Leatherman (not being super strong in the pocket knife market), wanted a new design to appeal to a new crowd of consumers and boost interest in pocket knives. Pocket knives had become more popular with the younger, fashionable generation and the users turned towards a crafted, custom look using natural materials. Wearing a pocket knife everyday became internally known as a “hipster” vibe and was a proven growing market trend.The research showed that a lot of young makes 18-25 are carrying more pocket knives and are particular to the ones they choose, looking for authenticity, natural and wearing materials that feel like they are custom and have been crafted for a unique look.
In the design process, different materials and constructions were explored. Impact on current and new tooling was evaluated in respect to the Crater, a knife that Leatherman currently make.
One of the key design attributes was hiding the nuts and bolts to give a refined more handcraft look with care for details rather than bolting stuff together.
Design options for different materials and blade shapes were explored, held within a consistent package size based on existing constraints of the Letherman Crater platform.
Along with the standard knife blade, the ethos of Leatherman Multi Tool seeped into these products and a sku range was planned. Thus some of the knives also contained basic tools. A combo blade , Posidrive and Flathead driver and a bottle opener. The basic knife incorporated a blade and a bottle opener and package opener. The package opener was included as an everyday tool, as we found a lot of users opened packages, dulling their knife blade. A simple package opener can keep the blade pristine.
Evaluation of a 2015 Leatherman Crater
Design sketches looking at ergonomics, materials and form.
Early mechanical underlays, to design within the Crater envelope.
Basic design language changes to make a notable impression.