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Light Up: Matchboxes Designed With Gorgeous Strike Zones

A bright update to a Swedish classic.

In addition to incredible cultural contributions such as Ikea, Volvo, and ABBA, did you know that Sweden is also responsible for safety matches? Stockholm-based designer Shane Schneck mined a bit of the utilitarian fire-starters’ history to create Strike, a new set of fully functional boxes for Hay. The famed Danish furniture specialists have begun to build up a robust collection of domestic accessories–everything from cushions to hangers and quilts–and are expanding the range to bring thoughtful touches to the most seemingly simple needs. “A bit like a Scandinavian Muji,” Schneck says.

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According to Schneck, graphic designer Clara von Zwiegbergk had been a matchbox doodler since the days of her youth, making her an ideal collaborator on the project; not to mention the fact that they have a proven chemistry together, as they’re real life husband and wife. The pair flipped the object’s traditional surface ratio–thin strips of strike zone with larger, flat expanses for illustrations or, perhaps more likely, advertisements–in order to showcase the strong graphic motifs formed by the geometric spots of red phosphorous. “We got the patterns mostly right from the first prototypes,” Schneck tells Co.Design.

From there, it was a matter of aligning the aesthetics and technical elements. They made studies using large-scale perforated metal samples and used “lots of spray paint and masking tape” in order to perfect the designs, then tested the spacing of each and every tiny dot, hexagon, and diamond shape. The selection of bright hues on the seven box sizes were chosen to emphasize the beauty of the rust-colored specks. The results are boxes that would look far nicer sitting out on the mantle than, say, that beat-up book you grabbed on the way out of a restaurant or an old plastic Bic.

Strike matchboxes will soon be available for purchase from Design Within Reach in the U.S.* They’re going for 3-5€ in Europe, so the price should fall within the affordable range. Whether you’ll want to sully them by lighting up is another matter entirely.

*Sorry to get your hopes up, but DWR will not, in fact, be carrying Strikes. Apologies for the misinformation.

(h/t MoCo Loco)

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