Hands on with Jony Ive's Red Nose: Unexpectedly well designed

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2023
The former chief designer at Apple has added a famed UK object to his list of accomplishments, with a radical design of the iconic and charitable red nose.

Sir Lenny Henry wearing the new Jony Ive-designed red nose for charity
Sir Lenny Henry wearing the new Jony Ive-designed red nose for charity


Since departing Apple, Jony Ive has been busy with his own design studio, LoveFrom. He and his company have worked with major names including Airbnb, Ferrari and Exor, as well as setting up a sustainable design competition with King Charles (at the time Prince Charles).

Now, in 2023, it has been revealed that Ive has worked on another well-known aspect of British culture, all for a charitable effort. He's redesigned the 2023 Red Nose for Comic Relief.



What is Comic Relief?

Comic Relief is a UK charity that supports a variety of good causes across the country, with it being one of two high-profile telethon events throughout the year.

Based on the idea of entertaining people in exchange for donations, people across the UK do silly things or tough challenges in the name of the charity, all to raise money for it.

As part of the fundraising effort, a Red Nose is sold to the public, playing off the Red Nose Day telethon itself. The nose design varies from year to year, and the public is encouraged to pick up the latest variant each time.

2023 marks the 35th year of sales of the Red Nose in the UK, and it has raised millions for the charity during its life.

With the UK's Red Nose Day occurring on March 17, the latest nose has been released, alongside other merchandise, with the profits all going to the fund.

The United States also has its own Red Nose Day, chiefly as part of an NBC charitable effort rather than a BBC-led one in the UK. However, it is a separate entity, and therefore unlikely to benefit from Ive's nose design.

Ive's Red Nose

One of the problems with the design of the usual Red Nose sold in the appeal is that it's made of plastic. Not only is it a material that's easy to dispose of in an environmentally sound manner, but it's also often painful or difficult to wear.

Unlike previous Red Nose releases, the Jony Ive edition folds flat.
Unlike previous Red Nose releases, the Jony Ive edition folds flat.


Enter LoveFrom and Jony Ive, and a revamped design that is a massive departure from the plastic sphere. One that promises to be ecologically sound because it's 95% plant-based.

What Ive generated is a nose that folds flat and can be more easily disposed of or recycled after the telethon.

Unboxing the nose

In what could be argued as an Apple-style unboxing experience, the folded-flat nose is sold in a semi-circular cardboard box. On top is Red Nose Day branding, while the base has a sticker with various legal details about the nose itself.

The cardboard casing is compact, but graphical.
The cardboard casing is compact, but graphical.


There's also a small note stating it is "Red Nose 2023. Created by our friends at LoveFrom."

Around the edge and sealing the box is a single sticker strip declaring "This Nose Changes Lives." A pull of the sticker opens the box, though there is just enough glue attached so that you can reseal it shut.

The only mention of LoveFrom on the packaging.
The only mention of LoveFrom on the packaging.


Inside the box, you don't get Apple stickers or a manual, as you just have the nose itself. You're not getting instructions, as it's fairly obvious what you need to do.

The box also includes a QR code and the message "Scan for a surprise," which takes you to a "thank you" page on the Comic Relief website.

A nose unboxing.
A nose unboxing.


This seems like a lot for what amounts to a tchotchke that will be used for a few days and then left on a shelf, but it's a nice touch.

Design and mechanics

The 2023 Red Nose is a massive departure from the painful plastic sphere, and in many different ways. For a start, you have some assembly to do.

Borrowing the idea of the fold-up honeycomb-style Christmas decoration, the nose starts off flat in a crescent shape, but folds out into a red sphere. It's actually a sandwich of selectively-glued red paper strips, with a plastic panel at the top and bottom.

A top-down view of the new nose
A top-down view of the new nose


Those plastic half-moons bear the words "Comic Relief" and "Red Nose Day," lest you forget why you bought it. The edge is also raised, to provide extra grip when it's opened out and placed on your nose.

The process of folding it out is also mechanically interesting, since it uses a pair of rubber bands. These, along with a pair of circular elements, are used to hold the nose closed when folded up, and to hold it open when in use.

The bands help keep the nose folded, and open.
The bands help keep the nose folded, and open.


As you unfold it, you can feel the tension to snap it back, but once you reach the inflection point at 180 degrees, the tension switches the other direction to form the sphere.

Fully deployed, you end up with a nice sphere, with a plastic seam on one side. If you squint a bit, the design is somewhat reminiscent of the HomePod mini, albeit smaller and without a screen.

The paper isn't necessarily going to be as durable as a plastic nose, but that's not really the point here.

The nose gently clamps the side of the wearer's own.
The nose gently clamps the side of the wearer's own.


To wear the nose, you open apart the plastic seam and simply place it on your nose. The inside of the sphere is hollow to help accommodate the nose, while the two raised edges catch around the sides of the nose.

There is some tension in play on the wearer's nose, but not a massive amount. It's snug and feels very secure, and survived a quick attempt at Wayne's World "Bohemian Rhapsody" head thrashing, so it'll stay attached for less intensive use cases.

The old plastic noses would fly off with ease, and the edges could hurt after a while. Those issues are gone here.

A great design for a great cause

It's unexpected to find such a high level of thought has gone into what is a facsimile of a clown nose, one that is also highly disposable and will probably be forgotten about within months.

The Jony Ive Comic Relief Red Nose, not a HomePod mini mini.
The Jony Ive Comic Relief Red Nose, not a HomePod mini mini.


We have a mechanically-interesting item here, one that is also ecologically sound and a radically different design from the typical fare used for the annual Red Nose.

While we don't know if the concept will be reused in the 2024 Red Nose, it's safe to say that the 2023 edition, with Ive's influence, is a welcome departure from the norm, and one that could capture the attention of potential donators in the run up to Red Nose Day itself.

Where to buy

The 2023 Comic Relief Red Nose is available from the Comic Relief website for GBP 2.50 ($3). It's also available from Amazon UK for the same price.

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Comments

  • Reply 2 of 22
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,941member
    An Apple enthusiast site that calls a thing by Jony Ive "unexpectedly well designed."

    Wierd.
    FileMakerFellerdarbus69StrangeDayswatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 3 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 2,480member
    LoveFrom? I would've sworn it was LoveForm.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 2,480member
    AppleZulu said:
    An Apple enthusiast site that calls a thing by Jony Ive "unexpectedly well designed."

    Wierd.
    That was my first thought.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 5 of 22
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 1,115member
    Xed said:
    LoveFrom? I would've sworn it was LoveForm.
    Jokes on you then!
    ߤ᦬t;br>  <<Bah! That was the clown face emoji!

    Who else scanned the QR code? heh
    edited February 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22

     🤡         

    steve_jobs
  • Reply 7 of 22
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,897member
    Always thought Jonny was a clown…
    eriamjh
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Person with 30+ years experience and multiple prestigious awards in the design industry applies their skills to a new project.

    The internet: "Well, that was unexpectedly good!"
    StrangeDayswatto_cobrabyronllolliver
  • Reply 9 of 22
    Should this sentence say "hard to dispose" instead of easy.

    The sentence: "One of the problems with the design of the usual Red Nose sold in the appeal is that it's made of plastic. Not only is it a material that's easy to dispose of in an environmentally sound manner, but it's also often painful or difficult to wear."
    watto_cobrawilliamh
  • Reply 10 of 22
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    muthuk_vanalingamsbdude
  • Reply 11 of 22
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 
    edited February 2023 Xedwatto_cobrabyronlsphericlolliver
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Xed said:
    LoveFrom? I would've sworn it was LoveForm.
    Actually, it seems they call themselves „LoveFrom,“, as depicted on the box and the website, the comma appears to be part of the LogoType.
    lolliver
  • Reply 13 of 22
    I don't like it.

    It doesn't look like a nose at all, just a red ball on the nose.

    Use the same design, but make it look better.

    Then I'll wear one everyday!!


  • Reply 14 of 22
    AppleZulu said:
    Wierd.

    Weird.
    sidrictheviking
  • Reply 15 of 22
    XedXed Posts: 2,480member
    stevenoz said:
    I don't like it.

    It doesn't look like a nose at all, just a red ball on the nose.

    Use the same design, but make it look better.

    Then I'll wear one everyday!!


    The classic clown nose is a red sphere on the nose. I assume to originally portray a drunken clown, where the nose is "comically" large and red. Since alcohol is a vasodilator the nose (and cheeks, et al.) can indeed get red when some people quaff alcohol. There is also potential for it also initially representing a drunk with rhinophyma. While there is no evidence to support that rhinophyma is cured by many years of imbibing heavily, I think it's still commonly assumed that that is the cause (at least that is what I was told as a kid, but haven't seen anyone with that condition for a couple decades—perhaps plastic surgery has played a roles in this 21st century).
  • Reply 16 of 22
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 
    I didn't say all of his designs were flawed or didn't impact Apple positively, I said (and this is indisputably true) with many of his products function took a backseat to form……do your homework (hint, start with the 2015 MacBook Pro). He may never have espoused it, but he certainly practiced it. Finally, I was including the floral motif of the original iMac, not saying it was the first design. 

    And once again AI has given us another Sir Jony story about something that is relatively inconsequential - particularly relative to his less heralded design contracts with major automotive firms, etc. His "for a good cause" MADE IN CHINA red nose minimizes his impact as a designer of note as it gets far more press than his substantial contributions at LoveFrom. It trivializes him. 
  • Reply 17 of 22
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 251member
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 

    Ive's designs also:

    - littered the company with "pro" designs that were neither expandable nor adaptable for pro users owing to focus on design (trash can mac pro) and thinness over function. He many never have "espoused" form over function, but his designs speak volumes.

    - cost Apple hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in damages due to his butterfly keyboard fiasco

    - and yes, there was a floral (flower power) design for the original iMac form factor. They literally sold hundreds!

    Left to his own "designs", Ive was a loose cannon. Only Jobs could rein him in, which is why his earlier designs were far more successful than the later ones.

    Moral of the story is, you both can be right! (How amazing is that?1?). Your troll score, on the other hand, is stupid.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 22
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,028member
    sbdude said:
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 

    Ive's designs also:

    - littered the company with "pro" designs that were neither expandable nor adaptable for pro users owing to focus on design (trash can mac pro) and thinness over function. He many never have "espoused" form over function, but his designs speak volumes.

    - cost Apple hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in damages due to his butterfly keyboard fiasco

    - and yes, there was a floral (flower power) design for the original iMac form factor. They literally sold hundreds!

    Left to his own "designs", Ive was a loose cannon. Only Jobs could rein him in, which is why his earlier designs were far more successful than the later ones.

    Moral of the story is, you both can be right! (How amazing is that?1?). Your troll score, on the other hand, is stupid.
    How about a mouse with a charging port ON THE BOTTOM so you can't use it while it's charging?  The "hockey puck" mouse?  The other mice?  The AppleTV remotes?
  • Reply 19 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,788member
    williamh said:
    sbdude said:
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 

    Ive's designs also:

    - littered the company with "pro" designs that were neither expandable nor adaptable for pro users owing to focus on design (trash can mac pro) and thinness over function. He many never have "espoused" form over function, but his designs speak volumes.

    - cost Apple hundreds of thousands (if not millions) in damages due to his butterfly keyboard fiasco

    - and yes, there was a floral (flower power) design for the original iMac form factor. They literally sold hundreds!

    Left to his own "designs", Ive was a loose cannon. Only Jobs could rein him in, which is why his earlier designs were far more successful than the later ones.

    Moral of the story is, you both can be right! (How amazing is that?1?). Your troll score, on the other hand, is stupid.
    How about a mouse with a charging port ON THE BOTTOM so you can't use it while it's charging?  The "hockey puck" mouse?  The other mice?  The AppleTV remotes?
    Non-issue here IRL. The mouse pushes a notification reminder to charge ahead of time, and a full charge lasts a month, but if I forget it only takes 1-2 mins to charge it for the day. Get a glass of water, use the bathroom, whatever. 
    muthuk_vanalingamlolliver
  • Reply 20 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,788member
    What is more ridiculous, this warmed over mini Halloween pumpkin or the fact that AppeInsider wrote such an extensive story about it?! Glad to see Sr. Jony doing something other than ruining Apple products with his misguided "function follow form" mentality! Hello floral plastic original iMac, Hello Dentine gum sized iPod mini, Hello dysfunctional MacBook keyboards, Hello disappearing ports……………Heck I could go on for days like this. In all fairness, many of his designs were excellent.
    You are very confused.

    - Ive’s designs exploded Apple and restored the company, and were copied by entire industries.

    - He has never espoused “function follows form”.

    - The original iMac was not floral. It was Bondi Blue, and a smash success; its color plastic panels were copied across sectors.

    Troll Score (tm): 2 of 10 
    I didn't say all of his designs were flawed or didn't impact Apple positively, I said (and this is indisputably true) with many of his products function took a backseat to form……do your homework (hint, start with the 2015 MacBook Pro). He may never have espoused it, but he certainly practiced it. Finally, I was including the floral motif of the original iMac, not saying it was the first design. 

    And once again AI has given us another Sir Jony story about something that is relatively inconsequential - particularly relative to his less heralded design contracts with major automotive firms, etc. His "for a good cause" MADE IN CHINA red nose minimizes his impact as a designer of note as it gets far more press than his substantial contributions at LoveFrom. It trivializes him. 
    I’ve done my homework, and I know Ive doesn’t adhere to “function follows form”, and he has told Gruber personally that he doesn’t do change for change’s sake. That doesn’t mean every design or product is flawless — an impossible goal considering humans are not flawless. 

    As for the butterfly key switch mechanisms, this wasn’t an example of form leading function. The intent of the butterfly mechanism was to allow depression from any region or corner of the key cap, the goal being to make them easier to depress with off-center finger strikes. That’s a functional goal, not a stylistic form goal. According to Apple their support tickets decreased despite Stern’s article in the WSJ. But regardless, not achieving the goal successfully doesn’t somehow make that an example that Ive believes form is above function. 

    lolliver
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