike project with a very tight launch deadline that could not afford any hold ups or major issues. No small task with such a lofty must-have list of features, technology and performance expectations. It was important that their design language felt elevated and refined but also instilled a trust in the build quality and robustness.
DESCRIPTION: Modern unisex digital watch concept by Philippe Starck.
TEAM: Concept-Philippe Starck, iD/3D Modeling/Production-Pete Kelly, Product Manager-Bill Morgan, Visuals-Michael Curry, Art Direction-Bill Morgan
COMMENTARY: Starck was well aware that his original concept was unrealistically thin and missing mechanical design. Packaging the digital module into as sleek a form as possible that felt designed and modern vs chunky or cheap was the goal. Our approach was to model the form in 3D and snap lines in the surfacing to create very integrated part fit and finish. The strap adjustment system was risky and revolutionary at the time where you had to cut the PU strap and assemble the buckle…no turning back! The bracelet was unique in that it was actually a PU strap with fitted metal rings around it giving the look of solid metal. The adjustment system for the bracelet required multi-part interaction as well.
DESCRIPTION: Titanium watches. Concept by Frank Gehry
TEAM: Design-Frank Gehry, Industrial Design/Graphics-Pete Kelly, 3D Visuals-Mike Curry
COMMENTARY: This project started with Gehry requiring all the inhouse designers at Fossil to submit sketches based on a very organic direction to see if we get his style. He selected my sketches as standouts and I got the project. I was surprised when he presented very linear designs instead of his normal organic style as the direction.
We used his handwriting as the fonts for everything. I created a custom digital font using his handwriting. The time telling concept on the digital watch used a mix of words and numbers to spell out the time which was a very unique and creative concept.
At the beginning of the project Gehry told me he didn’t think his watch design could possibly replace his trusted timex stretchy band and we were making watches for his fans, not him…I arrogantly disagreed with him.
DESCRIPTION: Basic wired bud sharing DNA with the GRIND headphone project.
TEAM: Director/iD-Pete Kelly, iD-Donnie Stiff, iD/Concept Validation-Dave Vogt, Consumer Research-Pete Kelly, Donnie Stiff, Art Direction-Chris Metcalfe
COMMENTARY: This buds ‘window’ is a tip of the hat to its internal audio acoustic engineering. I was looking for a way to literally draw attention to the internal components and resulting performance. The concept elements add richness and interest to the opening price point bud.
DESCRIPTION: In-ear bud and standard bud with patented ergonomic fit technology.
TEAM: Direction/iD-Pete Kelly, Engineer/Product Manager-Matt Windt, Art Direction-Kevin Horsburgh
COMMENTARY: Great sound was the initial intent with placing the drivers low and near the ear canal. Once we started prototyping and fit testing we realized we also solved for the common problems most buds have where they get loose or fall out when the cables are pulled.
The FIX bud actually digs in deeper like a hook when you pull on the cables. This is how the FIX got its name!
Discovery revealed a patentable element which resulted in a franchise technology. The magic of product development.
DESCRIPTION: The HESH2 is an evolution of the original style and one of the first styles designed and engineered 100% by the inhouse development team.
TEAM: Direction/iD-Pete Kelly, iD-Donnie Stiff, Production/3D support-Vapor Studios, Engineer-Colin Godby, Art Direction-Kevin Horsburgh
COMMENTARY: The original Hesh was one of Skullcandy’s factory sourced styles that was uber successful but incredibly flawed in terms of quality and reliability. We had up to 20% returns from snapped slide adjusters. Its the reason Skullcandy’s return policy was lifetime full replacement.
The HESH2 project had a few criteria; “keep the cans” (earcups), clean up the headband and engineer it so it doesn’t break. Mission accomplished in terms of criteria and there’s no doubt it’s a legend based on units sold and revenue its generated. The HESH2 has been wildly successful to this day just like the original.
DESCRIPTION: Anon snow helmet audio system.
A set of speakers that fit into the tailored helmet pad lining and a glove friendly, 3 button controller that attaches to the helmet strap system.
The Speakers are swappable into a low profile, impact resistant, foldable headband.
TEAM: Director/iD-Pete Kelly, iD-Donnie Stiff, Product Manager-Zack Leader, Engineer-Kevin Sze, Art Direction-Kevin Horsburgh
COMMENTARY: Skullcandy had a monopoly on the helmet audio business. We built special makeup controllers for Smith, Giro, Anon and Skullcandy.
Skullcandy was present at every snow covered mountain across the globe. Music is a critical element for shredding and our system sounded great, had glove friendly controllers and you can take calls and control your music.
DESCRIPTION: A collection of 4 styles sharing a new elevated design language. The VRA, Crusher3, Hesh3 and Riff are the new over-ear styles.
TEAM: Director/iD-Pete Kelly, iD Lead (VRA/Crusher3)-Steve Page, iD Lead (Hesh3/Riff)-Ryan Jung, Color Boards-Steve Page, Kyle Arnett, Packaging-Kyle Arnett, Mike Voss, Engineer(VRA)-Sam Lepley, Engineer(Crusher3)-Micheal Allen/Matt Windt, Engineer(Hesh3/Riff)-Greg Woolston
COMMENTARY: After years of launching new styles that looked completely different from each other, the Skullcandy line needed a consistent design language.
The VRA is the premium headphone with refined classic style targeted at a mature consumer who is looking for quality, performance and comfort.
The Crusher3 is meant to attract a more youthful consumer ie our core consumer who is looking to crank up the bass! It’s equally important as a self expression accessory.
The Hesh3 design language is slightly softened up so it is more modern and appealing to a broader audience.
The direction was to build a chassis with straight forward mechanical design, clean and refined surfacing and an earcup that can proportionally scale to house current and future tech.
They have to be comfortable, sound great, look great in any color and on any head…I love the direction we built.
DESCRIPTION: Fashion forward women’s watch line. An extension of Gwen Stefani’s fashion brand L.A.M.B. (love angel music baby) in collaboration with her stylist Andrea Lieberman.
TEAM: Designer/Direction-Gwen Stefani, Andrea Lieberman, Pete Kelly, Product Manager-Candace Wilcox, Art Direction-Gwen Stefani, Andrea Lieberman, Pete Kelly
COMMENTARY: Gwen is a style icon and her unique vision of what watches could be flipped the women’s watch landscape on it’s head. All of the big brands at the time were influenced by our L.A.M.B. watch design and materialization.
Working with Gwen gave me a unique understanding of how to approach design for women also how to think differently about design in general.
We had great success at Nordstrom, boutique shops across the country and online commerce.
DESCRIPTION: 10 ATM PU strap digital tide watch developed for Jordy Smith as a legit surfing heat trainer and tide watch.
TEAM: Direction/iD-Pete Kelly, Co-Design-Brad Piercey & Jay Merriott, Concept Validation-Pete Kelly, Project Manager-Pete Kelly, Art Direction-Jay Merriott
COMMENTARY: We started from scratch on this tide module. There was a fairly steep learning curve figuring out how to acquire the right data from NOAA and packaging it for our factory partner. Our module has all the key beaches that were most important for all the tours and globe trotting surfers of Jordy’s level.
We RTV molded wearable prototypes to validate the fit and feel before investing in expensive tooling.
DESCRIPTION: Opening price point bud and headphone.
TEAM: Direction-Pete Kelly, iD-Ryan Jung, Art Direction-Chris Metcalfe
COMMENTARY: This project is noteworthy for me because its a great exercise in creating something from nothing. It allowed me to teach my entry level designer how to approach challenges with creativity and purpose.
The bud retails for $3.50 and the headphone is $15. With such low retail prices you can imagine how limited the build allowance was.
The headphone has to adjust and conform to the head without any hardware or assemblies. Solving for how to reliably route the bridge cable from one earcup to the other with no additional parts is a literal challenge but also an opportunity to create a signature element.
The two designs share a dynamic form, in-tool logo and in-tool texture. The color pop from the exposed cable is the most noticeable attribute.
DESCRIPTION: Wired in-ear bud with mic3.
TEAM: Direction/iD-Pete Kelly, Engineer-Josh Poulson, Art Direction-Kevin Horsburgh
COMMENTARY: This was a quick strike project. It was going to be showcased to the Apple retail buyer so the intent was to come up with a premium look and feel that can sit on peg next to an apple bud and not seem cheap and toyish.
We moved so fast that I started in 3D without even a sketch as guidance. There were no real inspiration boards or a direction other than we knew we wanted a turned aluminum front end and an inlay logo.
I tried to build in richness with layers, parting lines, turned aluminum texture and an inlay logo. I separated the top and bottom housing with a heavy parting line and textured each half in tool for contrast. This is how it got its name…the 50/50.
We were the first retail partner at Apple retail that had a equivalent mic controller as their new mic innovation which validated investment in infrastructure and speed to market urgency.
DESCRIPTION: A line of watches and clocks ranging from kids plastic analogs to nerdy digital watches, fun light up watches, jewelry styles that align with seasonal apparel stories.
TEAM: Director/GM (lic)-Pete Kelly, Sales Manager-Susannah Searson, Art DIrector-Ben Soto, Graphic Designer(s)/Design- Silvano Cogo, Miffy Bradbury, Ben Soto
COMMENTARY: I worked on the Paul Frank brand for almost ten years between Fossil and Vestal.
It was a viral trending brand at that time and we had a blast blanketing the earth with cool watches!
My role varied from iD support to director to general manager of the business. The bulk of those years saw continuous growth and opportunity which fueled the non stop creative process.