Made-in-Canada design heritage inhabits BlackBerry Passport

The BlackBerry Passport is unlike any other smartphone on the market thanks to its innovative, wide, square design and revolutionary physical keyboard with touch-sensitive keys.

0 November 18, 2014

Its stainless steel frame structure, exposed on the edges, demonstrates both strength and durability.
The BlackBerry Passport is built for environments where responsiveness and secure communication are a necessity and no margin of error is acceptable. Examples include hospitals, where doctors need to view X-rays in real-time with patients to repair bone fractures and  finance, where traders need to instantly see fluctuations in the market to make a trade on-the-go.  
The BlackBerry Passport features a unique, made-in-Canada heritage.
The format was inspired by the familiarity and mobility of a passport, while the construction was inspired by the modern architecture of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto. The architect, Mies van der Rohe celebrated structural elements in his work resulting in a straightforward, elegant and solid solution. BlackBerry’s Passport embodies a durable design that mirrors modern architecture, while delivering on easy functionality and powerful productivity geared toward executives and entrepreneurs.
Brian Paschke, industrial design lead at BlackBerry, says, ” Mies van der Rohe’s buildings in general were a huge inspiration for the Passport’s design. He used a method of exposing a building’s structure for visual lightness while expressing strength. One of our design workshops was held at a building right next to the TD towers in Toronto, which were designed by Van Der Rohe. For me the building represents a new future, a new way of thinking and a new model for construction.”
The BlackBerry Passport also uses the sans serif Slate font created by award-winning Canadian typeface designer Rod McDonald of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Slate offers maximum character legibility without sacrificing style and can be read as easily on a printed page as on a smartphone screen. The design team has used the font on both the physical keyboard and onscreen in the same size, colour and grid for a seamless typing experience.
Some of the Canadian designers who had a hand in the BlackBerry Passport design include:
• Brian Paschke, Industrial Design Lead at BlackBerry and Emily Carr graduate is continuing a family tradition of craftsmanship (his family has a background as goldsmiths) in industrial design at BlackBerry.
• Joseph Hofer, Senior Industrial Designer with BlackBerry and a graduate of Humber’s School of Applied Technology. Like Brian, Joseph’s family has a tradition of craftsmanship – in Joseph’s case as woodworkers.
• Alison Phillips, Director of Industrial Design at BlackBerry. In addition to her  experience with BlackBerry’s award-winning design team, Alison’s background includes work with innovative Canadian retailers Caban and Aritzia.

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