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Industrial Design of Access Card Reader

Customercard-reader design

Private Russian company producing security systems and access control devices.


To develop industrial design of a case for non-contact access card reader. The device will be installed in offices and must have a design that will demonstrate modernity, reliability and security of the installed access control equipment.

Main requirements:

  • The device must have plastic case.
  • Approximate device size is not more than 60 х 120 х 20 mm.
  • The back panel of the case must have wall-mount slots (not less than two).
  • The device must provide two self-tappers to allow mounting the device on the wall and they must be obligatory hidden either by a cover; or the case must consist of back panel (mounted on the wall) and front panel (fixed to the back panel and serving as a cover). The device must have minimum of constituent parts.
  • The front panel or case sides must have LED-indicators reflecting the device operation modes:
      • access allowed or Off-guard mode (green light);
      • access prohibited or On-guard mode (red light).

The indicators can be implemented as highlighted image icons or case parts. One area of the case can be used for alternating highlight color. The use of diffused light is preferred to point-light LEDs.


On the style definition stage we created seven sketches of device cases in different stylistic directions, where we have elaborated design and considered all the requirements for case design and internal arrangement of main elements: 

1) Arrow. The case is implemented as a pulled-apart or open element, which emits the light from the ‘split’. This variant is modern and dynamic.


2) Drop. Harmonious, natural form of a drop. In glossy implementation (silver or dark glass; frosted glass can be used as well) it will imitate real water. It will bring some life into any interior. For better understanding of functions, the device has an icon showing where access card must be pressed. The light source is located inside. The rounded form of the case will allow seeing the LED light from different angles.


3) Fire. Flat case with a small molding/bending, through which the light will be streaming. The color of the light will change depending on operation mode. The case is highlighted across the whole perimeter, which creates the feeling of soaring. The case has special ‘dots’ where the access card must be pressed.


4) Flat. Technical form with an icon showing where to press the access card. Transparent insertion transmits the light, which will be visible from any angle.


5) Organic. Plastic bio-form. It can be made of glossy dark glass, under which LED-indicators will be located.


6) Quadro. Compact and simple form. The central part of the case can be either convex or flat. LED-indicators are located under dark glossy glass.


7) Vulkano. The emphasis on the central part of the composition. Illumination of the ‘disk’ and perimeter.


After discussing the details of the created sketches and clarifying their constructive benefits, the customer made a decision to use the first variant - ‘Arrow’.

After elaborating the chosen solution, we prepared the rendering of the final case design for access card reader in three color solutions (silver, black and dark blue) and passed it to the customer.

dark-blue card reader

siver-black card reader


  • Modern design, reflecting reliability and security of the device.
  • Simplicity of case assembly.
  • Small number of case parts allows decreasing costs for producing press-molds.

Project management tools
Labor input
10 man-days
Project completion period
0,5 month

The goal of industrial design is to create ergonomic and intrinsically attractive products | info@dolnikoff.com