Tullen Snips



Tullen Snips is a household brand name in New Zealand and abroad, long hailed as a classic Kiwi invention.  First designed and made in New Zealand in the 1970’s, many people still have a pair of the original Tullen Snips somewhere around their home.

Over 30 years later – this Kiwi brand has been revitalised and redesigned.

The challenge was to reimagine the aesthetic and function of the Snips for the modern home, yet retain the nostalgia of the original design language so it was intrinsically recognisable as ‘Tullen’. Re-establishing that connection through the form language was critical since the purchasing decisions of the target audience would likely be influenced by fond memories of using the preceding Snips products over many years.

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Blender began by tearing down the original Tullen model produced in the 1970’s, to pinpoint what had made them so popular and select which elements needed to be included in the redesign. 

Using a combination of sketching, foam modelling and iterative 3D print prototyping – the design team progressively developed the ergonomics, aesthetics and functionality of the new snips. Blender was especially conscious of the small functional details, such as the redesigned profile preventing the spring from jamming,  as it did in the 1970’s model. A spring-loaded hinge was added to the design to keep the Snips closed safely, when stored in a drawer. When ready to use, this is released simply by squeezing the handles. 

The Blender team was also responsible for the design of the accompanying Snips Holder which allows for wall mounting. The front cover is easily removed from the Holder, for initial installation and cleaning as necessary. The product packaging is minimal and places the focus solely on the product – a key point of difference from competing products Blender observed. The graphic design is deliberately understated and created in monotone to this effect. Working closely with Tullen’s manufacturing partners, Blender was able to provide support and production files to enable tooling and manufacture.

The product was released in December 2019 and has been quickly welcomed back into NZ homes and abroad.


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