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Ibon: the innovative suitcase for next generation travelers


Design a suitcase for the next generation traveler

Samsonite, the world leader in luggage products, and Achilles Design worked together on this innovation project. This collaboration boosted the company's continuous research of conceptual product solutions for the next generation traveler. Together we further developed and styled this new design, resulting in the Ibon suitcase.

The Ibon is the end result of a forward- thinking design effort between Samsonite and Achilles Design with a strong focus on usability and convenience. The suitcase is a newtype of luggage designed from the inside out, and built around stacks of clothing. It is tailored to the trend of slow travel, where the journey is just as important as the destination.

Samsonite Ibon features walk-through
Key innovations

Suitcase with first-of-its-kind features

The biggest and most distinctive features of Ibon are the transversal split and the central one-point closure system. These two features result in a fast and easy access while traveling. With numerous first-of-its-kind features, the Ibon creates new packing and travel routines:  
  • The transversal split is a true space saver when opening the suitcase and doesn’t compromise on interior capacity. The telescopic handle is integrated in the hinge, and is not in the way when packing.
  • The central one-point closure system allows for fast and easy access, moving away from multiple latches and long zipper paths. The built-in TSA lock features a latching mechanism to close the suitcase in one swift motion.
  • The patented interior compression system ensures a secure luggage retention on both sides of the suitcase. It also creates additional packing capacity, compared to traditional systems.
  • The central interior carry handle offers mobility during packing, allowing you to carry the opened suitcase from one room to the other, even through narrow doorways.
  • Dual handles on the corners and sides allow for ergonomic movement of the suitcase: walking up or down the stairs, lifting into a car boot, opening and closing.
Ibon offers easy and continuous access to your belongings while traveling. Making it the ideal travel companion for road trips, possibly combined with a flight and/or train travel (multimodal transport).

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Inspiring suppliers to innovate basketball


FIBA and the need for innovation in basketball

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) governs the game of basketball worldwide. FIBA has the mission to increase the importance of this beautiful game. To do so, the federation understands that it’s key to continuously innovate basketball. To strengthen the business of basketball, we must think of new value propositions for basketball equipment, innovative business models and service designs.


Collaborations with members of the FIBA network is critical to boost the value of basketball. That’s why FIBA wants these venue suppliers and manufacturers of basketball equipment to be inspired. They must feel empowered to work on innovative basketball products and services. Enter Achilles Design. FIBA asked our innovation consultant (Per Mans) as a public speaker to inspire and guide the members of this partner network.


The focus of our talk had to be on persuading and onboarding the FIBA network. We had to make these companies enthusiastic about the many possibilities to innovate their own product designs, their service designs and their business models.


Getting the FIBA audience on board

First we had to understand our audience. We’re talking about hundreds of companies from around the globe, coming together for a virtual innovation event. Many companies are also competitors from one another. That means they would not be as open as we’d like to share thoughts and innovative ideas. So we were challenged to keep our audience engaged with very few interactions - just a few live polls during our talk.


We started off with a high-energy video on sports innovation trends that we’ve created to shake up our audience. Only then we started the actual presentation. In our slides we could have just summed up and illustrated the many innovation opportunities for basketballs, flooring, hoops, fan engagement, training wearables ... But that would become boring fast. Bye bye innovation appetite.


To keep our diverse audience engaged we told the story of a fictional character named Emma. Using design thinking and storytelling techniques, we follow her from a very young age, through her entire basketball career until she retires from playing and adopts supporting and management roles. In all chapters of her life she approaches the game differently, with new user needs and desires. Each chapter allowed us to talk about different value propositions and innovation areas to consider. This format proved to be extremely engaging and empowering to our audience.

The result
From the FIBA headquarters in Geneva, the virtual live event was casted to all the suppliers and manufacturers around the world. Per, one of our innovation consultants got on stage and told the story of Emma. Through the story he touched upon the many innovation possibilities that could give Emma a better user experience. In just 90 minutes, each participant has felt the need to innovate and took this can-do attitude back to their companies, along with a set of  disruptive ideas to pitch in front of their managers. We're curious to see the next innovations they'll launch!

Curious about the live event? Then take a look at the recap video.


A strong lifestyle brand in drink and food ware


Keep Kambukka leader in trendy lifestyle drink and foodware

Not only did Kambukka hire us to develop trendy drinking solutions for people on the go, they also asked us to create new and trendy lifestyle prints that appeal to people with different personalities and tastes all over the world.
How we watch trends
It is a continuous part of our job to keep an eye on current innovations and trends in general. As such, we closely watch which colour and material trends are on vogue in the fashion world. This expertise helped us to develop a progressive trend palette for the new collections of Kambukka with their own design.
As soon as we have a good understanding of relevant market trends, we create various mood boards around multiple themes. These themes help us to determine the most appropriate design choices.

Implementation in a project

We developed a comprehensive trend model that gives Kambukka an ecosystem of all active macro trends and trends per relevant market. This model makes mutual coherence visible, while allowing to zoom in further on a particular trend. As a consequence, we were able to develop creative and innovative prints from different angles that meet their market and are consistent with the brand.
The result
A family of bottles with various funcionalities that look fresh, tasteful and that fits the taste of the time and which is liked by young and old. Nice to drink, nice to look at.
A pattern is more than a drawing. As a brand it is important to look for your own identity, also when choosing prints. What feeling do you want to radiate, and do you tirelessly follow the trends or do you look for your own language? Achilles was a great support on this journey. Together we created prints, patterns and colors that are completely Kambukka. The interaction between Achilles, our team, and our brand was important to obtain the end result that we have today.

Sabrina Ruzzi

Marketing Manager Kambukka


Travel light, drive smoothly and enjoy!


A new own bicycle brand

In 2020, Fiets! decided on an extension of their product range by introducing their own new bicycle brand. Achilles Design was asked to define the positioning of this new brand. On that basis, we developed a whole brand identity. We created a name, a suitable logo and the graphic interpretation of the new brand, as well as the appearance of the bicycles and guidelines for their assembly.
Achilles came up with the entire brand identity and positioning of Hiron. We created the branding of the bikes, in the shop window, and in the shops.

Travel light, drive smoothly and enjoy!

Everything we do starts with deep understanding and to try to get into the brand's lifestyle. Whether you're on your way to work or on a bike weekend with your friends, you want to be comfortable. People want a bike that can handle many rides, both a 'round trip' to the bakery and a trip on a new biking highway (‘fietsostrade’). HIRON takes you cycling – everywhere. Hiron's bikes carry you effortlessly on all Belgian roads. “Through wind and weather – free as a bird!"
Our first step was to dive into the world of cycling (which was not that hard because we're all cycling enthusiasts!)
Brand identity

Play around with visual elements

We were able to play around with some of Hiron's visual elements, along with the brand assets like the colors and logo. We played with the three colors, letters and photos. Cut, paste, mix - play with intuition. Ultimately, with all this background, it was much easier to exercise the visual storytelling.

Naming convention

HIRON is derived from the French word Hirondelle, or swallow. The name sounds international, but also has a Belgian character. Like the cyclist, a swallow is a migratory bird that flies through weather and wind.

Visual identity

Not coincidentally, a bird flies above HIRON. Tight and proud, he's going to show you the way. He points to freedom you discover when cycling. And especially he always remains his sympathetic self.

The colors

The colors associated with Hiron are soft shades of red, yellow and black. Our national tricolour, but somewhat weathered. Like she's been through a lot of sun, weather and wind. They are subtly used in communication.


The playful freedom Hiron wants to radiate is reflected in the lettering with the letters of H I R O N. While the word (HirON) exudes reliability and the letters themselves appear rather robust and functional, they pop up 'dancing' in communications, to emphasize the winged freedom of the cyclist.
"At Hiron we want you not to ride, but to fly and feel as free as a bird."
The bicycles
From a distance, the Hiron bikes have their modest appearance, fit in many environments, but retain a quality look. Closer you will discover their playful character in the fine details and colours. With Hiron we want to show that quality, accessible healing, and inclusiveness can exist in harmony.
Hiron bikes are of high quality so that as a cyclist you can always enjoy every ride without any worries. Quality products and an enjoying cyclist are the two pillars of Hiron, which are always put in the spotlight. Both photography and typography exude playful freedom, while copy and font are sharp and bold. You know immediately what Hiron stands for. You see and experience that intuitively in every communication.
Achilles was the perfect partner for the creative development of this own new brand. They thought from A to Z about the development and creation of Hiron! It was a valuable & constructive collaboration!

Sofie Priels

Colruyt Group


Stay visible for 360° around


360° visibility

With Veloské, Belgium Bike Group wants to develop an unique E-bike with a focus on safety. Good quality components like the brakes and tires give you the reliability. And a unique 360° integrated light system gives you added visibility and security in traffic.
"Create a frame with a differentiating design, avoiding the use of manufacturing that requires expensive moulding and tooling."
Design sprint
We aided Belgium Bike Group with the concept design of a signature frame with integrated lights, as well as a strong brand identity. The frame itself is constructed mostly out of bended round tubing and milled connecting blocks. These blocks proved to be most cost efficient way to integrate the amber coloured lights for the 360° visibility.
Achilles Design was involved from the early start of this project; from the first inspirational concept sketches to the final detailing necessary for tooling and production. Offering a lean and cooperative design approach, tailored to the challenges, speed and budget of a start-up company.
Design for prototyping
From the early stages we went for a design for prototyping approach. Achilles Design implemented all their expertise and experience in bicycle design to set up a feasible concept in a limited time. 3D CAD modeling is extremely valuable tool for that. The avoidance of expensive tooling costs was key in the project. This gave us the opportunity to translate the concept into an actual rideable prototype.
Brand identity
A new brand and a new product also includes a suitable identity. The philosophy about 360° visibility continues in the naming, logo and product graphics. Cape Hatteras (USA) and its lighthouse along the Atlantic coast inspired us. Its iconic shape and stripings became the main building blocks of the brand.
Veloské is an e-bike with an unique character that strikes a great balance between reliability and safety.


A premium cycling brand named after the most famous rider ever!


Eddy Merckx

Every sport has its legends, but cycling has a living legend: Eddy Merckx, the most successful cyclist of all time, is the top authority on human powered speed. For several years, Eddy Merckx cycles maintained a strategic design partnership with Achilles Design to guarantee a unique design language throughout their entire bicycle range.
Achilles covered the full spectrum of design work by integrating solid industrial design with sleek styling. Achilles Design contributed its distinguished branding and refined graphic design capabilities, from integrating new trends in bicycle design to the graphic layout of the annual sales pitch.
Product design

Power under control.

Eddy Merckx Cycles wants to offer high quality bicycles for demanding racing cyclists. New models all have to fit a distinctive design identity, defined by technical requirements such as stiffness, compliance, geometries and UCI regulations. Complex surface modelling allows us to achieve a good tension between stiffness, stability and safety; technical features like cable integration, seat post clamps, and hardware mounts – all combined in an attractive design.
Brand design

Experience Eddy's racing spirit

All model names are linked to 1 of the 525 victories in Eddy’s incredible career. Each frame is developed around unique characteristics. The graphics should embrace the industrial design. Blending Eddy’s true racing spirit and future market expectations results into a differentiating appearance of each and every bike.

Make styling proposals that actually work.

Rapid prototyping of detailed CAD models is the perfect preparation for mold drawing and advanced composite lay-up technique. We translate functional and behavioral specifications into a manufacturable look and feel for the carbon, aluminum and steel frames of Eddy Merckx Cycles.
Applying graphics on a bicycle frame requires accurate shaping and dimensioning of decals or paint masks. We combine 3D models with hand on cutting and pasting to define attractive but feasible designs.
The result
A complete range of highest quality bicycles for demanding racing cyclists.


Seriously streetwise


The official FIBA 3x3 World Tour basketball backstop

When Schelde Sports, an ABEO group company, asked us to transform their SAM 225 Club basketball goal into a device that is fit for the FIBA 3X3 World Tour, we jumped at the chance to show them our skills on the court. In just a few weeks, we came up with the final product.
“The true challenge was to translate the wishes of the customer into a feasible design in a really short period of time.”

Training the innocent looking SAM 225 Club into its new tougher looks

It had to have enough muscle to stand up against all weather conditions, be safe and secure, and still be able to deliver the messages of the sponsors. Together with padding specialists Coolen from Eindhoven, and thanks to Schelde Sports’s expertise and know-how, our design was detailed to perfection and quickly realized.
“We made it real thanks to a full-scale prototype.”

A portable competition basketball backstop unit

This basketball tower is fitted with the SAM (Spring Assisted Mechanism) system, a Pro Action 180° dunk ring, an anti-whip net and a full set protection padding for front, sides, backboard and neck. It’s completely freestanding thanks to the integrated extra counter-weights, no floor anchoring required. It’s ideal for indoor and outdoor events thanks to its extra thick and strong paddings with urban look. It can be moved by 1 person and positioned using the APF (Automatic Pedestal Feet) system.
The result
Unique game, unique backstop! As a result of that FIBA chose Schelde Sports as their official partner for the FIBA 3X3 World Tour and all FIBA 3X3 World championships.
We are proud to team up with FIBA and become the official backstop unit supplier for the 3x3 World Tour and the 3x3 World Championships.

Bart Prinssen, ABEO

ABEO, Schelde Sports – Managing Director


The royal way to explore


A high quality e-bike with a revolutionary navigation cockpit

We helped Kingo to provide sightseers with a fun, novel and healthy way of exploring the places they visit, while being at the wheel of their own experience.
“A smart guide e-bike, equipped with fascinating routes for tourists to explore."

Everybody Kingo?

The hotels and the tourists are only two groups of stakeholders within the Kingo service system. To thoroughly understand all of Kingo’s players, we organized co-creation workshops with users, who fit the Kingo profiles. This helped us to form a complete picture, to cater to their needs and wishes and to provide them with exciting value propositions.

Shaping our ideas

Through sketches, basic 3D models and rough breadboards, we explored valuable solutions for the many challenges at hand. This included the general cockpit build-up, attachment to the bike, waterproofing and integration of connectors, speakers, power button and other design constraints. Thanks to our experience, a thorough analysis of the e-bikes market, and Kingo's company values, we could quickly list requirements for the bike frame and all of its components. To start talks with potential suppliers, we created a smart photo montage of existing frames, newly developed components and graphic decals which simulated the perfect Kingo e-bike.

Innovative electronics

Zenso, our privileged partner for state-of-the-art electronic design, took care of the internal hardware. Together we selected components and checked for potential interference with the housing and their detailed 3D model of the PCB. Joining forces, we solved problems regarding thermoregulation, cable management, and faster assembly.

User interface of the navigation cockpit

The digital user interface has a 1024 x 600 resolution touchscreen and provides the user with different route options. On time notifications of points of interest and points of eating and drinking give the user information in a way that was never seen before. Using barebone wireframes we constructed the structure of the app, the icons, and the animations that will support the user having a new way of experiencing an e-bike ride. In every wireframe iteration the icon design and styling of the app were evaluated and redirected to meet the needs of the end-user until it was deemed a perfect fit.


By sourcing the right parts and materials, within budget, we could quickly perform tests on the first prototypes. Checking waterproofness, finetuning antenna placement, and evaluating readability of different displays we were able verify these critical functionalities in an early stage of the design process.
"Customer journeys, experience maps and service blueprints delivered a list of challenging requirements.”

The most comfortable way to discover an area

The Kingo Smart Bike is a connected e-bike equipped with a 10 inch cockpit that operates as a true bicycle board computer. It displays real-time telemetric bike data, such as speed, battery percentage and distance, and has a high-end bicycle navigation system. The Kingo Explore App itself offers an on-board digital touristic cycle map with three different navigation options. In the ‘discover the region’ modus, tourists can freely explore the region. The map on screen shows the cycle networks and touristic highlights of the region. Together with the ‘search by address’ option, the cyclist is in full charge to adapt his journey at any given moment. Finally, ‘predefined routes’ with points of interests to visit offer tourists full guidance for their trip.
The result
The royal way! After a few iterations, Kingo could launch the bikes at a fine selection of hotels. At this very moment customers are enjoying the Kingo experience.
Achilles Design was the perfect match for us as a startup: from first design thinking and ideation sketches to photorealistic renderings and prototyping techniques. All steps made it easier for us to validate our assumptions."

Cédric Langer

Co-founder - COO


Ride Ellio


Next generation speed pedelec that replaces the car

With Ellio, Intu-e-Drive aims to develop a bicycle that could be a full-fledged replacement for a car, a high end speed pedelec that’s safe, reliable and intuitive to ride. This is achieved through a series of innovative features: a 2 wheel drive system, automatic gear changes, autonomous braking, a powerful battery and intelligent control software. This bicycle is an innovative mobility solution that takes away the uncertainties of being on the go.
Achilles Design was involved from the early start of this project; from the first garage built model inspirational concept sketches to the final detailing necessary for tooling and production. Offering a lean and cooperative design approach, tailored to the challenges, speed and budget of a start-up company.

Moving fast and efficient towards relevant product-market fit concepts

We supported Intu-e-Drive in the search for a product architecture that merged all the technical requirements (frame design, battery, motors, controller, etc.) with the functionality and desirability of a high-end speed pedelec. Building upon our expertise in bicycle design and market knowledge we are able to quickly develop design concepts with a high feasibility rate. Allowing us to move fast and efficient towards relevant product-market fit concepts in design sprints.
Develop for prototyping

Verify and improve ride quality and appearance

Initial concept drawings are refined towards the build of a prototype. Many cycling products can only be truly tested on a physical and functional prototype. Consecutive development and prototype cycles allows us to verify and improve its ride quality and appearance, but also to test technical, mechanical and electronic solutions.
Detail for industrialization

Our experience in different disciplines

Achilles Design played an extensive role in the industrialization process, going over all the components and defining their technical requirements and in respect to the intended look and feel. Our experience in different disciplines such as frame production, assembly, plastic mouldings, electric components, electronic controllers, etc. allows us to support you all the way to a finalized and functional product.
The result
Ellio is the next generation of speed pedelecs with fully integrated safety and intuitive riding features. An innovative solution for a future proof and sustainable mobility.


It’s in the bag!


Develop each year a range of school bags for all ages

Kangourou, a private label of Colruyt Group, offers a wide variety of school related products. Together with the rebranding of their writing supplies, Achilles Design also helped to develop their range of school bags.   Kangourou offers satchels and backpacks for children of all ages, from toddlers to tweenies to teenagers. With all of these ages having different needs and ideas about what is trendy, it is hard to create a line which seems coherent and lives up to the brand, unless you have a solid handle on the core values of the brand. From this foundation you can build up the range. The functionality of the individual bags and the look and feel are thoroughly analyzed and improved upon year after year.


Mood boards on current trends inspire our fashion designers to create new characters, illustrations, prints, patterns and color palettes. They also take a closer look at different fabrics and sewing details.
We invited children in the age groups ranging from kindergarten to teenagers to our co-creation workshops. During these workshops, we gathered feedback on our first designs and let them work on their own ideal school bag. Like this, we learn what is trending.

The children choose via custom made online survey

In the next stage we ask a large group of children to review our designs in a custom made online survey tool. By scoring different designs and adding comments on why they do or don't like a design, the favorite designs come forward.
Ready for production

Optimizing the functionalities of all different models

Handy zippers, additional pockets, attractive labels, durable velcro, reflective piping for safety and a rain cover for common Belgian weather conditions.
The result
Working with children gave us the fresh perspective that allowed us to set up an inspiring range of products.
"I prefer story-doing over storytelling. No fairytales but real stories, made by children."

Sofie Priels

Brand Manager


Reinventing the drinking bottle


A modern and appealing drinking bottle that is fun to use

Kambukka hired us to develop trendy drinking solutions for people on the go that suit every occasion. By combining aesthetics with smart functionality, we helped them to realize a broad range of drinkware that fits everybody’s lifestyle and personality.

Together we stand stronger

To meet the needs of different kinds of consumers all around the world our product designers, branding experts and innovation consults had to work in close collaboration with the Kambukka management. Achilles Design accompanied the client in the whole process, from early sketches to industrial production.

A smart range of thermal and water bottles

We like to introduce you to Etna, Olympus, Elton, Lagoon and Reno. All of them fully leakproof, available in fashionable colors and providing a smooth drinking experience thanks to the patent pending product features.

A lid for any occasion

Do you like your drinks icy cold on a hot summer day? Just combine a thermal mug with the lid of a water bottle. You can mix and match all bottles and lids to customize a perfect drinking experience.


Snapclean® makes them very easy to clean. Just pinch and pull to remove the inner mechanism and prepare the lid for a thorough dishwasher cleaning.

3-in-1 lid

Slowly waking up behind your desk with your morning cup of coffee in hand is a different kind of setting than hastily knocking back an espresso on your way to your next meeting. That’s exactly why the 3-in-1 lid has multiple positions: ‘push to drink’, ‘always open’ and ‘locked’.

The result
Don't think, just drink! At first, Kambukka launched its products in Europe, but later also in China, Canada, Russia and Australia. Effectively, Kambukka pushes the boundaries in an ever-growing market of reusable drinking bottles.
Starting with a rough concept of many loose ideas, we succeeded, together with Achilles, in not only omitting the superfluous, but also in making many difficult decisions. Slowly but surely Kambukka became a real brand with its own typical design language.

Sabrina Ruzzi

Marketing Manager Kambukka
There are too many products of inferior quality. We do not only work with high-quality materials, but pay attention to finish and ease of use.

Stijn Lowette

CEO Kambukka