Narwhal Skewers are cute and functional stainless steel barbecue skewers in the shape of narwhals. This was a project that involved a number of designers and contractors to establish both the product and the branding in time for the Kickstarter campaign, incorporate a business, building a presence through press and social media, producing merchandise to incentivise further sales on Kickstarter, designing two rounds of packaging and a full suite of business identity forms. The Kickstarter campaign was launched in 2013 and 2014 saw the first production round and product launch. Narwhal BBQ Skewers are currently sold through multiple retailers worldwide.
3D Printed Prototyping
Promotion & Fundraising
Narwhal Skewers began with a few sketches and clay sculpts to get an idea of the size and shape of the skewer. One of the key points was giving it a tactile feel by having the tail loop around the finger, to establish a good grip.
With the help of a number of CAD/industrial designers to 3D scan, shape, and create the joiner for skewer and handle, a number of variations were tested using 3D printed sandstone and handmade skewers. Issues like skewer size and carving out mass to make a lighter weight handle were resolved in these stages, while refining the design to achieve the perfect narwhal shape.
Once decided, the final prototype was created using 3D printed stainless steel and used for building the campaign. A short video was commissioned that discuss the building process and featured a barbecue using the skewers as proof of concept. Custom merchandise was designed to facilitate smaller backer rewards and bundled larger kits.
The rewards featured a set of diecut stickers that were shipped out with postcard backs and designed to be shipped through the mail, hand printed t-shirts and aprons featuring the variations of Meat Eater Narwhal, Vegetarian Narwhal, and the later unlocked Sweet Tooth S'mores Narwhal, foil-stamped bags to store the skewers in, as well as custom printed tubes to ship them in. Several artists contributed posters and original artwork as additional rewards.
Upon receipt of funding, the skewer was sent to a factory in China to have a new sample made that would become the final production. There, the best materials were selected, the design was refined for any molding errors, and differences smoothed out from the 3D printing process to lost wax casting process.
Post shipping, new packaging was commissioned to be designed for retail, as well as identity items like Purchase Orders/Invoices, business cards and more.