Bang & Olufsen

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(established 1925)

Founded in 1925 by Peter Bang and Sven Olufsen this celebrated Danish manufacturer of stylish audio‐visual equipment did not place a high premium on design until 1963, when the industrial design consultancy Bjorn & Bernadotte and their former employee Jacob Jensen were employed to counteract a slump in sales. As a result a stylish product identity emerged, characterized by clean lines, crisp minimalist graphics, and almost scientifically ordered control systems. In 1966 the Beolit 500 portable radio was awarded the Danish ID Prize. Within a decade the company enjoyed an international reputation, underlined in 1978 by the Museum of Modern Art, New York's exhibition entitled Bang & Olufsen: Design for Sound by Jacob Jensen. Nonetheless, the company was less successful economically than stylistically and in 1990 Philips took on 25 per cent ownership. However, a management restructuring reversed this position and the company regained its pre‐eminent position as a leading force in stylish audio‐visual products for an affluent international clientele.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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