Sure, people sometimes call Twitter the lazy web, but I also call it the helpful web. Case in point, Nooka is a supporter of DesignNotes and has an ad on my left rail. I’m also a big fan of the brand and its design—it would be hard not to. But when I wanted to post about the new Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S I wasn’t sure how people would react reading this post and seeing the ad on the rail. So I asked… The general consensus of friends that I trust said it’s fine as long as I’m upfront about the support. So yes Nooka is advertising on DesignNotes, and no they did not ask or influence how I wrote this post. Hopefully that keeps things transparent.
If you’re familiar with DesignNotes I do post a lot about Nooka and shoot a lot of pics too. What I really like at the base level of Nooka’s time pieces is that they’ve chosen to visualize the measurement of time in an original way (that has many people emulating now), that is actually very intuitive. Typically units in the bars are represented geometrically with squares showing hours and minutes. At a glance it’s easy for me to know how much time is left in an hour much like a second hand of a normal watch works.
However that’s not really what I want to talk about today. A couple months ago when Matthew invited me to the Nooka studio showing some unreleased Nooka things, I was really interested in how his new line of gem like cuts transferred from his time pieces to his fragrance and belts. A simple branding trick to measure the success of a brand’s visual communication is to place a thumb over the logo. If a person can still identify the brand, the design is doing what it needs to too. In much the same way, if a person where to take off the Nooka logo and compare the products of in this post, they’re very much part of the same identifiable family. In terms of brands that I interact with on a daily basis, there aren’t that many examples that I can think of that do that well. I might be misquoting Matthew but I think he attributed the shapes to glam futurism. It certainly has that type of feel.
Of all the cases from Nooka, I’m starting to think that the Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S is my instant favourite. It’s bright, has an awesome heavy weight to it and the band is constructed nicely. There are very few days when I’m wearing any of my Nooka’s that someone doesn’t ask about it. “How does it tell time” is a common one, but people are also drawn to the uniqueness of it. With this latest one it really turns the volume up with the silver chrome. I’m not usually a fan of big shiny things, but this time I’m willing to make an exception. Things that are heavier feel more luxurious—nothing new with that. But the combo of weight and brightness really make the watch nice on the wrist. As the watches evolve, so do the bands. While I really liked the clasp of the Nooka Zon, it’s now been tweaked to perfection. Instead of disconnecting, the band opens like suicide car doors.
Nooka has been around for a while, but over the last three years that I’ve known Matthew I’ve been pleasantly excited each year to see how things have changed for the better. There seems like a definite trajectory of moving into a number of different design categories. The Nooka Zem Zenv Mr S feels much more classy than the pop colors that the rubber watches provide. But with that said each has a place at the table that is smart just like those that are a fan of the brand. Don’t believe me, just check Flickr and Twitter to see what fans are showing and talking about—again there aren’t a lot of core fans like Nooka’s. That’s a design case study in itself.