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Reviving Nostalgia: Interview with elago Designer Suwan Park | elago Design Story

Reviving Nostalgia: Interview with elago Designer Suwan Park | elago Design Story

In a digital age dominated by sleek smartphones and wireless earbuds, an homage to the past has emerged to capture hearts and imaginations. In our elago Design Story, we're excited to not only share the meaning behind some of our most popular tech accessory designs, but interview the brilliant designers we work with who have helped them come to life. The elago Pager Case, a tribute to the iconic Motorola Pager, offers a unique blend of retro aesthetics and modern functionality. In an exclusive Q&A session, join us as we explore the story behind the revival of nostalgia with designer Suwan Park.

Q1: Tell us briefly about the Pager Case

The Pager Case pays homage to the iconic Motorola Pager, a device once integral to communication before smartphones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy took over. Younger generations these days might not know, but a Pager, also known as a beeper, is how we used to communicate with each other.

Q2: How did you come up with the Pager Case?

These days, alongside smartphones, we typically use AirPods to take calls. In the 80s and 90s, it used to be the pager that would handle all communication tasks, enabling connections between people. I thought it would be fun to evoke those nostalgic feelings in older generations and add a touch of vintage style, much like the excitement surrounding Y2K fashion.


Q3: What details did you put the most effort into?

Well, there are quite a lot of details that we wanted to showcase to our brand lovers, considering our company’s motto is “Simple sophistication,” but the main objective was to make it as authentic as the actual Motorola pager.

The body ratio makes a significant difference when designing a case. Though it may appear simple, conveying the intended nostalgic essence proved challenging. It took us almost 6 months to design the case from scratch.

The case comes with a chain strap that you can link to the AirPods 2 lanyard loop. Similar to a pager, where a chain strap secures it to your clothing, this feature prevents misplacement. (And it looks cool!)

For the display, we initially designed it with plain silicone; however, we thought, “Why not use glow-in-the-dark silicone to make it more realistic like the actual display?” I believe this decision made our pager case truly extraordinary.

Last but not least, on the display, you can see the numbers "07734." When flipped upside down, it reads "hello!" This was a common code used when communicating via pager, as we couldn't input alphabets. While many iPhone users may already be familiar with this, we aimed to recreate the excitement of using Apple products for the first time.

Q4: What is so special about this case apart from other brand’s designs?

Most cases from other brands are made out of plastic to protect AirPods. We use strong silicone that does not slip. Not only do we provide strong protection for the AirPods themselves, but also for the case, as it is highly durable and resistant to scratches. It is not affected by prolonged use since the color of the silicone does not change over time. Our retro design is intended for long-term use and possesses a uniqueness that sets us apart from other brands.

Q5: Who would you recommend this to?

Everyone! This pager case is an all-rounder!
I am sure young people would love this case since it has Y2K analog vibes, but also older individuals will appreciate it for its strong protection and nostalgic appeal. Therefore, we highly recommend it to those who want to give special presents to their parents who may not be familiar with AirPods.

Additional Personal Interview Questions for elago Designer Suwan Park

Q6: What is your core value in design?

Design is a process of persuasion. Designers do not simply create something because it looks great. I believe every product designer should consider how to persuade customers and loyal brand enthusiasts to use the product seamlessly and appreciate the design that brings joy to their everyday lives. Therefore, we dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to ensure our designs resonate with our customers.

Q7: What is the most anticipated product you can’t wait to show to elago lovers?

The MS W5 Stand is a project our followers and nostalgia lovers can look forward to. It's part of our retro lineup, like the Pager Case, but with added functionality. Compatible with MagSafe Chargers, it offers easy installation and features a thoughtful design for organizing charger cables, ensuring a seamless charging experience for our customers.