Leitz Icon Smart Labeling System

Lead DesignerDan Harden
Project LinkView
Prize(s)2nd Place in Other Products Designs / Other Products designs
Entry Description

The Leitz Icon Smart Labeling System is a compact, portable label printer for consumer and business use. It makes adhesive and non-adhesive labels for a variety of purposes including shipping, personal organization, inventory management etc. Printing is simple. Insert one of 4 different label size rolls; turn the machine on; then send your label design and quantity wirelessly from any computer, tablet or smartphone. Icon is portable due to its wireless function, battery option and convenient handle form. The label rolls are sold as separate consumables, made of compostable paper pulp. Each roll is a self-contained package and cartridge, serving as both the protective shipping box as well as the fully functional printer cartridge.

Icon has a unique and memorable form that is directly derived from its printing function and space-efficient component configuration. The large mass at the back holds the label cartridges, the "bridge" contains the print head, and the dramatic overhang at the front contains a vertical label cutter. The overhang serves as a perfect ergonomic handle. Controls are nicely grouped on the leading.

Label rolls, offered in four widths, drop in the top of the printer. Each label roll is contained in a paper cartridge made of recycled thermo-formed paper pulp. This robust natural material functions as both the cartridge body as well as its own protective shipping box. The green “visor”, made of recyclable plastic, is a multi-purpose paper handling detail. It hinges up during installation to provide the paper-to-print head interface, eliminating the need for manual paper feeding like all other printers. A tiny NV RAM chip in this visor communicates roll size to the printer and remaining label quantity to the user. Just drop it in, close the lid, and print. Never before has a printer offered this kind of convenience and environmental sensibility.


Whipsaw is an Industrial Design & Engineering consulting firm located in San Jose and San Francisco, California. Whipsaw focuses on innovative product design, UX, development and branding. Whipsaw creates products and experiences across many diverse categories including consumer electronics, housewares, medical, wearables, computing, scientific, industrial, and business products. Whipsaw’s clients range from large corporations like Avaya, Bosch, Cisco, Clorox, Ford, GE, Google, Haier, Intel, Leitz, Merck, Motorola, Nike, Olympus, Samsung, Sony, and TP-Link plus exciting startups like Apnicure, Avinger, Highfive, Livescribe, OM Signal and Sprimo.

The Whipsaw team has created hundreds of successful products for its clients. Our market hits include the Google OnHub, the original Google Chromecast, Nike+ FuelBand, Dell Precision computers, Livescribe smartpens, Dropcam security cameras, Eton emergency radios, the Adiri baby bottle, Cisco/Linksys routers, Yubo lunch boxes, Intel healthcare tablets, the Kaleidescape Cinema One, Leapfrog LeapPads, Roku TV boxes, Topcon survey equipment, and TP-Link networking devices.

Whipsaw has won over 240 Industrial Design awards including many IDEA, Red Dot, iF, MDEA, G-Marks, CES Innovations, and D&AD awards.

Fast Company magazine ranked Whipsaw among the Top 5 design firms in the world and honored Whipsaw CEO Dan Harden as one of the 100 most creative people in business.

Whipsaw’s creations are in the permanent collection at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.