A Closer Look at the TMA-2 Modular Packaging System Designed by Kilo and AIAIAI
The launch of TMA-2 Modular, a headphone system that allows users to build their own, unique headphones based on a wide range of sound, design and comfort options, necessitated a new kind of structural packaging system for the various, interchangeable TMA-2 speaker units, headbands, cables and earpads.
Comprising 20 parts and more than 500 potential combinations, the TMA-2 headphones are mainly sold, selected or configured online at aiaiai.dk with added presence at select stores in key locations around the world. AIAIAI needed a solution that could simultaneously service the stock keeping management, and pick & pack solutions for warehouses and webshop, while providing an interesting unboxing experience, as well as a striking in-store presence at discerning retailers like Colette in Paris.
Developed in collaboration with AIAIAI, the new packaging is a natural evolution that takes the TMA universe into the next, modular phase of its development. Due to the vast amount of ways that the user can configure the product and its look, an industrial, minimal approach was chosen in the efforts to adequately support the product and let the unique headphone variety come to the fore, while telling an understated, graphic story, consistent with the modular concept.
The name of the minimal, matte-black TMA-2 headphones is based on the black monoliths of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Fittingly, the hyphen in TMA-2 is a symbol of connecting parts, i.e. words. Moreover, in ancient Greek it means ‘together.’
Consequently, a minimal yet playful, visual grid and pattern was applied on the box and the product part bags, resulting in a typographic concept that includes variations and the ability to evolve.
The box design and system consist of flat-packed boxes that are assembled at the warehouses. The standard top box for webshop orders connects with a lower box part and contains four bags: Headband, Speaker Units, Earpads and Cable.
All boxes are held together using plastic pegs on the sides of the lower box. This also functions as a locking system where you push two buttons on the sides simultaneously to unlock the top lid.
The bags display the different part categories on the front, while having stickers that show the precise details and stats of the individual parts. The stickers have no set placement, and are placed on the grid in different positions, which multiplies the number of potential ‘unique’ or different pieces of packaging options for the consumer.
Ultimately, the TMA-2 packaging is a system-based design and typographic language accommodating change over time, future production, new parts, shipping costs and, of course, the modular headphone concept.
For more on the TMA-2 Modular packaging, check out the video below:
And go to www.aiaiai.dk