Polaroid has had a somewhat tricky few years. After announcing that all instant film production would cease and filing for bankruptcy in 2008, it looked like curtains before Gordon Brothers, Hilco and Summit Global acquired all of Polaroid’s assets in 2009.
But now the iconic camera brand is back with a vengeance and has released its new range of products in time for Christmas gift-giving season.
It’s brand positioning has shifted slightly from being the kings of instant photography to an all-round fun camera brand and so its fitting that Polaroid has brought out a number of digital products, ranging from brightly coloured shoot-and-points (Polaroid t1488 Digital Camera at £119.99) to an underwater camera (Polaroid x800 Digital Camera at £49.99).
But analogue-lovers shouldn’t be too upset. Not only has the Impossible Project started producing new film for the classic cameras with a little help from the brand (and a new recipe of chemicals), Polaroid has updated the magic of the instant camera for the 21st century. With a devise called the Pogo, users can Bluetooth their digital photographs to the Pogo printer, select which type of Polaroid photograph they’d like to emulate and then produce an instant-style digital print. The image then appears before your eyes in a similar way to the old-school prints.
Polaroid has also enlisted the help of some top creatives to get it back into the limelight. Aside from the high profile appointment of Lady Gaga as creative director (they’ll be some Gaga-inspired products coming out next year), the brand is promoting the work of talented photographer Jon Nicholson to engage people in the beautiful images that the iconic cameras can create. It’s certainly inspired me to lug my 1990s plastic lump to the seaside while the weather still allows.