When approached by the Cobra brand and the design agency WMH, Ads2 were faced with a bold design statement and a huge challenge.
"We want our new Cobra beer font to look like a twisted piece of metal"
Our response to this very open brief was to ask for a couple of days to think about it.
In that couple of days the design and engineering team worked to find a way of producing the design intent.
In a moment of inspiration the question was asked 'why don't we just bend a piece of aluminium'.
Multiple clamps, a machined billet of aluminium and a 7 foot long piece of stainless steel bar and 6 people – yes you could theoretically bend a 14mm thick aluminium plate – now for the real work.
The enamelled front badge had to be reverse engineered from the compound surface create by twisting the plate, this was then die-cast, plated and infilled.
Illumination was delivered through a high powered LED uplighter, but the decoration needed more thought.
Sticking to the principles of delivering what is required ADS2 developed a series of process complete counter intuitive to mainstream manufacturing.
We developed a plating system with our partners that did not crack when the part was twisted, the fixing points were then machined, printing was next with the decoration being applied in multiple layers. All in all 5 added value process were applied to the part before twisting, a controlled process was needed.
Understanding the force required to create the prototypes by hand and the simple fact that the tooling budget had not been consumed on what was a fabricated solution AS2 took some of the tooling budget designing and producing a machine to twist the decorated aluminium bodies consistently, running with a force of 3000nm this final part of the puzzle delivered the Cobra font.
'thinking together in different ways exciting innovation'