Hi, I’m Al, I’m the in-house design guy at Malvern and I’ve been responsible for the product styling concepts on Malvern’s product range over the last ten years.

I’m really pleased about the latest award that the Mastersizer 3000 received: The 2012 Instrument Business outlook (IBO) Bronze award for excellence in Industrial Design.

What’s Industrial Design? It’s the process where we develop the product to combine its function, value and appearance into an optimized whole – taking the best engineering model and turning it into the recognisable, cohesive product that you see.

This is the third time that our instruments have won an award from IBO for Industrial Design; we won the IBO Gold award in 2003 for the Zetasizer Nano Series, and then again in 2008 with Gold for the Morphologi G3 Analytical Imaging System.

When we design products, they are carefully engineered to provide easy access to accurate and consistent results, regardless of where in the world you are; and regardless of your prior experience of our instruments. We want you to feel confident when you use our instruments, and it’s my job to ensure that the styling of our instruments helps to give you that confidence.

Of course “form follows function” with our products; so in each case the overall shape is defined by how that product is intended to be used, but beyond that, the shape and detailing of our products has to convey the same quality and care on the outside as has gone into the precision engineering on the inside.

People sometimes joke that my designs for Malvern look like they belong in the kitchen at home and, although this is sometimes a bit of a stretch, I take it as a good sign:

It means that people find our products familiar, intuitive and friendly to use. After all: If it looks like a food mixer, then you have a pretty big clue as to where you should put the sample in!

We strive to make the Malvern product range both distinctive and consistent and I’m very pleased that IBO chose to say: “The Mastersizer 3000’s innovative and functional design clearly distinguishes it from other instruments.” as this is exactly what I try to achieve with each new design.

We want you to be able to tell that it’s a Malvern product without having to read the badge on the casing.