Dell event seeks to inspire via youthful artistic talent

10:03, June 18, 2010      

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Tired of uninspiring black and gray laptops? Interested in seeing cartoons or Picasso-inspired art atop your laptop to brighten your day?

Zhang Jinliang, a 24-year-old Chinese freelance designer, has worked hard to come up with colorful creations to do just that.

Zhang was chosen from 27,000 entries as one of the top three in Dell's Design Studio Contest in China an opportunity for consumers to submit works of art that can be permanently applied to the lids of Dell Studio laptops. His design, entitled "Youth Fantasy", features brightly colored cartoon characters.

The hearing-impaired artist lost his sense of sound at the age of 2 due to a high fever. "The designs are a reflection of my silent world, but with much happiness. It is the first time my work has been recognized by so many people and this really means a lot to me."

Launched in December 2008, Dell Design Studio, which came to China in June 2009, started as an interactive online gallery of contemporary artworks by artists and was created to give PC users the opportunity to decorate their laptop with artworks purchased at Dell.com.

The other two Chinese designs, in which one employs traditional Chinese painting and the other abstract concepts, introduce PC users to more grassroots designers.

Dell Design Studio's artwork pool currently owns over 300 designs, 130 of which are available in China. Adding a custom design to a Dell Studio or Inspiron Mini 10 laptop now is priced at 299 yuan ($44).

Zhang Chi, a 27-year-old journalist in Beijing, said: "I'd like to choose different laptop lid designs to use on different occasions. For example, I prefer a plant motif at work, while some cute cartoon characters would drive the girls crazy in my spare time."

With China now the world's second-largest PC market, Dell chose China for the first Design Studio Contest.

"We would like to make sure that Chinese consumers have access to the newest technology and the trendiest lifestyle products," David Marmonti, vice-president of Consumer Direct Sales for Dell, told China Daily.

Dell expects revenues in China, its second-largest market, to near $5 billion this year, Chief Executive Michael Dell said previously.

Marmonti said Dell believes that Design Studio products as well as more fashion-oriented and personalized products will greatly boost the company's business here.

The post-80s generation has become a major force driving consumption in China's urban areas, according to a survey by market research firm CTR.

Another report by Bergstrom Consulting found that the 15 to 25-year-olds in China want more individualized products and are far more fashion-conscious than their parents.

Diana Barnes, director of Brand Design and Experience Design Group of Dell said: "Dell pays close attention to younger consumers in China. They admire personality and have a passion for life. This is consistent with Dell's brand essence."

Personalization is now beyond haute couture and extends to technology and lifestyle too. As a previous example, stylish nail polish colors are available exclusively on Dell consumer laptops through a partnership with renowned nail lacquer maker OPI, making Dell laptops a fashion accessory.

Marmonti said: "Dell will continue to be open to such fashion houses, and these personalized services will also be extended to mobile phones, tablet PCs and other devices."

He added that Chinese youth influence not only Dell's exterior designs but also software development, as well as investment decisions.

Chinese born after 1980 tend to favor brand-name products more than previous generations and online shopping has become increasingly popular among this group, the CTR report shows.

In 2009, transaction volume on Taobao, the largest e-commerce site in China, exceeded 200 billion yuan.

Dell has been working in cooperation with Taobao and set up a Dell store on the site.

The company plans to continue this cooperation and also work to improve its site, Dell.com, Marmonti said.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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