On the Case: Smartphone Case Art by CSA Images

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From puppies and action figures to cityscapes and toast, Charles S. Anderson’s iconic designs have infiltrated Speck’s smartphone cases. CSA Images is a print and pop culture archive that includes tens of thousands of keyword-searchable illustrations and design elements. The attempt to collaborate on a line of CSA Image cases, however, began in August 2012 when Anderson approached Bryan Hynecek, Speck’s VP of Design. Since then, it’s been a labor of love for both designers.

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“At the time we didn’t have a technique for printing graphics on our cases in a way that didn’t feel like you were putting a sticker on a case,” Hynecek explained. “We did some limited edition runs of cases where we digitally printed onto the back of our products, but you could feel the thickness of the ink, and the images were restricted to just the back surface. They weren’t really respectful of the imagery or of our cases for that matter. We wanted something where the art was seamlessly integrated with the case, where the line between form and function really get blurred.”

Enter the CandyShell Inked CSA Images cases that feature everything from classic vintage gear to futuristic sci-fi illustrations. Initially the CandyShell rejected traditional printing techniques, but three years of R&D exploits later, an unobstructed canvas was born.

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“We’ve launched something that we are really proud of, a solution that doesn’t compromise any of the protective nature of our cases and is bright, vivid, and best of all digital, so we can really take advantage of the massive CSA image archive, and do really unique, special, limited runs of product,” Hynecek said, noting the company’s Design for Impact philosophy that dictates each case exhibit 7 Signs of Protection without Compromise, including lab-tested durability and responsive button protection. “With the imagery, we started with a variety of images from the archive that really show off quality of the printing and are iconically CSA.”

Hynecek adds that the Plastock images are his favorite and although the cases are only available in a high-gloss finish, others are on their way. Compatible with iPhone 6s/6, iPhone 6s Plus/6 Plus, and Galaxy S6, the slim cases also offer military-grade protection against drops and other tech-damning accidents. This limited-edition run retails for $49.95 and is available at speckproducts.com.


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