Dan Adelman’s built a few things around The Royale, but the eye-catching, conversation-starting piece that’s most-recent is his design of a Royale iPhone case, made of bamboo. Stay tuned to our Facebook page, as we’ll be giving some out to friends of the business in coming days and weeks. Here’s the backstory.
What all have you built around The Royale, in addition to the bike racks? I did make the bike racks, also a couple “smoker pole” type ashtrays that I think are on the patio somewhere, the stand that holds the signs out front, the crown on the top of the neon sign, the bench by the side gate. Some other small stuff.
How’d you come into the idea of customized iPhone cases? I recently acquired a laser cutter / engraver for my business and I’ve been making lots of different things using that and the CNC router I built a couple years ago. I found these bamboo iPhone cases on-line that were super cool and very popular. The solid wood ones haven’t really worked out for a variety of reasons, but a number of other styles work well. I made a few for the people / businesses that I’ve worked with on other projects. Folks seem to like them. iPhones are useful but very uniform manufactured items and people love to personalize them.
How many different ones have you made? Hundreds.
Anecdotally, what’s involved in making these kinds of things? The engraving process varies a little bit depending on what the case is made of. The first step with the solid bamboo cases was “find a manufacturer” (probably in china) which was an unbelievable mess. After all the setup details the process is basically like using a big fancy printer that burns and cuts things instead of spraying ink on them.
You’ve been working with iPad cases, too? I haven’t done any of the leather iPad cases yet. The design of the ones I’ve seen are not as appealing as the iPhone ones. I did a few solid bamboo iPad cases but they were not especially popular because the setting in which people use their iPad is different than when use their phone. I’m working with local letterpress print shop, All Along Press, on some leather bound sketchbooks, which are fun and inexpensive. I’m also working on some bicycle parts / things made of bicycle parts with a friend. I should have some skateboard decks with awesome artwork on them in the next month. All the “non-custom” stuff I’m working on ends up for sale here: http://twowheeldesign.com/.
What’s the real appeal to these for folks? And what do they give you for feedback? Lots of people love the idea of taking their cold metal and glass techno-object and bringing a softer natural feel to it. Others just like to add a personal touch to their phone. Many are adding protection for what is probably the most valuable thing they have on their person on a regular basis. I don’t get a huge amount of feedback in most cases because the majority of customers are on-line, it’s a fair amount of throwing things at the web and seeing what sticks.