During my 7 years for Volvo Cars I had many great projects, but I can't help bringing this one up as one of the most directly satisfying – The XC90 VIP Mahogany Box.
On the table
Volvo came to me with a request: Since the delivery of the first VOLVO XC90 cars had been delayed by a last minute software change, these premium clients had to wait 6 months longer for their darlings. Volvo needed to reward their patience with some kind of exceptional recompense.
Firstly, creating a gift with the Volvo premium feel and still being universal as of application, use, purpose, interests, gender etc. Secondly, a low edition of 35 pieces maintaining top quality with short time for design, accept, production and delivery. And thirdly, to make it 'a durable, solid and long lasting good memory'.
One of the bigger technical challenges was the customised production of the mahogany boxes and for every edition to fit the mobile modell with interior and all (mobile boxes differed). After tests from three producers the right technology was confirmed. Also to fit the specially made chrome XC90-logo metal badges correctly on the lids was tricky.
One of my first ideas was a humidor-like wooden box to contain a nice cellphone (I thought to use different exotic wood for different batches). My first sketches made Nokia very interested right away. Soon, with Nokia full heartedly along on this idea the choice became obvious and became the central point of the project. Today common praxis crosses a that time were not that usual. In the box I made room for a catalogue and a personal letter from the director and the concept was approved.
Now to the best part. I suggested that the letter contained an illustration manifesting the close cooperation of Volvo and Nokia – a smart and elegant melange of Volvo XC90 with the specific phone to be presented in that batch. After showing the results, I got a special and very unusual consent from both Nokia's and Volvo's highest instances to go with it.
The luxury boxes were delivered in three batches to assure that Nokia could deliver the absolutely latest premium mobile phone every time.
I also uploaded some Volvo XC90 desktop images on the phones for extra flair (did it in white gloves).
This amazingly well-sewed cooperation between Volvo and Nokia became a great success!
It was noticeable that the meetings with Volvo and Nokia belonged to their favourite moments of the week.
Volvo was happy that their clients forgot all about the delay and Nokia had reached new and loyal premium clients for years to come.
Many years after the job I heard the boxes still look amazing, even better, serving well till this day...
Some materials from the process of making the Volvo-Nokia boxes:
Volvo VIP Box first draft:
The letter illustrations combining Volvo and Nokia for the the Volvo XC90 boxes: