Quality System – back from obscurity
From its inception in 1965 until its demise in 1985, Danish lighting company Quality System was hugely successful, and its products, designed by artist Flemming Brylle and industrial designer Preben Jacobsen, sold in the millions. For the next two decades, however, the company’s name was all but forgotten, due partly to the fact that its products – mostly self-assembly plastic lamps – carried no branding except on their packaging, which would tend to be discarded once the light was assembled.
Even the company’s metal-bodied Moon Light, which continues to pop up from time to time, never seems to have any labels attached and is thus usually unrecognised, sellers often simply describing it as being “like a Panton Flowerpot”. The lack of trace left by the company was exacerbated by the apparently low profile it kept in advertising. A rare 1970 Quality System advertisement, reproduced below, offered the following information about the company’s products:
"Some of Denmark’s best-selling lights, familiar in most parts of the world, can now be ordered direct to your home. Lights that can be assembled in a very short time, manufactured in anti-static polyacrylic – a material with very fine light-dispersing qualities that is also easy to clean. These 10 lamps (from a total of 63 different models) have been created by famous designers, and fit perfectly into today’s residential environment. New lighting throughout the home straight to your door."
(1) Cosmo Lights, (2) Confetti Light, (3) String Light, (4) Moon Light, (5) Twin Light, (6) Fleur Light, (7) Easy Light, (8) Classic Light, (9) Hi-Light, (10) Twister, (11) Moon Lights.
In 2003, astonished by the exorbitant prices they saw vintage Quality System lights being sold at, Brylle and Jacobsen re-established the company and began producing new retro-style designs, meeting once again with immediate global success and selling more than half a million units in the first six months of operation.