Their new Master Series shows that their designers are obsessed with improving the product
When products/form factors have been around for ages, there’s a tendency to think of those objects as “done.” But design is never really finished, and we love it when industrial designers can take these long-lived objects and continue evolving them in a useful, non-gimmicky way.
A good case in point is Stanley’s new Master Series line of thermoses:
At first blush, it seems they’ve just given their existing thermoses the cosmetic upgrade that will get them into the MoMA Design Store. But there are actual function improvements here. Part of improving an existing design is pushing the boundaries of manufacturing techniques, part of it is examining the user experience to locate areas of need and part of it is taking risks. Stanley’s designers have done all three.
On the materials front, they’ve worked with their manufacturer to figure out how to beef up the structure by drawing 1mm-thick steel (30%-40% thicker than competitors’, Stanley reckons) into the sidewalls. They’ve also added vacuum sidewalls to the cap, turning it into a proper insulated cup.p
On the UX front, they’ve observed that customers will occasionally forget to empty the thermos after a trip, leaving coffee sloshing around in their for weeks. That coffee comes into contact with the plastic on the bottom of the insert, which then leaches that plasticky taste back into the coffee, a flavor that seems to linger even after the thermos has been washed out. Thus they’ve capped the bottom of the insert with steel. Steel has also been used to line the entire pour-through portion of the stopper, so that the beverage never comes into contact with plastic at any point.
Also on the UX front, they’ve reworked the rim of the cup–what they call the “lip landing,” you’ve gotta love industry parlance–into a more rounded, pleasant-to-drink-from profile.