Dezeen Magazine

Rendering of Jony Ive's 2023 Red Nose Design showing the nose folded down into a flat crescent on the left and unfurled into a honeycomb paper ball on the right

Jony Ive gives Red Nose Day nose a "dramatic" flat-pack redesign

Former Apple designer Jony Ive has reimagined one of the world's most recognisable fundraising products – the nose worn as part of the annual Red Nose Day appeal.

Created by Ive and his design studio LoveFrom for the UK charity Comic Relief, the revamped red nose consists of a honeycomb sphere made from paper, which folds down into a flat crescent shape.

Comic Relief describes the redesign as "the most dramatic makeover" the clown-style red nose, usually made of rubber or plastic, has had since its debut in 1988.

Photo of Sir Lenny Henry wearing the Red Nose Day 2023 nose
Lenny Henry (above) co-founded Red Nose Day with Richard Curtis

The charity says the new design is made of 95 per cent plant-based materials, including paper, corn-based bioplastic polyester and bagasse, a packaging material made from sugarcane pulp.

The bagasse features in the object's small white case – reminiscent of the kind used to hold wireless earbuds – where the flat-packed nose can be stored when not in use.

"We've grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work," said Ive. "This new and seemingly simple red nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make, and has involved our entire team."

Rendering of a detail of Jony Ive's Red Nose Day nose design, showing the rubber fastening where the ball attached to a nose
This year's Red Nose Day nose is largely made of paper and folds out

"We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one," Ive added.

The nose still includes a small amount of rubber, which was used to create the fastening on the paper sphere, and which Comic Relief says was necessary to enable it to be worn.

Red Nose Day was started by British filmmaker Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry 35 years ago after Curtis visited Ethiopia during the 1985 famine.

Rendering of Jony Ive's design for the Red Nose Day nose case, showing it open on the top and closed on the bottom
The design by Jony Ive includes a small case

The event typically includes a telethon and a fundraising drive centred around the sales of the red noses, with proceeds going to a selection of charities. Last year's Red Nose Day raised £42.8 million.

This year, the event will take place on Friday 17 March and money raised will be put towards supporting people through the cost-of-living crisis and tackling issues such as homelessness, mental health and food poverty.

Curtis, who is best known for his films Love Actually and Notting Hill, said the Red Nose had been on a journey in terms of its design.

"It's been on quite a journey over the past three decades and has transformed in the most wonderful ways – from a slightly painful piece of plastic to a tomato to a sponge to woodland-themed creatures," said Curtis.

"Now we enter a new era and are delighted to bring you a completely new Red Nose to enjoy, thanks to our friend the design genius, Jony Ive."

Photo of British actor Sindhu Vee proudly pointing to the Red Nose Day nose she is wearing
British actor Sindhu Vee is among the participants in this year's fundraiser

Ive was formerly the head of design at Apple, where he oversaw the development of the original iMac, iPod, iPhone and more. He left in 2019 to start his own design company LoveFrom.

Some of his more unexpected design projects over the years have included a Christmas tree and an all-diamond ring, both created with his friend Marc Newson.

Most recently, Ive has started running a design competition with King Charles III, the Terra Carta Design Lab, which recognises solutions to tackle climate change.