Harvest Case is first and foremost a great protective case. The final solution not only looks great, and minimises negative environmental effects, but it is highly ruggedised. We deliberately increased the Case wall sections in critical impact zones to reduce cracking and designed a protective lip that protrudes above the screen to protect the glass from scratching, without adversely effecting touch screen operation. Best of all, the corn starch based resin has been specifically developed for our application to be super tough and hard wearing to protect your valuable phone. Add in the cross-laminated timber veneer and you have a case that will probably outlast the phone it's protecting.
There are over 40 million iPhone cases sold each year. That's an awful lot of petrochemical waste making it's way into our environment. The Harvest Case aims to give consumers a better option. Made almost entirely from Eco-Certified Australian hardwood and a tough, impact resistant resin specifically developed from non-GMO corn starch, the Harvest Case will break down in a home compost unit in just 9 months, yet remain hard wearing during normal use. We were careful to sweat the details too. The veneer is laminated using water soluble glues, hand finished with natural oils & adhered to the Case moulding using a non-toxic adhesive. We even created packaging that is completely plastic free & biodegradable.
The Phone case market is filled with good and bad product. In order to stand out you have to be both different and better. The compostable Harvest Case is clearly different, but it also has carefully considered details designed to improve the user experience. The cross section of the Case was refined to strike a balance between high impact protection and easy donning and doffing. Highly polished inside faces allow the iPhone to slide smoothly in and out of the Harvest Case without scratching. External surface texture has been optimised for good grip and scratch resistance. Product touchpoints around buttons and connectors have been detailed to provide good access without compromising protection or appearance.
The Harvest Case is the iBark's first foray into custom tooling and materials and represents a big commitment to build the brand beyond it's low volume, craft market based roots. The injection moulding tooling was specifically developed to cater for both the iPhone 6 & 7 models with the simple interchange of the cavity side in the tool to enable moulding of the different camera openings. This meant less expense and a quicker path to market. Care was also taken to optimise the forms so the veneers could be easily CNC machined in mass production without the need for hand finishing or the risk of splitting. The non-toxic adhesive is die cut from sheet form for easy application and reduced waste.
The Harvest Case has a considered, minimalist aesthetic. Care was taken to develop a look & feel that would represent the future of the iBark brand, yet compliment the timeless aesthetic of modern iPhones. A combination of comfortable smooth surfaces, crisp edge details and a fine, non-slip texture on the moulded case integrate seamlessly with the natural texture and rich colours of the timber veneers to create a quality product. The moulded cases come in 2 neutral colours designed to work with the 3 curated Australian hardwood veneers and the standard iPhone colourways to create a sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic.
iBark started from humble beginnings with a vision to develop everyday products that were both beautiful and more sustainable. To break into the highly competitive phone accessories market iBark needed to create a better product and then back it up with a clear message. The plastic free packaging design is representative of the brand's clean, minimal aesthetic and provides a considered user experience at both the point of sale and post purchase. The crisp camera area detail and beautiful hardwood veneers become the hero when displayed on-shelf, whilst the simple, clear graphics tell the customer what the product is and why it's different. The end solution reinforces the brand's message for the future.
The Harvest Case is a hero product within the iBark product range so it was seen as important to create a design that would be flexible for the future. The design allows for easy creation of bespoke laser etched artwork on the veneers, enabling customers to personalise their mass produced product. This also leaves open the opportunity for future commercial partnerships with other brands. The general design is also one that easily translates to other smartphones and mobile devices that are common in the market, so other models are planned in the near future as the brand expands.