POC is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It began in snow sports, before expanding into cycling, and offers helmets, clothing eyewear and armour in both sectors. Its sub-divisions include the POC Aid digital silo sub-label and POC Lab, an informal panel of esteemed medical practitioners that includes Claes Hultling of the Karolinska Institute.
There have been spectacular successes along the way, lucky breaks – notably Ryder Hesjedal’s adoption of POC’s DID sunglasses – as well as hard lessons (the first batch of ski helmets supplied by the manufacturing partner were of unsaleable quality).
Two elements have underpinned POC’s growth: its self-imposed “mission” and its unmistakable design language. Both are further expressions of Ytterborn’s personality.
POC’s goal is to do all it can to “save lives and reduce the consequences of accidents”, specifically for cyclists and “gravity sports athletes”. It is impossible to visit POC and to remain unaware of this. The staff have it down pat and it is the first thing one encounters on entering the office, printed on a giant poster of the Octal helmet.
Their headquarters in Stockholm’s Södermalm district hums with what might be described as active silence. It is quiet and calm, but creative. Conversations are held at a civilised volume. No one raises their voice and there is no sense of hurry. Of course, we may have arrived at a convenient time, but a similar peace reigned on our first visit a month earlier.
The design language is described, internally, at least, as “POC-ish”. Even this in-house adjective is typically POC. There is something quintessentially Scandinavian in the simplicity of POC’s designs, and if it comes instinctively to founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn’s designers, then even they will tell you that the finished product is the result of hard graft. Complexity is far easier to achieve. A perfect union of form and function takes effort.
1 10 POC – a collaboration celebrating a decade of excellence. Coming soon.