Crafting a Timeless Visual Statement

Harman creates high quality audio equipment for homes and vehicles under a number of brands, including Harman Kardon, Infinity and JBL. When THRIVE was asked to develop a new amplifier concept in the Infinity line, we found quickly that none of the three brands had much of a distinct visual language, and that no one could really tell that the trilogy was built on luxury-based tiers: Gold, Silver and Bronze. How can you create something different (and special) if the everything is random?

Separate the field.

We began by defining each brand’s tonal themes to set the stage—and set Infinity apart. We then developed a collection of visual concepts based around several themes (architectural forms, refinement, and power), plus two consumer goals: personalization and customization.

Brighten the mood.

Audiophiles, it seems, don’t just choose amplifiers with their ears—they also buy with their eyes. Knowing this, in our concepts we looked at how to infuse ambience into the devices using LEDs and color and allow people to make the amps their own.

Design for endurance.

Our concepts were narrowed to six, then one. The top contender, a timeless design with a look that read as extroverted but simple, won the day…or actually, the decade. It’s been ten years now since our Infinity amplifier was first introduced to the market, and the model continues to be a strong seller for Harman today.

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