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Design Award Winner


Smart Dog Collar

Industrial Design, Product Brand Language

PetSafe has led the training collars market for a long time, but this was the company's first foray into smartphone-connected trainers.

The collar debuts a new visual brand language for PetSafe that complements a compact, sleek, and contoured profile, designed to please both dogs and their humans.

PetSafe came to Bresslergroup for help designing its first smart dog training collar as well as a new visual brand language (VBL) to align with the company’s rebranding initiative and be effective across multiple product categories.

Bresslergroup looked at earlier research conducted by PetSafe with dog trainer users for insights to inform the collar’s industrial design direction. The trainer’s discreet profile and comfortable fit meet these users’ needs and differentiate the product in a crowded marketplace.

The new visual brand language, introduced with this smart collar, communicates PetSafe’s core brand values — community culture, honesty and openness, relentless optimism, and pioneering spirit — and is versatile enough to expand across PetSafe’s diverse range of products, from small wearables to large pet feeders and litter boxes, moving forward.

One of the biggest insights to come out of Petsafe’s research was a focus on comfort and fit for every dog. Trainer collar attachments on previous and competing devices are boxy and square, which can be cumbersome as well as inconvenient for the dog, because they are more likely to catch on edges of crates or other objects. The dog owners felt strongly about wanting a collar box that is less bulky — that looks and feels slimmer, yet is still somewhat rugged for the outdoors.

Dog owners also prefer training collars to be more discreet, to avoid broadcasting their pets’ potential behavioral issues. Bresslergroup’s designers worked side by side with the PetSafe engineering team to reduce the overall size of the electronics package for an understated look. The resulting trainer is as compact, sleek, softened, and contoured as possible. And its inner surface is curved to seamlessly integrate with the collar fabric and provide a comfortable fit with a dog’s neck.

To develop a new visual brand language for PetSafe, Bresslergroup explored different color options and discovered that a darker core color is subtler and can be leveraged across the company’s range of indoor and outdoor products. The deep, dark blue of the collar with metallic silver highlights is more distinctive than previous charcoal or black colors.

Fixed design elements of the new visual brand language include continuous curves and lighter colored framing bands.  Visually continuous bands wrap around products’ perimeters to form their main visual footprint. This creates a curvilinear and approachable looking design without sacrificing too much space efficiency. In this product, the band frames the PetSafe logo and power button on the trainer.

Launched in August 2016, the SMART DOG Collar won a Bronze Excellence in Design Award in the Small Appliances category from appliance Design’s 2017 competition.

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