Phoenix Design

Typically Zeiss

Typish
Zeiss

Working for a brand like ZEISS is very special.

For more than 150 years, ZEISS has been the epitome of optical perfection. Held in high esteem by professional photographers and cinematographers all around the world, ZEISS represents absolute top quality in terms of fast lenses and crystal clear image rendition. Obviously, the product design for such a brand needs to be anchored in tradition while at the same time breaking new ground: based on traditional corporate values like innovation and precision, we have developed a new, holistic design language right from inside the product itself. The result: lenses which are clearly and unmistakably ZEISS.

Zeiss

Unmistakably
ZEISS

How do you translate performance power into a new form? What does user-oriented design mean? Can one visualise precision? The new design language developed by Phoenix Design conveys 150 years of ZEISS DNA into a timeless, trend-setting form. At Phoenix, we call this “brand typical design”.

Zeiss

Light
Performance
Form

ZEISS lenses rank among the fastest lenses in the world, touching the limits of what is technically feasible 1. Transforming this performance power into a formal language has resulted in a contour getting wider towards the top, reminiscent of a light funnel. This subtle yet unmistakable characteristic makes the entire series of lenses clearly recognisable.

1 To this day, the “Carl Zeiss Planar f/0.7” – originally developed for NASA – is considered the fastest lens in the world.

Zeiss

High-performing

The formal language has been developed from the inside out, i.e. technical and functional parameters played a determining role in the design process, defining form, colour, material and proportions – form following function.

Differentiated

A ZEISS product should be recognisable even from afar, setting itself positively apart from the crowd. It differentiates itself both in terms of its overall form and in each detail. ZEISS lenses are unique in terms of their shape, their brand elements and their quality, fascinating by their autonomous and independent character.

Logical

The form is logical and easily graspable for users. It describes its purpose, is comprehensible and coherent in itself. The way the product is composed ensures clarity. ZEISS lenses feature a high degree of detail; structures and surfaces define areas, the typography is easy to read and logically positioned.

Precise

Elaborate surface treatment and finishing provide tactile stimuli like smooth, coarse, structured, rubberised or cold-warm contrasts. Design with a love for detail. Only slight tolerances, small edge radii and clearances come across as precise and professional. Rigorous lines and consistent details convey precision.

User-oriented

The goal is to exclusively integrate those functions into the product which users really need. Superfluous technical or formal elements have been left out; the product is reduced to its essentials.

Consistent

All products feature the same brand elements and similar design characteristics, creating consistency and coherence within the product line. Unified characteristics are created by means of surface, structure, colour, component arrangement and silhouette. ZEISS lenses feature characteristic lettering and treat logo and product names in a consistent manner.

Zeiss

Corporate
Product
Design

Logo, product lettering and product colours are integral parts of Corporate Design. Together with the formal language, they are vital components of holistic design, shaping the way ZEISS products are visually perceived. Used the right way, these three brand elements achieve a high degree of recognition.

Zeiss

Brand / Function

Consciously separating brand and functional lettering is an important component of ZEISS product communication. In close exchange with ZEISS, we have developed a systematic approach that encompasses the entire product line and even product range. The iconic ZEISS logo presents itself full of self-confidence. Its position and size remain the same, keeping an ample distance to the other typographical elements.

Zeiss

Clear Details

We have placed the greatest emphasis on unequivocally clear lettering, to allow for the highest precision when focussing manually. The window scale is an important feature in this context. The luminous yellow, abrasion-resistant and engraved writing allows clear reading of the scales even in the dark and under difficult conditions.

Visualised Precision

Impressive precision work. Combining two different materials and sophisticated technology have led to a convincing result. The completely flush and finely satined surfaces create an experience of the precision which works inside. Even the lens hood, otherwise a mere accessory, has been seamlessly integrated into the overall shape. The metal fitting guarantees a high degree of stability, rubberised settings rings allow precise manual intervention.

Zeiss

“For ZEISS, we have developed a design language which fits modern cameras and which shows the optical quality even on the surface.”

(Tom Schönherr, Managing Partner Phoenix Design)

Tom Schönherr

Tom Schönherr on the new ZEISS design

All five new designs have received awards at the internationally renowned iF product design award 2013, among them: the “gold” accolade for the 1.8/32 lens.

System
and
Product Portfolio

For us, designing for brands always means designing across the entire product portfolio. Products are no individuals, they need to integrate themselves logically into an existing structure. Starting with the Touit family for mirrorless system cameras, we have since extended the new ZEISS design language to other lens series as well.

Otus

Zeiss Otus 55mm
Zeiss Otus 55mm

ZEISS SLR super wide angle lens Otus Distagon T* 1.4/55: the new SLR lenses made by ZEISS achieve what is technologically feasible in terms of performance and perfection. They are based on an holistic design concept.

Touit Family

Zeiss Touit 18–32mm
Zeiss Touit 18–32mm

ZEISS autofocus lens Touit 2.8/12 for mirrorless system cameras. The intersection is smooth, without any offset, here too the lens hood with its front expansion typical for the wide angle format has been integrated into the overall form. The metal fitting guarantees a high degree of stability, rubberised settings rings allow precise manual intervention.

Zeiss Touit 2.8–50mm
Zeiss Touit 2.8–50mm

Zeiss Touit 2.8–12mm
Zeiss Touit 2.8–12mm

ZEISS autofocus lens Touit 2.8/12 for mirrorless system cameras. The intersection is smooth, without any offset, here too the lens hood with its front expansion typical for the wide angle format has been integrated into the overall form. The metal fitting guarantees a high degree of stability, rubberised settings rings allow precise manual intervention.

Cinema Family

Zeiss Compact Zoom 2.8–80mm
Zeiss Compact Zoom 2.8–80mm

Professional ZEISS cinematographic zoom lens Cinema Compact Zoom CZ.2: we paid particular attention on designing the scales, since in cinematography focus, zoom and aperture are controlled manually. Finely satined, flush surfaces and precise details in the solid metal fitting.

Zeiss Compact Zoom 70–200mm
Zeiss Compact Zoom 70–200mm

Professional ZEISS cinematographic zoom lens Cinema Compact Zoom CZ.2: we paid particular attention on designing the scales, since in cinematography focus, zoom and aperture are controlled manually. Finely satined, flush surfaces and precise details in the solid metal fitting.

Zeiss Master Anarmorphic 50mm
Zeiss Master Anarmorphic 50mm

Clarity and the interplay of two strong brands characterise this design. The luminous yellow, abrasion-resistant and engraved writing allows clear reading of the scales even in the dark and under difficult conditions.

Typisch Zeiss

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Silvia Olp

Silvia Olp

Head of Communications

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