the idea is the journey

This is the blog of Syndicate, a network of collaborators in Communication, Design and Innovation.
info@wearesyndicate.net

We are Syndicate. We are design, communication and innovation people, and we don’t know what we want to be when we grow up.

We are curious creatures who meddle in different kinds of projects, assembling a bespoke team for each one, so that boredom doesn’t set in and the output is always a reason to celebrate..

On The Road With Roadie

The Story

In 2009, Bassam Jalgha took away the first prize at the first season of Stars of Science, a Pan-Arab reality TV competition for technology and product innovation. The concept, then dubbed DOZAN (tuning in Arabic), combines a software ear and a hardware gear to deliver a quick and hassle-free tuning experience for string instruments, something Bassam dreamt of ever since he started learning the Oud at a young age.

3 years later, Bassam teamed up with a fellow technologist and ex-band partner at university, Hassane Slaibi, to bring this concept to life. Band Industries, the ensuing partnership, was born. Obviously much was needed to be done to bring the concept to the market, and the duo worked very diligently to fine-tune the technology, perfect the system’s “listerning ear” (now its mobile app), and come up with an ideal choice and configuration for the hardware’s components. 

But before the preliminary concept could end up in musicians’ hands, it needed both a body and a soul. The questions on paper were typical to any entrepreneurial product venture: What form shall it take? what kind of user experience shall it deliver? How can we give it a solid and immediately recognizable identity? Where and how will we produce it and make it available to the world?

Those answers required extensive collaborations with people from (practically) everywhere and every discipline, and the concept’s appeal never failed to gather the interest of everyone.

The Process

We were happy to be the design consultants on the project, and set about working with the inventors and design collaborators to ensure the system has a unified soul and experience that diffuses across its identity, tuning hardware and mobile application.

We started with a fundamental enquiry into the meaning of the tuner and the experience it provides, as well as its place among the rising trend of digital-analog systems, and worked on translating those into concrete brand meanings and identity with branding partner Pacifica

We then researched and benchmarked trends and qualities in products that command love and trust among users, and transformed those into guiding semiotics/meanings for the brand in general and the hardware more specifically. After all, Roadie (as it came to be called) is a music companion, and it needed to feel at home in the terrain of passion and emotion as much as that of technological superiority. Product Design house Bluelarix worked on translating those into a form that is clearly driven by ergonomics and an intuitive user-experience. The design was further perfected by the inventors along with generous support from the Haxlr incubator program attendees in Shenzen, China.

Meanwhile, Marco Nenzi was doing a fabulous job on the design of the mobile app, taking cues from the emerging brand identity work, and informing it and the product design in return; a triangle of feedback and inspiration that led to a unified design language across everything.

This has been a remarkable involvement for us, one that we cherish and are very proud of, not least because the Band Industries duo are fantastic people to befriend and work with. 

"Imagination"is one of several routes we explored for the awareness campaign of Hempel Paints in the Gulf. It pushes the viewers to make their own versions of the colour in the copy, and to think of them more largely as a part of a group of complementing colours. The concept was developed for us by multidisciplinary creative and copywriter Amahl Khouri.  High-res

"Imagination"is one of several routes we explored for the awareness campaign of Hempel Paints in the Gulf. It pushes the viewers to make their own versions of the colour in the copy, and to think of them more largely as a part of a group of complementing colours. The concept was developed for us by multidisciplinary creative and copywriter Amahl Khouri