Speaking of Sharpies, what do they have in common with these products?
All of those brands—Sharpie, Irwin Tools, Dymo, Calphalon, Rubbermaid, Rubbermaid Commercial Products and Graco, not to mention Goody, Waterman, Lenox, Paper-Mate, Parker, Aprica and more—are all owned by Newell Rubbermaid, which owns 40 brands in total. And having that much product diversity may be good news to those of you ID students set to graduate in 2014, and willing to move to Michigan: Newell Rubbermaid has announced they're consolidating 15 industrial design teams into one massive one, to be located at their first global design center.
The Newell Rubbermaid Design Center, located in Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park, will employ 100 industrial and graphic designers under a single roof, with salaries reportedly in the $70,000 to $90,000 range. The $4 million, 40,000-square-foot facility is slated to open in early 2014, and while a number of those jobs will go to relocated designers currently employed by the sub-brand, there's surely going to be job vacancies from those who didn't want to move. And if things go well, the facility has space to expand by a factor of four. Here's some more info from the press release:
"Great design and creativity is the difference between a standard product and one that is beautiful in every way—and drives consumer preference," said Chuck Jones, Newell Rubbermaid's Chief Design and Research & Development Officer. "Our new Design Center will be a best-in-class facility that enables us to attract the best international design talent to work on a wonderful portfolio of leading brands. Our brand studios and immersion labs will foster growth ideas as designers collaborate with marketing and R&D on great innovation...
The [facility] has been carefully planned to foster creativity and maximize the sharing of ideas and technologies among the company's brands. A large, open studio space will provide the ideal environment for designers to collaborate using advanced software tools. Immersion labs for the company's priority business segments will enable design and marketing teams to evaluate product prototypes and imagine the possibilities of future product roadmaps. The company is investing in new talent with specialist design skills to work alongside the existing industrial and graphic design teams.