Nicknamed “Snow White’s Coffin” the Braun SK55 Phonosuper is one of the most iconic product designs of the last century. Conceptualised by Dieter Rams and Hans Gugelot in 1956, the radio and record player stood in direct contrast to the highly decorative options created by their competitors at the time. Its clean aesthetic and quality construction quickly secured it as a must-have household item and ensured the longevity of the Braun brand.
A descendant of the original SK4 model, the SK55 Phonosuper was an important creation for Braun as they strived to forge a new visual identity. With a plexiglass lid, white painted body and elm wood sides the record player was revolutionary at the time, however, remains influential today as an example of simple, considered design. It was this product that redefined domestic audio equipment as its own entity and not as faux furniture pieces seen in previous radios and record players.
Dieter Rams was a cornerstone of Braun’s brand identity, working as head of the design department for over thirty years. His dedication to quality craftsmanship led him to create a list of ten principles of good design that are referred to by creatives across a range of industries even today. They call for products to be useful, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly to name a few. Rams was responsible for many memorable products made by Braun, with arguably none more iconic than the SK55. Its simple design is as relevant to today’s culture as it was in 1956 and it has become a well sought-after collector’s item.