Heavy metal thunder

Can good design change an object of kitsch into a premiere luxury item?  In partnership with our client Yawning Fish, that’s what we at CCD achieved with the protection bell.

What’s a guardian bell?  In the Easy Rider days, riders hung the tiny trinkets on various parts of the bike to scare away gremlins from causing mischief to the rider in the form of engine malfunction, flat tires, and slick spills.

Even today in the era of suburban-dad Harley collectors, guardian bells are still common and one of many small ways owners personalize their bikes, though the magic thinking has somewhat devolved into jokey guy-kitsch.  With today’s style obsessed and more affluent motorcycle set, Portland metal craft firm Yawning Fish decided it was time to revisit the bell and redefine it as a premiere accessory.

Yawning Fish’s product line of sterling silver boutique bells launched in late 2014 as an online store. Con Cor Design helped Yawning Fish recast the object as a crowning building detail that is bespoke and alluring.  CCD designed, prototyped, refined the product line and set up an efficient custom manufacturing process.

The result is far removed from its origins. The form is modern. A custom message embossment wraps around the waist.   The product is presented in a fabric bag inside a crafted wooden gift box.  And the website touts life-affirming maxims of the road — with no mention of evil gremlins.

Many factors — price, finish, package, story — can increase the perceived value of a luxury item:

The Bells

“The aim is not only to create a quality object but also to build a psychological intimacy with the user.”

Compelling brands need compelling stories

What if you could rewrite the legend of the bell? That’s exactly what we did. By partnering with Black Monk Consulting, we created a new legend of the bell that was not only removing the variable of “bell” as equaling a totem of fear and replacing it with “bell” as a symbol of joy and empowerment but CCD used this as a departure point from all of the basic bells out there that are embossed with company logos and kitsch. Similarly, CCD used this background as a departure point from all of the basic bells out there that are embossed with company logos and other masculine kitsch. The Yawning Fish product line aims to appeal a “high-brow” biker set that responses to elevated design and positive lifestyle messages. We created the “high-brow” biker site.

When you receive your bell. It comes in a pine box cinched in a microfiber polishing pouch then is encompassed in a paper insert that reads the new story.

Yawning Fish Packaging


We’ll continue working with this brand to flesh out several other categories of products and continue to raise the bar of what is available to the motorcycle enthusiast. In the meantime, why don’t you head over to YawningFish.com and check out the collection?