Smith - Helmet Series

Protection, innovation, and style.

We see product as the physical incarnation of a brand. After resetting a strong brand platform and identity, we were excited to dig into product design. Over a series of years we have been able to craft Smith’s now-dominant position in snow and bike helmets. In every one of the helmets we’ve designed, we’ve incorporated the signature Koroyd material for unsurpassed protection while also delivering a style that fits the culture and audience. The innovation and design work for the Ignite helmet has truly set us apart, leading to one of the fastest aero helmets on the market.

  • Product ID
  • Product Strategy
  • Line Planning
Hand sketches of helmet designs

Faster than fast.

Designing one of the fastest race helmets on the market isn’t easy. It took rounds and rounds of iteration and tuning to discover the insights that would set us ahead of the pack. We worked in close partnership with the Smith engineering team to deliver one of the fastest and safest helmets in the market. The Ignite is now setting the pace for an industry focused on fast. At the same time, we were working on The Trace helmet, a product designed to deliver maximum ventilation and protection. Even with its maximum ventilation, the Trace helmet ended up testing faster than most of the aero helmets on the market, a result of our design and engineering insights.

Smith helmet on a black background
Person getting a smith helmet ready to test in a wind tunnel
"We let performance innovation lead and influence every detail of the Ignite helmet."
Smith helmet in a wind tunnel with air smoothly flowing over it

Tuned and refined.

Smith made their entrance into the helmet market with the original Forefront helmet. We were able to take a look at the initial design and tune it to better fit the updated industrial design system while delivering more protection and features for our riders. With improved coverage, fit, and airflow, the Forefront 2 took what Smith started with and truly elevated it to the next level.

"You don’t have to compromise style for performance. Every product is a curation, a meaningful blend of modern taste and proven performance."

Premium protection, accessible style.

The challenge was to design an accessible road and mountain bike helmet that featured premium protection. With careful design and detailing, we were able to design the Network and Session - some of the top-selling helmets in the Smith line. The subtle surfacing and thoughtful integration of the Koroyd material make for a helmet that delivers style and protection in unprecedented ways.

Sketches of helmets on people

Pinnacle snow performance.

Our work on the Quantum helmet was the first expression of our newly crafted industrial design language for Smith. We were able to incorporate all aspects of the brand and product principles with this design. The hardshell upper delivers the durability that our audience demands while the in-mold lower section cuts the weight down dramatically. The integration of the Koroyd material throughout the entire helmet delivers lightweight protection that is unmatched. The comfort, fit, and airflow adjustability are also best-in-class.

Person wearing Smith snow helmet and goggles on the side of a mountain

Style, comfort, and protection.

The ask was to design a helmet versatile enough for the progressive freestyle rider looking for style, comfort, and protection. From a design standpoint, we developed a system that could be worn with or without the liner and allows riders to wear their goggles under or over the helmet by leveraging an innovative strap hanger strategy, a BOA fit system, and a liner that is as comfortable as a beanie. The adoption of The Code around the world has proven that our design insights were right on track.

Hand sketch iterations of snow helmet design
"Performance innovation lead and influenced every product we designed. With that focus we developed a distinct look for their products that reflects the Smith brand principles at their core, helping to further unify their voice and refocus on their mission to elevate life beyond walls."
Person on a mountain wearing Smith helmet and goggles