Newell Rubbermaid’s new Design Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan, marks a monumental shift in the company’s design thinking and practices. This consolidation of design functions in a single location addresses how design in the 21st century has become a team activity that pulls in disciplines beyond design.
In 2012, after Newell Rubbermaid adopted its Growth Game Plan strategy focused on four winning capabilities, including design and R&D, it brought in acclaimed designer Chuck Jones as its first Chief Design and Research & Development Officer to make the company more agile and responsive to consumers through design. Jones’ reputation preceded him, having successfully built global design and development teams that boosted sales and won awards for innovation at companies including Whirlpool and Xerox. Here, Jones talks about how Newell Rubbermaid is creating a brand-and-innovation-led company that is famous for design and product performance. Read More »
Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of the influential type foundry H&FJ in New York City were recipients of the prestigious AIGA Medal this year. This video, created by the New York design studio, Dress Code, was shown at the Medalist dinner in April. Here, the two talk candidly about how they approach type design and talk about why it takes them a decade to get each project ready for release.
Today would have been the legendary Saul Bass’s 93rd birthday and Google Doodle has paid tribute to him on its homepage by piecing together some of his signature film title sequences – “Vertigo,” “The Man with the Golden Arm,” “Psycho,” “Anatomy of a Murder,” “West Side Story,” among others.
This brought to mind my brief encounter with Saul. About two years before he died, I was assigned to interview him for an article on film title sequences. In his late 70s then, Saul had downsized his Sunset Boulevard studio maintaining what he called “a repertory group,” a small core staff with additional expertise brought in on an as needed basis. At the time, he was doing a title sequence for his friend “Marty’s”(Scorsese) film, and explained that at this stage in his career, he only wanted to work with “nice people who respect and like us and who we respect and admire…I don’t want to deal with clients who think we’re just doing a job for them. With rare exception, all our clients think we are wonderful and we think they are wonderful.” From a career standpoint, that seemed to me like the ultimate luxury.
Delhaize, a supermarket chain in Belgium, issued its own private label brand of regional wines and commissioned Spanish design studio Lavernia & Cienfuegos to create a label that looked festive and fun and great for casual entertaining. Quirky characters carved out of cork represented the regional origin of each wine in a playful, unpretentious way. The label design positioned the house brand as a value product with personality.
Pssst! Need a legitimate business reason to go to Las Vegas? Come to the AIGA Las Vegas “Return on Design: Business + Design Conference on November 17-18.
According to Patty Mar Simmons, event co-chair and president of AIGA Las Vegas, “We are uniting designers and business leaders to foster a better understanding of how good design can help drive tangible results for any size company.”
On the business/marketing side, speakers include Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International; Jamie Naughton, Zappos.com; Richard Worthington, Molasky Group of Companies; Vince Alberta, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Christina Barr, Nevada Humanities; Brian Gordon, Applied Analysis, and Luke Heffron, Shutterlfy. Design side speakers include Debbie Millman, Sterling Brands and AIGA National board member; Andrew Naudin, ExhibitForce, and yours truly – Kit Hinrichs, Studio Hinrichs and design director, @Issue, and Delphine Hirasuna, editor, @Issue.
The cost to attend is $175 per person and includes a reception on Thursday evening, plus the conference sessions, breakfast and lunch on Friday. Come early, spend the weekend. Support the Las Vegas economy. For more information, visit returnondesignvegas.com.