In October, the House of Marley will begin sales of their new audio line, featuring boom boxes, docking stations, ear buds, and headphones. The House of Marley was created by Bob Marley's surviving family in order to better manage the use of the reggae legend's image and message. The new line, licensed by HoMedics, adheres to Marley's vision of "one world, one love" through eco-friendly products that promote equality, unity, authenticity, charity, and sustainability.
Product design consultancy TEAMS Design collaborated with HoMedics to infuse the product line's visual brand language with Marley's message and personality. "Creating a brand around a famous person gave us a unique palette," said TEAMS Design President Paul Hatch, "We transformed his rich legacy of environmentalism, togetherness, and joy of life into physical products." Designers first established a material strategy based on renewable resources such as bamboo, wood, leather, and recycled plastic and fabric. The designs were then built to fit the material - a strategy more often handled the other way around.
In March, HoMedics and the House of Marley hosted a private reception at the House of Blues in Chicago to introduce the new audio line. After a presentation by HoMedics co-founder Alon Kaufman and a few words from Hatch, several of Bob Marley's children treated the 700 attendees to an hour-long performance celebrating the launch.
The audio line consists of three collections, each with a unique aesthetic and listening experience. The Jammin' Collection is vibrantly green, yellow, and red. Designed for a youthful audience, the Jammin' products are fashionable, energetic, and affordably priced. The Freedom Collection features high-performance audio quality, a timeless design, and eco-friendly accents. The top-of-the-line Destiny Collection aims to impress audiophiles, combining a richly detailed aesthetic with the best sound quality.
The line eschews the trend for utilitarian, one-design-fits-all electronics, instead favoring natural and earthy designs that emotionally resonate with the user. Products are constructed of natural materials - such as sisal and bamboo - and feature subtle touches of the Rastafari Movement's trademark colors.
Designs also focus on the concepts of sharing and unity. The Destiny Collection docking station simultaneously accommodates and shuffles up to three MP3 players to encourage shared music experiences.
Interconnectivity within the product line will be later introduced through a line of hats that pair with the collection's headphones and ear buds. The listening devices fasten into pockets in each hat, creating a cleaner look and more comfortable listening experience on the go.
Interconnectivity has been planned on a grander scale as well, such as bringing sustainable manufacturing methods to third world countries to create job opportunities. Each product will be packaged efficiently to reduce its carbon footprint, and consumers will be encouraged to reuse the packaging to donate their used goods to participating charities. Due to these atypical business practices, the House of Marley envisions itself not as a brand, but as a movement - one that makes the entire process, from design to disposal, one with the earth.
"We, the Marley family, are ecstatic to partner with HoMedics," said Cedella and Rohan Marley, "Our father used music as a tool to share his vision with the world, and it's our turn to help people of the earth." TEAMS Design, HoMedics, and the House of Marley will continue to collaborate on more exciting products to be launched under the Marley name in additional consumer categories in the future.