Every product starts as an aspirational vision for how the finished result should look, feel, and function in the consumer's hands. However, the design process to transform ideas into mass manufacturable products is a road paved by technical reality and practical compromise. Mitigating risk before investing in mass manufacturing is
adidas just officially announced their Greenpoint, Brooklyn Creator Farm, an open source hub for well, creativity. Boasting a start-up environment within the not-so-startup company, the adidas Creator Farm seems like a secure place to work for a small team without the major risk of going under. Our burning question
People design because they are creative, not because they are experts in patent law. Still, to prevent your ideas from being ripped off it's necessary to know something about patents, copyright, and trademarks. In the video below, John Sanders of Sanders Machine Works discusses intellectual property (IP) law with
It's quite possible Chelsea Vandiver is one of the most knowledgeable people we could ask about what it takes to get a gig at Portland-based Ziba. An employee at the design agency for almost 20 years, Vandiver has worked her way up to the very top and been the Executive
In this day and age, I value bodies that can take a lot of information and present it in a comprehensible way. The folks over at Kurzgesagt (German for "in a nutshell") spent 900 hours and nine months researching the history of automation, then created this video explaining why recent
I enjoy IKEA hacking as much as the next guy, but Balenciaga's $2.1k "homage" to the classic blue bag felt a bit hackneyed. While the accessible furniture and home goods company has stated publicly that the high fashion rip off is "flattering" this new ad might suggest otherwise. It's
When was the last time you choose the harder, more expensive approach to solve a problem? That is the reason why the adoption of the Design Sprint practice has been skyrocketing worldwide. But before backing up that claim, let me set the stage with some foundation for the reader that is unfamiliar with the term Design Sprint
It's clear nobody knows better than jeffstaple what it means to be a designer and businessman at the same damn time. So, I was curious to speak with him about what that exactly means, in terms of managing responsibilities, transitioning between roles, rebranding and designing for a niche-turned-mass market. Let's get right down to it, because there's a lot to cover.
Through seamlessly blending business and design, Jeff Ng, also known as jeffstaple, turned his graphic design passion into the three-part visual communication agency, Staple Design. Including the agency itself, the t-shirt printing stint turned successful menswear collection, Staple Pigeon and the beloved Lower East Side retail store, Reed Space (whose
The Lucid VR team created an easy-to-use stereoscopic 3D 180° camera for the consumer market. Model Solution’s design and manufacturing teams took the original design and specified LEDs, switches, materials, finishes and more to keep costs down and still meet the application’s demanding requirements. Model Solution built three initial mock-ups and initial full appearance models in less than 12 days. These models featured functional LEDs and switches, allowing Lucid VR engineers to see and feel h
There are few people in the design world more familiar with field research, and the extensive travel that goes with it, than Jan Chipchase. On May 6th, Jan launched what has turned out to be a very successful Kickstarter campaign to publish his most recent book, The Field Study Handbook.
I'm not interested in clothing. You might be wondering why I sell any. Well, for my business I hand-pick items that solve specific problems for designer/builders. Because of the nature of business, this sometimes has to expand beyond tools for them to wield and books to educate them. Here's what
Chris Do, founder and CEO of brand strategy consultancy Blind, is both a brilliant art director and a brilliant businessman. In this talk he holds nothing back, revealing his time-tested techniques for increasing your value to companies as a designer. (It is targeted towards graphic designers but the industrial designers
If you're not ready to be a full-blown designer/builder, there is a way you can ease yourself into the marketplace. Lately I've noticed a bunch of people are fabricating items to sell on Etsy that are not finished products, but complementary components. Some examples: Slovenia-based LeatherEU sells these handsome
Kickstarter is arguably the most well-known crowdfunding platform out there. At any given time, you can pledge to support virtually any project you could imagine, from magazines on the future of food to sand-cast metal bowls to desktop digital fabrication tools. The wide range of projects the platform attracts is
After seeing the graphic below posted by Business Insider, folks on social media have misinterpreted it to mean that "Fashion Designer" is the most popular job in New York. It's not. It's the most disproportionately popular job in New York, meaning that fashion designers nationwide account for 1.4 out of
Recently throughout the business press, there have been countless articles about CCOs and CDOs and their value. Large companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi, 3M, Electrolux, and Hyundai have added these positions over the last few years. Most people behave like this is a remarkable new development. It has been the
Here's the situation in Japan: The population is graying; the birth rate is declining; and car sales are shrinking domestically as Japanese youth, like American youth, are less keen on purchasing cars than they once were. Toyota is tackling this problem in an interesting way, and that's by viewing themselves
Rakuten NFC Reader Piu is the first in-store payment device in Japan equipped with NFC functions to support 14 major electronic money brands, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Elemental8 is proud of working closely with Rakuten in Japan to define, design, develop, and produce its digital payment systems.
Chadwick Parker and Joe Huang, the industrial design duo behind Big Idea Design, have done it again: Sixteen successful Kickstarter campaigns and counting! And two of their last four campaigns broke the $200,000 mark, which the current one might as well. Even if it doesn't, it's already a smash hit:
The business of making and selling clothes has waste built right into the process: Rolls of fabric have patterns cut out of them, creating unusable scraps; retailers must guess what will be popular and how many units will sell, and whatever doesn't move becomes clearance. That results in slashed price
In an earlier post, I lamented receiving an order from Staples where the box was way too big for the product. I had a vague idea of why that had happened, but reader Andrew Roberson did us one better, tracking down the company that provides Staples' fulfillment machinery, like the
After seeing a show the other night, my wife and I walked down Madison Avenue. This strip of New York City has some of the more rarefied shopping in the world. While the stores were all closed, the windows were lit, and a theory that has been banging around my
Three years ago we started prototyping a new kind of incubation as a service. Not a building filled to the brim with young guys and their high tech, high growth app-building ventures, but instead, a kind of service that comes to you—and gets plugged into centers, workspaces, labs, makerspaces and
Designers pride themselves on their execution. But the licensing model requires you to be willing to relinquish some control. There are enormous benefits — and self-employment is freeing.
This month marks the beginning of a time most of us in the creative freelance world dread: tax season. Back in my first year as a bona fide freelancer just out of school, I simply totaled up my invoices for the year and lumped them onto line 21 of my form 1040 ("other income"). It took two years for the IRS write me a sternly worded letter about this not
Every cycling enthusiast dreams of ordering a custom frame, made to fit their specific dimensions and riding style. Based in South Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Firefly Bicycles have been fulfilling the dreams of a dedicated client base since 2011. They produce around 120 bikes a year, and will build any style
Congratulations, you've made it to 2017. Last year was a rollercoaster ride and it's safe to say we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through it. With each new year comes new opportunities. We're not talking short-term resolutions - we're talking goals to make big things happen.
Some of us still earn our livings making physical things, putting them in boxes and sending them out of the building. Professional furniture making ends not with the last coat of wax, but with shipping whatever you made out of the workshop. We have dozens of cabinet shops in our
Have you ever wanted to search for existing or expired design patents not only in your own country, but in the countries where you'd like to sell your designs? A website called DesignView has wrangled together the design patent databases of 45 countries, plus the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property
I'm pretty clueless as a businessman; my background is in tools, computers and mechanical engineering. So I read a lot of books on sales, marketing, and running a business. My favorites are first-hand accounts, and the old books are the most interesting to me. Right now I'm reading "Forty
Back in May we pointed out the central design flaw in China's Transit Elevated Bus concept, which is meant to straddle two lanes of traffic like a catamaran. Nevertheless, we were amazed when they built a prototype in August and began running trials; it spoke of both the will to
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