The Design Team Speaks: How Samsung Series 9 Monitor Became a piece of Art

on June 5, 2012
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A monitor need to basically do two things – display images clearly, and look good.  Samsung Electronics’ Premium Smart Series 9 Monitor was born to be the best monitor in this period of decade.  Its emphasis on elegance and beauty has been its central, but it also contains all the functions you would expect from using a monitor.



Today, we will hear from Kyu-Sang Choi and Hee-Bong Kim who were in charge of designing the Samsung Series 9 Monitor.





”The back side of monitor is beautiful! The monitor you want to show off!”



Targeting not only professional graphic designers and photographers, but also general consumers who want a top-grade monitor, the Premium Smart Series 9 Monitor, aims for the best image quality and design.  Though it’s currently only been released in Korea right now, there are plans to release it world-wide. This monitor seriously looks like a piece of art on the desk, and it happens to have the best image quality – let’s hear about how Premium Smart Series 9 Monitor was born.



Q. Please briefly introduce the Premium Smart Monitor 970.



It is a premium monitor. The target users are the experts, artists, graphic designers, and semi-experts aiming to be an expert, and those of who are just ordinary consumers yet wish to choose the most premium monitor product.  When we designed it, we used premium materials.


Though the image display is amazing, we are also very proud of the clean lines on the back of the monitor.  We tried to remove as many unnecessary items as we could and cleaned it up. We wanted to make a monitor that’s beautiful from behind, a monitor whose back you would want to show.



“to become a tool for communication with the clients”



Before the design concept work, Kyu-Sang Choi and Hee-Bong Kim had meetings with team members and experts, conducted an internal brainstorming sessions, and visited  luxury shops  to reflect on the essence of luxury or high-class products.


“We drew ideas from the user-oriented interviews. We interviewed CEOs, artists, and doctors beforehand and they were very much in favor of our design. Some would say “That monitor is really pretty” which would naturally start a conversation, allowing the monitor to become a tool for communication with the clients.”



Q. Tell us about the design characteristics unique to Premium Series 9 Monitor.


When you say “monitor,” many would picture a lot of cables tangled together. We took top priority in reducing such parts as much as possible to achieve a simple design. Also material-wise, we tried to use raw materials when possible.


In offices around the world, partitions are disappearing or being lowered in workspaces as companies try to create a more open feeling.  However, people still have to have a monitor on their desks, and thus, the back of the monitor is exposed much more than before.  Taking this into consideration, Samsung knew it was time to focus on the design of the back of the monitor. As far as we are concerned, we tried to give as much attention as possible to the back. The computer becomes the communication tool.



Q. Was there a design motive or inspiration?




We want to express a lot of the essence that can only be found in premium products. The focus was on the fact that experts or semi-experts use these monitors more than general users. Professional photographers do not sit down and use them like in a traditional office, but they tend to look at the monitor a lot while standing, during a photo shoot, or while they’re directing models. Thus, the HAS or tile functions can be used to talk with the models while working.


Also, this monitor is great for taller people.  They tend to raise the monitor because their necks hurt from working with a low screen for a long time. Premium Smart Monitor 970 has a much broader view, and PLS panel itself has a wide-viewing angle, so it appears bright and clear from any angle. We tried to express a structurally stable yet stylish beauty.




Usually we have the model name at the top of the monitor, but we took that out. You can often find label codes on the back, but those were removed as well. Only the serial number is there. What you need for work is the screen. We made the monitor to be as clean as possible for photographers, video artists, and graphic designers to concentrate on their work without being distracted by some other elements.


Also, we put the terminal ports that connect to the PC or peripheral devices below the stand so that all the complicated cables would not be visible. By removing and hiding as much as possible, we made it look beautiful from any angle. The HAS function also was implemented to be smooth without the feeling that it’s being raised or lowered, while being structurally stable.



“We added humane sensibilities to minimalism”



The minimalist design exterior inspired by modern architecture expresses sturdiness and luxury with the harmony of metallic material and tempered crystal clear glass used at the front.



Q.  What is contained in the post-minimalism which is the design concept of Premium Series 9 Monitor?



It is like a philosophy of Visual Display’s design. We thought ‘Recently, all designs pursue minimalism; it is good to find the essence, but doesn’t it lack in humane and sensitive aspects?’ It seemed that there was this sort of atmosphere in design that forgot about the people who intend to use and get their hands on the product. Especially because monitors are so close to us, we thought it is important to express the sensitive element somehow. We pursue minimalism, but added a little more humane sensitivity, and that is post-minimalism.




Q. Is there post-minimalism reflected in material or color?


Whenever possible, we tried to use the material as is without processing. We tried to take what the material has on its own without painting or plating. We applied tempered glass at the front to implement a clean design with bezel boundaries, and excluded ornamental elements. To differentiate material-wise, we also applied metal materials.


For the bezel or frame, real aluminum has been used. The gloss finishing was not plated but done with polishing by hand to express the gloss of the raw aluminum elegantly and luxuriously. It takes a lot of time in the process. We think all the hands-on effort is another sensitive element.



Q. Lastly, tell us about the value or philosophy of design that you pursue.


Premium is not all there is to it, but rather there is a wide range of products from very cheap ones to expensive ones. I think it is important to design each product with a clear understanding of the characteristics.



“To make a truly loved product! To be loved by the product!”



I think being widely in use would be the best thing for me. I don’t feel proud just because I worked on a premium model, but I feel rewarded when any product draws better responses than expected. When I put some life into a design and it is loved in the market, that’s when I’m happiest.




“It is not that the directions of the design are ‘I like minimalism, this is the only thing that I’ll do.’ To make a truly loved product, and to be love in the market with that product, that is the direction that we need to find.” – Kyu-Sang Choi


We are sure that you’ll feel that same happiness when you get a chance to check out the Premium Smart Monitor 970!


*Related posts:

Premium packaging for our premium monitor: Samsung Series 9 Monitor

Samsung Series 9 Monitor displays true-to-life colors, naturally!

Designing a Masterpiece: An inside Look at the planning of Samsung Series 9 Monitor

Samsung Series 9 Monitor Helps Your Work Look Pro!

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