How architecture shapes design-focused thinking in… jewellery? The founders of the Austrian brand SHEYN - Nicolas Gold and Markus Schaffer - shared their brand’s story and explained how SHEYN packaging reflected the unconventional character of the product. The boxes they chose were Eco Mailer Boxes, designed in the online editor.
SHEYN is a Vienna-based jewellery design studio, which was founded in 2016 by Nicolas Gold and Markus Schaffer. After Nicolas finished his studies in architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Zaha Hadid/Kazuyo Seijma Studios), he found himself designing small-scale objects instead of buildings. That was the first sign for him to start thinking about a different industry in his professional career.
"I would consider myself more a designer than an architect. I have a strong passion for aesthetics and objects, but architecture is a very complex scale to deal with. There are just too many factors to take into consideration and that makes it hard to fully focus on the design itself."
Since SHEYN represents a small part of design and technology, architecture was simply too overwhelming. As Nicolas commented:
"In architecture, there is a huge gap between the design phase and the building phase. Transforming a concept into a building can be very frustrating. At the very end, the building is just a far-away physical interpretation of the original idea.”
The scope of these factors was entirely different in the jewellery business, where Nicolas and Markus decided to move to eventually. Nicolas explains that:
“In smaller scales, the gap between the design and the final object almost does not exist. Thanks to the use of digital design and fabrication tools in the production of jewellery pieces, the transition from architecture to jewellery design were very easy and smooth."
The jewellery-making business quickly became very close to the hearts of both Markus and Nicolas.
"I immediately fell in love with the speed and precision of the process from digital to physical." - comments Nicolas. - "There are almost no limits on what you can design and produce."
The vision of SHEYN
The name SHEYN is the Yiddish word for “schön”, which means “beautiful” in German.
SHEYN’s unique selling point is the virtual design of their products. Every jewellery piece is firstly modelled in 3D, then sent virtually to production. By using the 3D printing technology, each product is firstly made of wax, which is afterwards covered with metal parts.
“This accurate and innovative process gives us the possibility to create small series of production. Moreover, we can keep the freedom of changing and adapting our models from time to time. It is a constant search for the most precise and beautiful shapes, which is exactly what SHEYN is about.”
Branding with the unique SHEYN packaging
The packaging of SHEYN illustrates the meticulous approach to product design. Their eco boxes were supposed to emphasize the abstract thinking of the two founders.
Therefore, each box is ornamented with black lines that remind of the shapes of the jewellery pieces by SHEYN.
“We want to show the digital design process of our products, where each piece is portrayed as a set of three-dimensional edges. We turned these edges into a 2D pattern and used it for the design of the box. The pattern itself is zoomed in and folded, showing abstract lines.”
Although it might seem like an abstract pattern, these lines form into a very special, particular shape. As Nicolas explained further:
“Only if you unfold the box, you can see that it actually shows our ELKIE pendant (one of the products created by SHEYN). Basically, we took a three-dimensional object, transformed it into a two-dimensional drawing and projected it back onto a three-dimensional box - 3D to 2D to 3D.”
This way, the customer, who receives the box, gets the chance to get a glimpse of the unique design of SHEYN - in the form of an elegant, cardboard box with an imprint.