centurion card

centurion card

Client

amex

Timeline

2010

Services

product

experience

Website

Designing a luxury unboxing for the world's most exclusive credit card

Designing a luxury unboxing for the world's most exclusive credit card

Challenge

The American Express Centurion card (known as the original black card), was the most exclusive and luxury credit card offering Amex offers. Its existence was not public information for years, and the means to join this exclusive club were even more obscure. It was important to build an almost folkloric reputation to the invite-only program with a memorable welcome experience for new card holders, showcasing benefits and perks while exemplifying the status and service of the program at every touchpoint.

Solution

Object Quality
The actual card was originally made from rigid laminated titanium— long before the current trend of metal cards. This was a groundbreaking detail, and at the time only a few humans on earth could operate the machine that made these cards. The card was designed to be a statement, a piece of art that would last. Things that are heavy connote reverence, and is noticeable to anyone holding it. This also applies to the chime sound the object makes when it is dropped— an intentional design detail as credit cards are often handed over, or place on a surface.

Unboxing
Details matter in luxury experiences, and this goes for even the smallest and seemingly inconsequential parts. The box for the 2009-2012 era of Centurion welcome packages were oversized and multilayered in a way that makes the user have to slow down and be present for the big reveal. The box itself hints at the cuff and sleeve of a chauffeur, and takes reference from luxury timepiece boxes.

Connotations
Subtle referencing to lifestyle, status, and promise can be found throughout the entire experience holding the centurion. From the sound of crystal during a toast, the cuff of a tuxedo, and a passport's cover, the product experience is meant to convey the life ahead, and act as a ceremony of initiation into the club.

*please note most images of the 2010 kit are no longer on the internet, along with most of past Amex unboxing