Leather iPad Pro Cases: The Creative World of MacCase Design
Last week we sent out an email newsletter asking our customers what they wanted in a case for the Apple's new, forthcoming iPad Pro tablet. While we had a few votes for nylon and one for hemp, the overwhelming request was for leather iPad Pro cases.
That's a good sign because that is exactly the type of designs we are currently working on for the new tablet. Since it's launch in 2007, our Premium Leather Collection has become the standard by which all other Apple specific cases are judged. We set the bar extremely high and Apple users who are looking for the best have found us and supported our efforts ever since.
One of the email responses to last week's outreach was from a customers who told us the story of having to send back a competitors folio case not once, but twice for poor quality workmanship. He's since purchased one of our leather iPad Pro cases.
Another interesting response was from a customer in the UK who had purchased a $650 folio type case made from ostrich skin. He also purchased one of our leather iPad cases and upon receiving both and having spent some time putting each through it's paces, set the wildly expensive, wildly exotic ostrich case back. Why? "Yours was better", he told me. This is exactly the type of response we hope to evoke in our customers. "I can't wait to see what kind of leather iPad Pro cases you guys come up with", he also added.
Leather iPad Pro Cases - The Challenges
In sitting down to start work on the designs for the leather iPad Pro cases, our chief designer seemed stuck. "This is not easy", he mentioned to no one in particular. The struggle lies in the path to take. Do we do what we have done up until this point and just make our current designed fit the new Pro, or go off on some radical new direction and see what happens? I'm glad figuring that out is not my job!
One realization that was made was that our current Premium Leather designs have been in production, pretty much unchanged, for the last 8 years. This is longer than any computer they were ever designed to carry. This is the testament to the timeless quality of the proportions, execution and materials used to create them. In an industry that changes the designs of bags like the fashion industry changes clothes, to have designs continue to sell well after being on the market for over 8 years is unprecedented. It is something we are very proud of.
So there in lies the challenge: Do we do what we've always done or go off in a new direction? Well it turns out, those are not the only options. "What if there is something in-between?", asked our design chief. Something in between would encompass all the qualities that make MacCase Premium Leather the standard of the industry while pushing the line forward into the future. Something in between would plant a flag that states, "These leather iPad Pro cases are new, something you haven't seen before, yet feel familiar and have all the quality you'd expect from MacCase".
Leather iPad Pro Cases - The Ideas
So a fresh design vocabulary is being developed based around the needs of the Pro user and providing world class protection and functionality. There are some familiar elements but some new ones too. I have also seen some images incorporating color as a highlight on some of the pebble grain black stain hides designs. I'm not sure if these ideas will get to production but it's fun to see them on the wall.
The feedback we received from our users has been excellent and showed us we are on the right path. MacCase has always had a knack for being in step with our customers. Reading through the replies and looking over the sketches on the walls of the MacCase Design studios sees this trend continuing.
One interesting request was from a long time customer who told us his ultimate leather iPad Pro case consisted of all the features we are working on plus a whole host of new features. It turns out the new features are based around storing lots of personal items which is great but at the end of his post he asked us to "make sure to the case ultra slim". He admitted he was asking for the impossible but his request highlights the challenges inherent in doing something beautiful, timeless, and functional and trying to meet so many diverse needs.
Designers use the term "form factor" when describing a particular style of case like a sleeve, briefcase, messenger bag, etc. How many form factors do we need? This is a question that everyone is asking and slowly the answer is emerging. Too many form factors and you can confuse customers and waste resources. Too few and you invite customers to leave and find the solution they are looking for elsewhere. MacCase adheres to the adage that you can't be all things to all people. Typically products that try to do this are pretty bland because in their effort to obtain mass appeal they try not to offend anyone. And while we don't set out to offend anyone, we try really hard not to be bland!
The New Designs - When?
Apple is holding off till November to start shipping the new Pro (just in time for the holidays). This does give us and everybody else some time to get our designs in order despite not having the actual part to design to. We hope to finish up the designs soon and get the prototypes back quickly for testing and photography. It would be great to have inventory as the Pro is released and that is what we are working towards. These are exciting times around MacCase world head quarters.
If you think you'll be interested in one of our new designs, send us an email and we'll add you to our mailing list. People on the list will be the first to see the new models and be the first to have a chance to pre-order.