We are invited by Lavazza to explore its relationship with design, recently celebrated with the publication of the book "Lavazza Design People. 1996-2020”. A bond that has existed since the brand’s early days, growing during the 1950s and 1960s in an extraordinary period for the world of Italian design, and fuelled by continuous research and experimentation that led, in 2015, to the creation of the Lavazza Design Team led by Design Manager Florian Seidl, a 42-year-old Austrian with a background in car design.
Looking for a stylistic identity
«Seven years ago, I took on the challenge of creating this department from scratch. Until then, the projects had by all means been excellent and successful - developed with high-level professional partners - yet there was a lack of continuity between them. The growing awareness of the value of design had highlighted the need to have an overall management of the matter», he tells us.
Jolie, a new design language
The work of the team, that now includes Florian Seidl and designer Angelica Rella, began with the design of the Jolie, a capsule coffee machine. Eighteen months of work, between 2015 and 2016, to create the ancestor of Lavazza’s design. The Jolie initiated a true formal language, capable of conveying the brand’s values consistently across various market channels, with specific elements such as the “door” shape seen from the front, the coloured ring surrounding the power button, the slightly arched light catcher above the logo and the presence of decorative horizontal graphic patterns.
A shape for every channel
So, what are the main criteria that come into play when designing coffee machines? «Our products are part of people’s everyday life, but the basic criteria depend on the channel. In the domestic channel there is more freedom of expression and a more emotional character, with friendly objects with a human touch that can be fit into the kitchen environment, while in office machines we look at a more professional aspect, suitable for more formal environments.
Lots of colours for everyone
We also make different choices in terms of colour, with more neutral and serious colours for products dedicated to work environments and more colourful, sometimes even strongly typifying ones for the home. The research on colours, finishes and materials, developed in collaboration with our technical department, takes into account customer preferences based on sales and trends over a certain period, consistently with the average life of a coffee machine on the market», explains Angelica Rella, Lavazza designer.
Sustainability at the core
Among the issues with which Lavazza’s design is most concerned, sustainability «is a subject we are tackling on several fronts to ensure that the environmental impact is always under control», explains Seidl. «For example, we have been working on the material we use for the capsules of our proprietary systems “A Modo Mio”, “Blue” and “Firma”, to offer alternatives to the traditional polypropylene. Now we have more sustainable solutions thanks to new materials that are completely compostable and have a lower environmental impact considering the whole life cycle assessment. It’s a complex job: our system is designed to recreate the experience of an Italian espresso coffee at home and there are many constraints to be observed, but we are working on an optimal solution to preserve the quality and aroma of the coffee».