Popular Culture

The New Samsung Serif TV Is Perfect For A Hipster’s Apartment



…And we’re kind of loving it. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a hot new TV design coming to you courtesy of tech giant Samsung, but it’s a far cry from the futuristic, let’s-see-how-slim-we-can-make-TVs design we’re all used to.

The design is based on a serif letter “I” and it’s appropriately called “Serif.” The design was developed by brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and it’s meant to combat the modern trend of hiding flat-screen TVs behind screens, inside cabinets, or eliminating them from designs altogether. It also flies in the face of modern TV design that aims to make each model look like a black, bottomless ocean.

I see it a lot on design shows: the interior designer hardly ever incoporates a television into the design of the living room, something that always baffles me. What is the couch and all the furniture pointed at if not the TV? Most of the time, it’s a fireplace, but that view gets old quick.

A press release about the design lends some insight into the design aspects of the piece and the thinking behind it:

“Samsung Serif TV does not belong to the world of technology but the world of furniture and design. Breaking away from the pre-occupation with ultra-flat screens, [the Serif] provides consumers with a more elegant viewing experience by being designed to sit naturally within the home.”

The Bouroullecs’ design harkens back to an earlier decade, in which the television was incorporated into the design of the room and often looked like a piece of furniture itself. I have an old TV from the 80s in my parents’ house that looks like it was enchanted in the Beast’s castle, so carved and baroque it is.

The design is decidedly retro, and it comes in rich colors that don’t include black: white, dark blue, and red. Three sizes are 24-, 32-, and 40-inch, with a fabric-covered back that hides wires.



Another distinct feature of the Serif is the spindly legs on which it can stand; these retro-style legs are detachable and otherwise, the design of the TV makes it easy to place on a shelf, as if it were a bookend. And truly, that’s what the Serif TV looks most like to me: a bookend. The flat top is meant to serve as a shelf of sorts, on which to lay tchotchkes and thus integrate the television into a modern design space. This is the television interior designers would probably love.

Juries are out about the actual beauty of the piece; while Verge called it a “font of ugly,” Fast Company called it “an unexpected design masterpiece.” I’m probably of the latter camp, eager for a pretty TV to match all my other pretty things.

Besides the obious aesthetic of the TV, the Bouroullec brothers also incorporated a feature all TV-watchers will love: “curtain mode.” This mode gives viewers the ability to pull a virtual curtain over the television screen and thus blur the commercials, instead accessing a menu from which you can find the clock, the weather, or other functions. If you hate/mute/fast forward commercials (on DVR), you’ll love this feature.

Watch the video below with the Bouroullec brothers introducing the TV, and decide whether or not you love or hate this font-inspired retro television:

As for me, I have never had a TV in my room, not while I was a child, and not as an adult. But the Serif TV is such a statement piece, it just may make me change my hipster mind.

The Serif TV will be available in Europe starting November 2nd.

Lisa Lo Paro
Lisa is a freelance writer and bibliophile living on the outskirts of New York City. She likes 2 a.m. with a good book, takes cream in her coffee and heavily filters her photos. Check out her blog The Most Happy, her Instagram, and Twitter.

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