I was approached by the Singapore Boys’ Brigade to help produce a new buckle design, primarily redesigning the way the buckles are fixed onto the leather straps. At the same time, the new design must look as close as possible, aesthetically, to the design that is to be phased out.
The entire product design process included:
- understanding Boys’ Brigades’ new design concept
- mass manufacturing the buckles (metal work)
- mass manufacturing the leather straps (leather work)
As listed, this is a massive undertaking that requires many areas of expertise. This post touches on the design aspect. For the remaining component processes (metal and leather work), they can be found with the guys at Broadway Leather Company.
Design that was used for decades in Singapore
The last design was the ubiquitous 2-piece buckle that is commonly used in military, paramilitary and other uniformed organisations everywhere around the world.
The purpose of the 2-piece structure (photo above), one male and one female, is to allow soldiers for example, to scale heights by connecting multiple belts together into one extremely long “rope” using this male-female structure.
The new design
The new design comprises the concentric circle, just as in the phased out design. The difference is that the metal loops on each end of the old buckle design used for fastening the leather straps (see photo above), have now been simplified to become non-functional “wings” on the left and right of the circle.
The new buckle structure sports a clip which will bite/clamp onto the leather strap inserted. This allows for any student to easily shorten the belt as and when necessary. The removal of the field craft function is a significant departure away from the original design rooted in military principles.
From this point on, information on prototyping, die-casting metal fashion accessories and leather craft etc. can be found at Broadway Leather Company.
Also in my design portfolio