Design Daily: AM’s Cute Kits for a Clean MachineAuthor:Sarah Virginia White
Call me a sucker for great packaging, but I’m suddenly very passionate about keeping all the touchscreens in my life in pristine condition—and it’s all because of the gadget-cleaning cuteness of AM’s new collection. The Copenhagen-based company, which has formulated cleaning products since 1971, collaborated with product design firm arulinden and just launched a set of sprays, wipes and clever cloths meant to keep all of your technology germ- (and schmutz-) free.
The collection includes nine products tailored to cleaning your screens and keyboards, but the stars are the all-in-one Mist, Spray and Blast—compact column-shaped sprayers that mist cleaning fluid onto your touchscreen and are wrapped in microfiber cloth for wiping. It’s incredibly handy to keep with your tablet when traveling, but for office dwellers, AM also has pumps and wipes for larger screens.
They had me at lime-green microfiber, but what really sealed the deal for my newfound cleanliness were some of the scary stats about how dirty our technology is. For instance, AM’s eye-catching art by Geoff McFetridge of a Shel Silverstein-like figure using a laptop as a toilet comes with this little treasure of a fact: “Public restroom seats are 50 times cleaner than most laptops.” Hand over the cleaner.
It’s rare that a company devoted to cleaning products impresses with such clever design, so we had to find out a little more. Check out our Q&A with the AM Lab founder, Jacob Moesgaard, below, to get the skinny on the new collection…and whether Danes are cleaner than Americans.
AM has been de-schmutzing technology since 1971. What types of gadgets were you cleaning back then?
My father, Anders, started AM in 1971 with a line of cleaning products for vinyl records, VHS and cassette tapes. He has adapted AM through several generations of gadgets, and we were ready to relaunch as a product that is both safe for all types of screens and effective at removing germs. Rinat Aruh and Johan Liden of NYC-based brand strategy and product design consultancy aruliden helped us conceive and design the AM Lab series to be a fun, portable and an effective cleaner.
There is some truly gross information in your brochure about how dirty our screens and cell phones are—what was the most surprising thing you found out about our dirty devices?
Well, for starters, public restroom seats are 50 times cleaner than most laptops! Cell phones are dirtier than the average kitchen counter, pet food dish, store checkout screen and doorknob. The information out there about the germs, bacteria and infections being passed around via smartphones and tablet screens is astonishing.
So, the world clearly needed this.
For the most part, nobody likes to clean. It’s just not very fun. So we wanted to create a good-looking product that integrated a liquid cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth into a single product that is refillable and portable. We also wanted to create something you actually want to take with you everywhere. And we all agreed that we wanted the series to be made of bright, fun colors—that was a joint decision between AM Lab and aruliden.
Your company is based in Copenhagen. Are the Danes just cleaner than we are?
I don’t know about being cleaner, but we Danes do have an eye for clean design. Cleaners typically fall into a stark, unfriendly product category, so the Danish influence here came from our ability to bring a unique design language and character to an otherwise bland product. Plus we wanted to make the AM Lab line fun and functional. The product’s rounded square edge, for example, is friendly to the hand while being functional to the screen (you don’t want sharp corners on delicate surfaces).
I can’t believe no one thought of this before you.
A lot of people have told us that.
Geeking out on the adorable little cleaners? They’ll be available at various retailers in the very near future, and can also be purchased at getclean.am.
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