In the midst of a major "copycat" lawsuit, Samsung has launched a site that highlights original design from the company. Emblazoned with the tagline "make it meaningful," it's described as "a platform to present influential design stories and solutions to be shared around the world." It features explainers on what design is, and how it has the power to change our lives. It includes high-level explanations from Samsung designers and guest speakers like the Royal College of Art's Dr. Nick Leon, who helps explain Samsung's "Design Identity 3.0."
Samsung's newly minted design philosophy can apparently be summarized in three buzzwordy bullet points: Balance of Reason and Feeling, Simplicity with Resonance, and Meaningful Innovation. Each bullet is accompanied by an equally opaque and pretentious explainer, which seems more intent on appearing lofty than comprehensible. "Samsung envisions a design innovation that can enhance our lives and society for a better future," says the company, explaining what Meaningful Innovation is, "Samsung aspires the design that delivers a new ‘meaning’ and ‘delight ‘ to people, which contributes to society by creating sustainable and innovative value."
An excerpt from Samsung's Design Philosophy.
Despite Samsung's smartphones often being accused of showing a lack of imagination, Samsung Electronics as a whole frequently surprises with bold designs, and in particular its large-screen TVs are clearly crafted by very talented individuals. A series of galleries and videos highlights some of Samsung's finer moments, along with popular products like the Galaxy S4. In the near future, Samsung will use the site to host the "design stories" behind its new Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear Fit smartwatch.
The timing is no coincidence
The timing of Samsung's new design site is unlikely to be coincidental. The company is currently arguing that it didn't copy Apple's work in a court case worth billions, and has also recently released perhaps its most important product of the year, the Galaxy S5, to less-than-enthusiastic reviews. As Samsung expands its Gear line of wearables, it'll need to shake its current reputation as a money-oriented purveyor of everything. Wearables blur the lines between fashion and technology, and the company will need to be seen as a market leader in design, rather than just marketing, to succeed.