Discover Germany, Issue 29, August 2015

Page 20

2_0_DiscoverGermany_August 2015_Issue29:Scan Magazine 1



Page 20

Discover Germany | Design | Factotum

Bert An anti-stress ball with special form “My Bert – and I am free of stress”, is the idea behind this unique stress ball developed by an Italian comic artist. The flexible material and design makes him the perfect advertising medium for companies and a great gift for customers or longterm business relations. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN | PHOTOS: MEIN BERT

Bert comes in many forms and designs: Dressed in Lederhosen with a green hat he looks like a typical Bavarian, having Bayern-Berta as female companion. Berta of course wears a Dirndl. Professions or sports inspire many Bert figures: ski Bert and baseball Bert, fire fighter Bert and farmer Bert, builder Bert and chef Bert. Some figures are a bit more imaginative like Bert dressed as a Roman senator or super Bert – a fatter and more yellow counterpart to the muscular Superman everyone knows from television. In total there are more than 50 different Bert types. Bert is about 90 millimetres high and weighs 34 grams. Made from a polyurethane foam he is soft and can be pressed together allowing those holding him to relieve stress and tension. After be-

20 | Issue 29 | August 2015

ing squeezed Bert always returns to his natural form. When the manufacturer first introduced Bert there was only one model: a little man with a boiler suit and a screwdriver. But in only a short time he gained everybody’s heart with his winning smile and relaxed exterior. This was the intention of Italian comic artist Massimo Indrio who designed Bert. The sales team soon started to search for a name and found one: Their colleague Bert Schmitz looked rather similar to Indrio’s first sketch and became name patron. The original Bert with his boiler suit is still available – in many different colours – but other Bert models have become quite a competition. EUwide utility patents today protect Bert’s unique design.

With his permanent smile and cheerful personality, Bert is an ideal advertising medium, not only because of the many different designs but also because Bert can be customised. When ordering 100 pieces or more customers can order an advertising print for example on Bert’s breast or belly. This can be a slogan or a logo. Other Bert products are currently being developed (like a soft toy Bert) or have already been brought to market like the key pendant Bert that, like his bigger brother, comes in different designs.