Consumer: Creating New Revenue Streams
Karten Design captured the spirit of country music, creating headphones with an identity that unites fans around commonly held values.
We partnered with a major country music label to design headphones that would inspire communities around its artists. Conducting research that delved deep into the visual, cultural, and lyrical themes associated with country music, our team created complex personas that push past easy stereotypes and the trite visual shorthand of denim and studs. Driven by this rich background, we developed a design that authentically reflects the values that country music listeners hold dear.
Drawing upon shared community values such as nostalgia, simplicity, natural beauty, and straightforward authenticity, the design of these headphones draws from simpler times when handmade craftsmanship trumped mass production and individual products told human stories.
The design is heavily inspired by the handmade musical instruments that have traditionally defined country music. The headphones’ rich materiality was inspired by the warmth and tactility of acoustic guitars. Details such as mother of pearl inlay and a polished steel perimeter draw from guitar fretboards, while the headphones’ sweeping profile subtly echoes the rounded forms of soulful stringed instruments. The soft-tooled leather headband on the curving inner surface of the headphones is inspired by the hand-wrought detailing of country western dress wear.