Inside the Design: The Teig Lamp
One of the best parts about being a lighting manufacturer is the unique opportunity we have to design, develop, and bring to life our own exclusive assortment. It takes hard work and dedication across our teams to produce modern heirlooms the old-fashioned way (learn more about our factory here), which is why today we wanted to take some time to give credit where credit is due and celebrate a collection that has brought much joy to our hearts (and spaces).
Lovingly named after the German word for “dough,” the Teig is a dimmable table lamp with a perfectly proportioned glass shade to assist wherever additional light is needed. Inspired by one of our Product Designer's years abroad in Germany, we aimed to create a small-scaled lamp that celebrates the joy found in simple, everyday moments — in this case, getting up early to eat freshly baked bread from a local bakery. Finding ourselves captivated by Teig's charm and origin story, we spent some time with Product Designer + Developer, Tana, to hear how this perfectly petite lamp came to be.
"We aimed to create a small-scaled lamp that celebrates the joy found in simple, everyday moments — in this case, getting up early to eat freshly baked bread."
Tell us about Teig! How did the design come about?
With any new lighting, it’s paramount to consider its function and the intended environments it will live in. We take a good look at our current collection and try to find new opportunities. With many of our lamps providing more directional light, Teig serves as a glowy, ambient light. Its petite scale is easy to style on a counter, desk, side table, or bookshelf. I love it for bedside and living rooms because of its dimmability.
From a style standpoint, we were inspired by organic forms found in mid-century lamp designs. The iconic mushroom lamps of previous eras took on so many unique silhouettes, and we wanted to give this small lamp some joyful personality through its form and color.
Dijkstra Lamp (via Etsy), Mushroom Laurel Lamp (via Incollect)
Could you walk us a bit more through the thought behind the name?
In the design process, we use working names for a fixture and the many components. Usually, parts get super technical names, but in the case of Teig, its frosted glass shade was nicknamed "dough" by our Product Engineer, Brandt. As we labored over the shape, we told Brandt, “we want it to look like dough, rising.” Fitting for 2020, the year of sourdough starters, right?
From there, I suggested the German word for dough, which is "Teig" (pronounced "tiger" without the "r"). In part, this was my nod to Germany. I lived there for a year after college and ate plenty of delicious bread! Saying this may be controversial, but with more bakeries and bread varieties than most other countries, I think Germany is the bread capital of the world!
How long did it take to develop Teig?
While it always feels like a quick sprint to design a new product, the development cycle from inspiration to creation to launch is a marathon of hard work from every department in the building, taking roughly 16 months to complete.
We often hear people quip “the design is in the details. What are some of the key details that set Teig apart?
I should start with the knob because it is such a central component to Teig. We intentionally made it the star of the show, with its contrasting color and front-and-center placement. Its slightly tapered shape makes it easy to grasp, and the audible on/off click has a sort of reverent charm.
I find the pairing of shapes and the scale of this fixture to be appealing and original. The dough-like form of the ellipsoid glass shade is familiar and comforting, while the color options give you a playful pop or a more subdued calm. To me, it's all these things together that set Teig apart.
What were some of the highlights/challenges during development?
It may go without saying that the challenges are what make the final outcome so rewarding. We worked tirelessly on this design, down to every radius and angle. With weekly check-ins, we reviewed countless versions of the base and knob. For me, the biggest highlight was color exploration.
That said, I tend to enjoy the technical bits too. When everything takes shape, it is really satisfying. It takes a hard-working team to pull everything off amidst hard deadlines (this is me giving a shout-out to my Schoolhouse team)!
“Designed in the landscape of 2020, this petite lamp's playful palette and charming silhouette inspire joy and lightness. In many ways, Teig is a tangible reminder that the future is bright.”
Tell us more about Teig’s color combinations. Could you share some sources of inspiration and how you selected the hues?
Using existing colors found in our assortment, we were thrilled to explore fun, new color combinations. We liked the idea of celebrating the dimmer dial and giving it a contrasting color. With consideration to knobs, we pulled inspiration from vintage electronics. Several of our existing and more industrial colors were referential of the 50s-80s era of office supplies.
The warm neutral colors pay homage to vintage calculators and typewriters, while the vivid reds and yellows are reminiscent of Dieter Ram's designed appliances. We let that, and our instincts guide us.
Braun Hairdryer by Dieter Rams, Braun Aromatic Packaging (via Das Programm)
If you had to sum up Teig in three words, what words would you use?
Cheerful, useful, and homey.
Last but not least, we have to ask — are you getting one for your own home + which color is your favorite and why?
I love them all and am honestly having a hard time deciding. My favorite is the Industrial Yellow with the Persimmon knob, but I also love the neutral calm of the Ash. I may need to buy one for each room?