How Samsung Mobile’s New Visual Language Creates a Unified Experience

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Visual language can be interpreted as a social act. It must have traditional elements of communication, as well as an expression of identity. Samsung Mobile’s new visual language communicates with users through a unique expression while maintaining familiar visual communication cues.

This is according to Craige Fleischer, Director Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa who says that new design doesn’t appear out of the blue.

“It is born in the creative mix of new values perpetuated by changing trends and the thorough understanding of the legacy of design,” he says. “We aspired to develop a balanced visual language that combines existing ‘Refine’ styles of Samsung Mobile design and the all-new Galaxy S8’s ‘Progressive’ style. Extensive research in the fields of design, art and passion were conducted and various case studies were examined to germinate the seeds of inspiration for this project.”

Design for the Galaxy S8 was first conceived based on the idea of providing a perfect interaction between physical and digital space. The product’s physical details inspired the visual language we were developing and our challenge was to impart a unique identity to the Samsung Mobile device while staying in the same wavelength of contemporary trends.

The identity of a product is not determined solely by its external design. The most important factor is a natural connection between the first impression of a product design and the iconography system that is continuously displayed on screen.

“Samsung analysed the elegant and stylish shape of the Galaxy S8 and developed a new iconography system that was inspired by the rounded treatment of the Galaxy S8’s curves,” says Fleischer.

With the proliferation of visual experiences, more and more user interfaces that contain these experiences are becoming flat. However, the user interaction between a product and interface is not flat, but three-dimensional. The Galaxy S8’s crucial navigational keys such as the Home, Back and Recent keys are placed inside of the screen to offer new experiences, but Samsung also had to secure familiar experiences for the user.

“We first moulded the Home button in a block shape and imagined visual elements of a light shining from within and a Line that is formed from a shadow. We discovered that the line formed on the side that emits light doesn’t connect well with the shadow on the surface. We eventually clipped a portion of the line to create a flat but three-dimensional GUI. This newly designed, unique GUI now serves as a bridge between hardware and software,” says Fleischer.

Some designs do not require ‘brand’ names to have recognisable identities and some designs seem simple, but have clear functions. Samsung Mobile’s new visual language maintains a balance between universality and uniqueness without tilting to either side. This uniform, yet multi-faceted language will mark the beginning of a whole new world of expanded experiences for users.

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