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These are six oval-shaped Marbig plastic key tags with metal split rings, manufactured by ACCO Australia, New South Wales. Each tag is made from coloured plastic: blue, green, red, orange, yellow and clear. Inside each key tag is a paper label.
These Marbig keys tags are a redesign of the older rectangular-shaped Marbig key tags. The main aims of the redesign were to achieve cost reduction in the manufacturing process while also updating the visual appeal and function of the traditional key tag. These aims were achieved by reducing the bulkiness of the product, creating a contemporary oval form while also minimising the use of materials. A new type of hinge was developed to integrate with the new form.
The key tags are an example of a small project undertaken by Nielsen Design Associates, and contrasts to their more complex design projects such as the Betachek blood glucose meter. While the key tags are a simple utilitarian object they are the result of a creative development process. They represent the diversity of work undertaken by Nielsen Design Associates, one of Sydney's oldest industrial design studios, and indicate the success that Nielsen have had in using design to improve the efficiency of manufacture.
Nielsen Design Associates, established by Carl Nielsen in 1961, was one of the first industrial design consulting businesses in Sydney. In 1985 Carl Neilsen's first employee, David Wood, became a director of the group along with senior designers Sandy McNeil and Adam Laws. As of 2009, Wood and McNeil are the group's current directors. From a studio in Hunters Hill, Nielsen's designers develop products for a broad range of industries, from telecommunications to medical devices. About half their work is for clients outside Australia, mainly in Europe and Asia.