The Project

Redefining Cisco’s Industrial Design Language

The Cisco Catalyst 9000 is an innovative family of enterprise switches built from the ground up for the new realities of the digital era. The reinvented product portfolio is centered on the continuously evolving demands and innovations in the areas of security, mobility, cloud and IoT, while delivering unmatched programmability and performance.

Pininfarina set out to unify Cisco’s industrial design for the platform under a single industrial design language (IDL). Cisco tasked Pininfarina with rethinking every aspect of the hardware design and user experience to make it adaptable and easy to use.

Design is the instrument to humanize technology.

Paolo Pininfarina - Chairman of Pininfarina Group

The Way

Differentiation, Ergonomics and Modularity

From handles and ergonomics, to lighting, modularity, and creating consistent branding, Pininfarina thoroughly thought out every element of the product’s foundational components. Some of the changes made to the initial design include, easier access to the ejector handles and service capabilities from either side of the modular system fan tray. Special attention was paid to providing users with intuitive instructions to educate and enhance usability. In addition, the standardized parts and processes within the unique IDL have helped reduce costs and improved quality and efficiency within the supply chain.

To ensure the success of the new platform, it was required that the design elements translate well between a wide range of product categories, materials and manufacturing processes – from sheet metal to injection molding and casting. Moreover, the technological strides of the Catalyst 9000 collection had to be balanced by continuity with the larger Cisco offering, demanding a challenging modularity where legacy hardware components, such as power supplies, can be used alongside the latest drives and fan trays.

The Idea

Creating a renewed product brand DNA and unity through design

Manufacturing realities, as well as brand identity, is crucial for successful design DNA guidelines. At the end, an effective IDL is a trove of different design solutions that can be modified and assembled into a new product, without feeling forced or over complicated for the end-user. It also communicates the brand values and suggests ways of translating them to create new designs.

The new Cisco IDL, starting from the Catalyst 9000 as a forerunner reference product, was able to provide that unity and harmony across a complex portfolio, creating consistency and enhancing brand recognition.

The most significant new piece of networking hardware in a decade.

Chuck Robbins - Cisco CEO

Pininfarina's way to Industrial and Vending Machines

Do you want to create something together?



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