Western Digital

Over the past decade, the amount of personal data created and accumulated has skyrocketed. More photos, videos, and social media posts have been created in this past year than all previous years combined. Despite this surge of data creation – and the fact that our most precious belongings are now natively digital (photos, videos, personal records), the data storage is still treated as a commodity category.

This was the business-critical context within which WD reached out to fuseproject. How do we shift the conversation in the category and extend our leadership position? To help position WD within this evolution of data ownership, we set out to create a seamless next generation design language that unifies the customer experience — across physical products, digital products and marketing communications.

To inform our approach, the strategy team at fuseproject conducted structured interviews and workshops with key stakeholders. In-context research with leading edge, heavy data users, in Europe, Asia and the U.S., helped us to better understand and anticipate the evolution of their needs. What we learned enabled us to codify a clear and compelling future business vision. The resulting “FBV” strategy document is an organizational north star, designed to drive the product roadmap and the evolution of the business.

The accompanying unified design language is a first expression of this vision. It is designed to convey an increased sense of personalization, security, and connection between local and cloud storage in a way that gives us peace of mind and control over the most valuable content in our lives.

Our concept comes to life through the latest versions of MyPassport and MyBook storage products. The monolithic rectangular blocks are reduced to their most minimal outer shapes: crisp edged boxes that efficiently package the technology inside and keep the overall product size to a minimum. The design language and point of focus is placed at the center of the product, with a soft waist transition that splits the composition in two halves.

With a design split in two parts we are expressing the tension between a personal and tactile object, and the seriousness of quality storage technology. The base is a beautiful, textured foundation while the top expresses a clean and minimal surface. These two parts meet halfway in a detail we call ‘Lifeline,’ the hidden intersection of these two separate worlds. Your eye is drawn immediately from the edges to the product’s center. We’ve also selected a brighter, stronger color palette to make the products more personal, and to create a stark contrast from the traditional blacks and blues in the space. This new design approach is representing physically, functionally and metaphorically the ideas in which the brand lives.

The current landscape of consumer-facing hard drives are somewhat bleak – blacks and blues that disappear into each other on the shelf. To celebrate the new design language, we redesigned the packaging for WD to reflect the ‘Lifeline’ concept of the products themselves. The products are photographed at a dynamic angle, with the Lifeline extending as an energetic visual center for the box. Brighter colors help with clear differentiation, both for WD as a brand, as well as within their product hierarchy. An inner sleeve was also designed with a playful yet sophisticated drawing of the product, which leaves room for localization and graphic variation without obstructing the outer imagery.