Blog Archive

How a CIA design student found her dream job in San Francisco

June 19, 2017
Category: Product Design

Anna Cormack is a recent product design alumni from The Cleveland Institute of Art. She will be starting the intimidating new chapter of her life, being in the real world. She will be a fellow at Chronicle Books in San Francisco, California for a year. For a student designer being in the realm of San Francisco, it is a dream come true. Learn what it’s like to move to San Francisco and how school projects and internships helped get her a design job.


Q: Did the projects in school help you more or your internships? 

Anna said that school helped her portfolio a lot because in internships you can’t show what you do. During her summer internship with Munchkin she worked on company projects and learned how to be in a professional environment. At Munchkin she learned how to talk to manufacturers in China, ask for help from professional designers, and talk to people in marketing. She acquired real world skills from her internship that she could not get from a school environment.


Q: Are you worried about the cost of living? 

Anna commented that she was somewhat worried but feels better now that she found a cheap apartment in Oakland. At Chronicle Books she commented that they pay enough to survive in San Francisco for a year and she knew she wasn’t going to save a lot of money. She noted that she would, "rather take that jump and risk and have fun in the city I want to live in then taking a well paying job somewhere in Ohio and be sad. It’s year long so I can find a job that can pay me better afterwards. I’m not ready to move into the real adult world so I think this is a good baby step. “


So you’re not scared to start? 

Anna commented that she wasn’t scared to start because she knows someone at Chronicle Books. The contact is an alumni, Lauren, she was friendly with when she was a sophomore in the studios. There was an email sent out through Dan (Director ID Program) forwarding Lauren’s search for a fellow and she applied within half an hour. She knew that Lauren was the type of designer that would take a non-traditional job and she also had similar taste so she was interested and applied.


So to all the design students wanting a design job in a cool hip city, learning through Anna, making connections with the upperclassman at your school is a notable way to be successful. She also had a quality relationship with her professors and the people around her. Her learning experience at her internship was also a great skill builder and background to have. She didn’t want to miss this opportunity and now she gets to explore the dream city of many undergraduate students. At Chronicle Books she will design desk and home accessories as well as book packaging, trade show design and many other products.


Go out there and design great things, readers!


Tags: Product Design Cleveland Institute of Art Internship San Francisco Chronicle Books

Inspirational Graphic Designer—Paula Scher

May 17, 2017
Category: Graphic Design

Paula Scher is a Graphic Designer who’s work I am impressed by and I think you will be too. She began her career creating album covers for both Atlantic and CBS records. She later formed her own design company, and after only a few years there she joined Pentagram. During her career she has created memorable identities and other work for clients such as Citi Bank, Coca-Cola, the Metropolitan Opera, New Your City Ballet and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. 

Paula’s style of design communicates with audiences through the use of pop culture and fine art. Her work has been published internationally and her contributions to the field of design are numerous. As a partner of Pentagram, her work continues to inspire the new generation of designers. Scher is featured in “Abstract: The Art of Design,” the Netflix documentary series about leading figures in design and architecture. For a preview of this documentary go to: http://www.pentagram.com/#/blog/136687

For more about Scher and her work visit: http://thegreatdiscontent.com/interview/paula-scher

Tags: Design Interface Inc. Anita Morselli-Zakrajsek Graphic Design design graphic illustration logos

Cleveland Institute of Art student Dominic Montante big winner in Housewares and IDSA

April 14, 2017
Category: News

Riding on the success of student Dominic Montante, a contingent of students and faculty went to Cincinnati to support him as the IDSA Student Merit winner. He was chosen to represent the Cleveland Insitute of Art at the Central District IDSA conference on March 31.  

Earlier in the year he won the trifecta of awards at the International Housewares Competition. For the first time in the 24-year history of the International Housewares Association Student Design Competition, an industrial design student has won first, second and third place prizes for three different designs!

And that’s prompted the creation of an Outstanding Achievement Award for Dominic Montante, S/IDSA—a senior from the Cleveland Institute of Art. "Winning all three prizes still doesn't seem real," Montante tells IDSA. "It's a real honor. My school has a tradition of winners who are still remembered today, so it's a special feeling to be among their ranks. I'm also hoping the recognition will help to launch my career since I will be graduating this semester."

The annual competition, judged blindly, challenges students to redesign a current housewares product to meet the needs of the future or create a concept for a new product. Winning projects are selected for their innovation; understanding of production and marketing principles; and quality of entry materials.  ~ Carla

Click here to read the whole story…http://www.idsa.org/news/member-news/idsa-student-members-earn-top-spots-iha-design-competition

Tags: Design Interface Inc. Carla J. Blackman Adrian Slattery Dominic Montante Cleveland Institute of Art IDSA

Giving The World A “Helping Hand”

March 17, 2017
Category: Product Design

Giving The World A "Helping Hand" from Jen Martin Studios on Vimeo.

Here is an inspirational video about a company that creates free 3D printed hands for children worldwide who need one. The hands are predominantly made of plastic with string to activate the fingers, driven from the wrist or elbow depending on the design. The 3D print files are available on their website  for download and fabrication by anybody who had access to a 3D printer. (enablingthefuture.org) It's exciting to see this technology positively impact the lives of kids.

Tags: 3d printing product design anthropometrics

Affect Your Customer With Effective Packaging Color

February 28, 2017
Category: Graphic Design

Tap into the emotional side of color to really drive your product messaging! 

Color is one of the most crucial decisions you can make for your packaging because, if used properly and intelligibly, it:

• Helps cut through marketplace clutter

• Provides the extra appeal that can solidify a ring at the register

• Enhances other design elements, such as shape, feel, finish, and graphics

• Triggers “sensorial cues” evoking consumer thoughts and perceptions of taste, smell, feel and sometimes even sound.

There are a lot of different factors that influence how and what consumers buy. A large part of every decision is based on visual elements, and one of the strongest and most persuasive is color. Color plays a pivotal role in the customer’s critical decision — to buy or not buy.

Color & Marketing

Research conducted in the United States states the following relationships between color and marketing:

• 92.6 percent said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products.

• Only 5.6 percent said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important.

• Hearing and smell each drew 0.9 percent.

However, the effects of color differ among different cultures, so the attitudes and preferences of your target audience should be a consideration when you plan your design of any marketing materials. For example, white is the color of death in Chinese culture, but purple represents death in Brazil. Yellow is sacred to the Chinese, but signified sadness in Greece and jealousy in France. In North America, green is typically associated with jealousy. People from tropical countries respond most favorably to warm colors; people from northern climates prefer the cooler colors.

In the western world, the following colors are associated with certain qualities or emotions:

Red — excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.

Blue — (listed as the most popular color) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness. Yellow — warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness Orange — playfulness, warmth, vibrant

Green — nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance

Purple — royal, spirituality, dignity

Pink — soft, sweet, nurture, security

White — pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild. Black — sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery

Gold — prestige, expensive

Silver — prestige, cold, scientific

Color also has the unique ability to attract specific types of shoppers and change shopping behavior. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue. Shoppers who plan and stick to budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels — pink, rose, sky blue.

Making the Right Choice for Your Packaging Colors

In making the right choice of colors you need to: 

• Keep the consumer of your product in mind, your target market 

• Put yourself in their shoes to see what motivates them to buy

• What is their age, their gender, their economic status, their education level determine the purpose of your product and what message you want the packaging to send to your buyer 

• Is the message professional, serious and conservative, is it about health and well-being, is it to make the customer feel good, is it to help with a problem, is it about luxury, is it about elegance and sophistication

• Make sure the colors send the right message!

To read more about packaging colors visit the following websites:



Image credit: KISSmetrics.com

Tags: graphic design package design product design graphics package product color

Wondering about Medical Device Approval Terms?

February 10, 2017
Category: Medical Device Design

Here at Design Interface, we get many questions about the correct pathways to Medical Device Approval. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations and provides guidelines on the design of a safe and effective product. You may have heard some of these key terms:

   • Regulatory Assessment

   • Investigational Device (IDE)

   • Premarket Approval (PMA)

   • Feasibility Clinical Studies

   • Pivotal Clinical Trials 

   • Post-Market Studies

   • Class I, II & III devices

   • FDA pre-submission

   • 510(k) application]

   • Premarket Approval (PMA) Submission

   • de novo pathway

The article, “What are the 10 keys to the U.S. pathway to medical device approval?” by Debra Grodt/Director of Regulatory Affairs/Medical Device and Diagnostics Novella Clinical appeared in the publication, Medical Design & Outsourcing. It gives excellent definitions for all the terms above. ~Adrian

What is a regulatory assessment?

A regulatory assessment is a comprehensive review of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulations and similarly marketed devices to establish a framework to design a safe and effective product. Assessments include: 1) a detailed rationale for product classification; 2) applicable regulatory agency consensus standards and guidance documents; 3) laboratory and preclinical testing requirements; 4) clinical study requirements; and 5) submission format, elements and recommended timing. A list of Design History File documents to support FDA-mandated Design Control (21 CFR Part 820.30) should also be included.

What is an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE)?

An Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) allows unapproved devices to be used in a clinical study to collect safety and effectiveness data required to support a Premarket Approval (PMA) or 510(k) application.

What are feasibility clinical studies?

A medical device feasibility study or pilot clinical study is used to validate device design and clinical study design by the intended users. These proof-of-concept studies are generally small, usually between 20 and 60 patients. They should be done in a staged process, measuring training effectiveness, device issues and ease-of-use (human factors and ergonomic testing) before enrolling subjects to define preliminary safety and effectiveness. Data from these pilot studies can help companies modify devices, labeling and training methods to develop better products, as well as to better define endpoints, follow-up requirements and patient populations for subsequent clinical studies.

What are pivotal clinical trials?

Pivotal clinical trials are the equivalent of Phase III drug clinical studies and are intended to collect safety and effectiveness data required to gain regulatory and market approvals. These clinical studies require a significant number of patients to provide adequate statistical power and the design is generally randomized against another device for the same intended use, or against standard-of-care. In addition to meeting FDA requirements, results from these studies can help support public and private coverage determinations for device reimbursement.

What are post-market studies?

Post-market studies may be required by the FDA or may be conducted voluntarily by the manufacturer to collect real-world, long-term performance data. Post-approval studies and post-market surveillance studies are studies mandated by the FDA for novel and/or high-risk devices to define long-term safety and effectiveness. Beyond what is required by the FDA, device manufacturers may choose to conduct post-market studies for the purposes of data collection to bolster market adoption, labeling claims or reimbursement. 

What are Class I, II & III devices?

FDA classifies devices by risk, which governs the design verification, validation and clinical testing required, and therefore, how long it takes to get a device cleared for market. 

Class I are low-risk, e.g. surgical instruments, gloves and visual acuity charts.

Class II are moderate-risk, e.g. contact lenses, urologic catheters, vascular clamps and blood pressure cuffs.

Class III are high-risk devices that support or sustain human life or pose higher risk of illness or injury, e.g. vascular grafts, coronary stents, implantable pacemakers and artificial hearts.

What is an FDA pre-submission?

This voluntary program allows sponsors to obtain FDA feedback to help guide product development and/or application preparation prior to submitting a formal IDE, PMA or 510(k) application.


What is a 510(k) application?

A 510(k) is a premarket submission made to the FDA to demonstrate a device is safe and effective and similar in intended use, materials, components, operating principles and method of use (i.e. substantially equivalent) to a legally marketed device. The FDA’s review of the 510(k) application and notification of clearance is required before placing a moderate risk device on the market


What is a premarket approval (PMA) submission?

A PMA submission initiates the FDA’s scientific and regulatory review process to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Class III medical devices. The PMA must be approved prior to marketing the device. FDA generally requires the manufacturer of a first-of-a-kind device to pass an on-site quality audit and attend an Advisory Committee meeting prior to issuing an approvable letter.

What is the de novo pathway?

New devices, regardless of risk, that are not substantially equivalent to an existing cleared device are automatically classified as Class III by the FDA. The de novo or Automatic Class III Designation process allows manufacturers to petition the FDA to reclassify a device as a Class I or II. Submitters will provide justification on why the device should not be considered Class III, highlighting the risks and benefits of the device.

For more information on the FDA visit: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/default.htm

Tags: Design Interface Inc Adrian Slattery Classifications Clinical Trials FDA Approvals Medical Device Business Regulatory medicaldeviceanddiagnostics novellaclinical

Product Aesthetics

January 13, 2017
Category: Product Design

A product’s appearance is very important to how well it’s received by the marketplace. Customers take pride in their new smartphones, kitchen appliances and even simpler items like shoes. When a product designer sets out to create a new device, he must artfully combine many elements such as form, color, materials, finish, and graphics in a compelling way that will inspire people to own and use that device.

The following are a few popular aesthetic design languages:

Organic Minimalism uses smooth shapes and subtle curvature to create a simple visual style. The driving philosophy behind this aesthetic would be “less is more” and the underlying technology is often hidden behind the unadorned form.

• Ecobee thermostat

• Apple earbuds

• Philips PQ226 shaver

Functional Exposure is not about hiding, but revealing the inner workings of a product. This can be achieved, for example, by the use of translucent plastic.

• Dyson DC58 Animal vacuum

• Harmon Kardon Nova speakers

• Philips EasySpeed iron

Organic Textures & Patterns are stylistic elements inspired by nature such as moving air, flowing water or sound waves to help convey a product’s function.

• Nest smoke alarm

• Jawbone bluetooth headset

• Mazda Taiki concept car

Some future trends to watch for include one called PUSH that uses surfaces in tension to evoke the feeling of stretched fabric, almost like the product has been shrink-wrapped. Another one called Fractal is characterized by strong geometric shapes and surfaces that meet together at sharp edges. This trend can be quite masculine and high-tech when used with dark colors. 


Tags: aesthetics product design language

Making Good Font Choices

December 19, 2016
Category: Graphic Design

All designers may struggle at one time or another with choosing the correct font for a design. This article is a short summary of a guide that offers a comprehensive overview of fonts: their different categories, how to choose them, and how to use them. 

What types of fonts are there?

Four basic font categories that will be useful to understand when you’re going about choosing a suitable font, combining fonts for your design project or discussing your type choices with other people.

1) Serif: Serif fonts have little “feet” or lines attached the ends of their letters. They’re generally thought to look more serious or traditional.

2) Sans-Serif: “Sans-serif” literally means “without serif” — these fonts don’t have the extra lines on the ends of letters. For that reason, they’re generally thought to look more modern and streamlined.

3) Script: Scripts are what we might think of as cursive- or handwriting-style fonts. They generally have connecting letters. You’ll find that script fonts come in many different styles, from elegant to fun and casual, to hand-drawn.

4) Decorative / Display: When you hear a font categorized as decorative, display, or novelty, it all means the same thing — that font is meant to get your attention. They’re often more unusual than practical and should only be used in small doses and for a specific effect or purpose.

Is it a font or a typeface?

You may have heard the text you use in design projects referred to as both fonts and typefaces and wondered if the two terms mean the same thing. Technically and historically (in terms of typesetting) they’re different, but today, they’re often used interchangeably. 

The typeface is the design; the font is how that design is delivered.

typeface + style + size = font 

A font is what you use; a typeface is what you see.

Why do font choices matter?

Font choices often set the tone for the whole design and can influence viewers’ feelings toward and interactions with your design — just like how if you were to show up at a black-tie party in your favorite threadbare t-shirt and sweatpants, people would judge you on your appearance. 

How to Choose a Font

The Basics

Your first concern in choosing a font for a project should be that it matches the message or purpose of your design. This is important because every typeface has its own mood or personality. Maybe it’s serious, casual, playful, or elegant. You’ll need to determine what a particular font is saying to you, and whether that fits with your design.

Is your font choice suitable?

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is not realizing what various font categories are most suitable for — for instance, body typefaces versus display typefaces.

Body typefaces are used in body copy: book text, magazine or newspaper text, website content, any lengthy passages. These fonts are easy on the eyes and easy to read. 

Display or decorative typefaces on the other hand, are never suitable for reading at length. These are the type of fonts that scream, “Look at me!” They come in various degrees of usefulness, from the bold, all-caps fonts that might be used for headlines, or letters that look like they’re made of made of logs or twigs that supposedly give your design an instantly outdoorsy look. 

Is your font choice versatile?

Every designer needs a few neutral fonts that adapt to their surroundings and can be a go-to choice when time is tight or nothing else seems to be working. The most useful sort come in a variety of weights (such as light, regular, medium, bold, or heavy) and styles (such as narrow, condensed, extended, or small caps).

Is your font readable?

Readability becomes an important quality to look for in a font to make sure your message comes across. How can you tell whether a typeface is readable, other than your own visual assessment? There are a few ways:

• Size: You’ll want to choose point size that fits your design context. 

• Spacing: Adjusting the spacing of your text so that it’s appropriate for your design is a big contributor to enhanced readability. 

• X-height: This is the height of a font’s lowercase letters. A generous x-height in proportion to the typeface’s capital letters improves readability and maintains it at smaller sizes. 

• The I/l/1 test: For any font you’re considering for passages of text that include both letters and numbers, try this: Type out a capital I, a lowercase L, and the number one. If two or more look identical, then readers might stumble over certain words or letter/number combinations.

….For more details on font usage, font licensing and where to find free fonts go to: 



Tags: Graphic design product design package design design fonts

Miracle 360° Cup - A Winner!

December 08, 2016
Category: Product Design

This Miracle 360° Cup caught my eye when it won an IDEA award from IDSA (Industrial Designer’s Society of America).

It’s a spoutless sippy cup that allows babies and toddlers to drink from anywhere around the rim, just like a regular cup, with a completely spill-proof design. No more spills! 

The cup is dentist and speech pathologist recommended because prolonged use of the traditional sip cups can lead to developmental issues with children’s mouths and teeth. 

I also like that it’s easy to clean and comes apart in three pieces with a soft silicone valve at the top. No small crevices for mold to grow. It was designed by Max Saxton and Kevin Johnson of Munchkin, Inc.  Both beautiful and practical. 



A Refreshing Look at the World of Memphis Design Through David Bowie's Furniture

November 21, 2016
Category: Likes

Business Insider wrote "Little was known about the late David Bowie's extensive private art collection until after his death." This month David Bowie's art collection was auctioned by Sotheby's in London. "David was a very inquisitive and promiscuous collector ...he was deeply curious about objects and artists. He was interested in anybody who was seeking to challenge the status quo and break the rules in their work,"  said Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of the fine art division at Sotheby's.

Below is a link which showcases pieces of furniture from his collection. These pieces are heavy on bold, colorful, and asymmetric. Ettore Sottsass 1917-2007 formed the Memphis movement in the early 1980s.  

Adrian Slattery


Photo: California based artist Peter Shire's "Big Sur" sofa (Image courtesy of Sotheby's)

Tags: David Bowie Furniture

Top 5 Questions We Get About Product Design

October 04, 2016
Category: Product Design

We often receive calls from people who are interested in learning more about our product design capabilities. As you will see, coming up with a new product idea is just the first step of the invention process. Here are five important points to consider before moving forward.

I have a new product idea - now what?

Start with a simple Google search to see if any similar idea already exists - you may be surprised! If you find that indeed you have a unique idea that deserves a closer look, you can meet with Design Interface for a free consultation. Rest assured your idea will remain confidential - we sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before discussing anything and will never share your idea with anyone. Design Interface has over 30 years experience of developing ideas into real consumer products and can advise about your next steps.

I have a drawing of my invention but it’s on a napkin - can you help?

Some great ideas start out on a napkin but you’ll need something more presentable to show others. We can create one or more finished drawings that capture your design intent.

Can you make a prototype of my idea?

Yes, in most cases a working prototype is a good idea to evaluate a design and uncover areas for improvement. Prototypes can be very basic, made from simple materials for instance, to understand whether the idea will work. Alternatively, a more finished prototype can be exhibited at trade shows or demonstrated to investors. The cost can range widely depending on how simple or complex the idea being prototyped.

Do I need a patent?

You should consider talking to a patent lawyer before you get too far into the development process. A good lawyer can perform a patent search to see if similar ideas already exist and to offer legal advice. It may make sense to obtain a design or utility patent to protect your idea before moving forward. Design Interface can create any patent drawings you may need.

How much will this cost to develop a new product?

Most inventors are surprised to learn that bringing a product to market can be rather costly. A small plastic part for example can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars. It must be designed, engineered, and manufactured. Then there are also marketing costs (packaging, branding, advertising, brochures, perhaps an e-commerce website). Additional business fees (legal, fulfillment, sales, etc.) may apply as well. It all depends on the size and complexity of your idea.

Tags: invention prototypes patents product design

Pantone’s Top Ten Colors For Fall 2016

September 21, 2016
Category: Graphic Design

This year, Pantone® describes their fall palette for 2016 as A Unity of Strength, Confidence and Complexity. 

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said this about the Fall colors. “The desire for tranquility, strength, and optimism have inspired a Fall 2016 color palette that is led by the Blue family.

Along with anchoring earth tones, exuberant pops of vibrant colors also appear throughout the collections. Transcending gender, these unexpectedly vivacious colors in our Fall 2016 palette act as playful but structured departures from your more typical fall shades.

Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.” 

Here is a description of the Top Ten colors at a glance.

• Riverside – Pantone 17-4028 - This is a cool and calming hue with a subtle sophistication.

• Airy Blue – Pantone 14-4122 - This shade is said to be a nod to one half of the Pantone Color of the Year 2016, Serenity, said to evoke a feeling of weightlessness.

• Sharkskin – Pantone 17-3914 - This shade serves as a neutral with an edge that can work with almost any fall color, whether bright or muted.

• Aurora Red – Pantone 18-1550 - This color adds a welcome punch. A bold red that is warm and sensual, it gets the metaphorical blood of the palette and the collections pumping.

• Warm Taupe – Pantone 16-1318 - This a hearty, grounded and approachable neutral, which pairs well with each of the top ten shades of the Fall 2016 season.

• Dusty Cedar – Pantone 18-1630 - This is a dustier rose-toned pink shade that nods to the other half of the Pantone Color of the Year 2016, Rose Quartz.

• Lush Meadow – Pantone 18-5845 - This shade brings to mind fresh botanicals and foliage. Rich and elegant, this green shade displays a brightness and depth of color.

• Spicy Mustard – Pantone 14-0952 -  An unexpected and exotic addition that comes through in both the abstract and the more defined geometric accents.

• Potter’s Clay – Pantone 18-1340 - Takes the palette back to what we might expect for fall with a warm orange-toned shade.

• Bodacious – Pantone 17-3240 - This versatile purple shade can be used mono-chromatically with colors in the pink and red family or just as easily with Spicy Mustard or Potter's Clay.

Which shade is your personal favorite? 

Learn more about Pantone, Color of the Year, Trends, Color Trends, and Fall 2016 at www.pantone.com.

Tags: pantone color trends

VenaPro Leg Compression Device Showcased at CIA Faculty Show

September 09, 2016
Category: Medical Device Design

Each year the CIA faculty show provides an opportunity for students to see the creative work their teachers undertake outside the CIA environment. This year Adrian Slattery showcased his design and engineering skills by presenting the successful VenaPro Leg Compression Device. This device reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis after surgery by compressing the lower leg. “It is rewarding to be a significant participant in the development of a medical device which benefits high risk patients in post surgical recovery,” said Adrian. The design process used Solidworks engineering software to create the 3D digital parts and assemblies and design validation was performed with an in-house 3D printer. Adrian has taught materials and manufacturing processes at the Cleveland Institute of Art to Industrial Design students for twelve years. 

Tags: Venapro Leg Compression CIA Faculty Show

“Dinner's Ready" All-In-One Kitchen Station

August 17, 2016
Category: Product Design

Here’s a concept Design Interface submitted to GE Appliance’s FirstBuild Co-create Community. I first had this idea as a young working mother — a dream that a hot dinner would be on the table when I walked in the door with 2 little kids after a long day at work. 


An all-in-1 kitchen station with app controlled cooking devices, prep area, dining area so that dinner’s ready when you walk in the door.


1. Refrigerates food to prevent bacterial growth.

2. Dinner’s ready by the time the user gets home from work.

3. Cooks enough to feed a family of four.

4. Seating/dining area for users.

5. Cooks multiple types of food.

6. Different styles of cooking, including: fry, bake, pressure, steam, microwave.

7. Food prep area and cutting board.

8. Cold and dry storage.

9. Mobile and compact for small apartments/homes.

To like Dinner’s Ready or comment visit https://cocreate.firstbuild.com/designinterface/dinners-ready-all-in-one-kitchen-station/

Team credits: Carla Blackman, Adrian Slattery, Doug Halley, Anita Morselli-Zakrajsek and intern Joe Kastelic (who pulled it all together).

More about FirstBuild:

FirstBuild is a co-creation community that is changing the way products come to market. By letting a community influence the product from the very beginning, we can quickly deliver better products that improve the lives of our consumers. Backed by GE Appliances, we have access to world-class engineering and design talent. www.firstbuild.com


Tags: product design dinner's ready

Brooks Stevens, Industrial Designer

July 25, 2016
Category: Product Design

Brooke Stevens was a famous industrial designer who started his career during the Great Depression and has contributed some very iconic designs such as:

• The 1949 Harley Davidson Hydra-Glide:  the distinctive styling of this bike is still influencing today’s models.

• The Miller Beer logo: still in use today.

• The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile: a fun and memorable car to promote the famous hot dog.

• He introduced the ‘robins-egg blue’ color that was widely used for kitchen appliances during the 1950s.

• The Excalibur automobile: based on the 1930’s Mercedes roadsters.

His home, built in 1939, was designed with the principle of “form follows function” and is quite different than a tradition house. It utilizes concrete walls, a flat roof, and aluminum windows. He is also responsible for promoting the concept of ‘planned obsolescence’ which, in his words, is based on "instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary."

Watch this video to learn more about this interesting designer.

Tags: product design brooks stevens

How to Choose a Good Design: 7 Things to Consider

July 15, 2016
Category: Product Design

Have you ever tried to choose the best design? Faced with multiple designs, it can be difficult to see the BEST solution to the problem at hand in any discipline: product, graphic, package or web design. Here are 7 principles that are pinned on my inspiration board:

1. Organization - This can be the structure or composition that conforms to objectives of the project. Particularly important for product design are ergonomic or safety issues for the user. Is the design well organized to meet the goals?

2. Proportion - The proper relationship between things or parts as to size, quantity, or ratio. Consider proportion in any 3 dimensional or 2 dimensional design. See the Golden Ratio in this post.

3. Unity - The relation of all parts or elements to make a harmonious whole and produce a single general effect. Are there repeating colors, fonts or shapes that unify the design?

4. Contrast - Note the opposite natures, purposes or comparisons in the design. People are attracted to contrast; dark against light, loud against quiet, large against small. Does the design include contrasting elements?

5. Balance - This looks at the arrangement and adjustment of the parts symmetrically. Does this balance work with the design’s proportion?

6. Movement - How the design leads the eye around it’s form, page or site. Does the design have cues that help the brain follow a pattern of movement?

7. Emphasis - An element that is given great stress or importance. Is the user emphasized? Does the design have a hierarchy where the most important element is obvious?

If you need help developing your next design, we would love to help you create a dynamic design that uses these 7 principles. Contact us today at www.designinterface.com/contact.html

Image credit: http://vanseodesign.com/online-business/quality/

Tags: good design

DAZZYLLE® Breast Implant Test Drive®

July 07, 2016
Category: Product Design

Design Interface has designed and developed the Dazzylle® sizers, a breast implant sizing system, along with Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Jason Leedy, who currently serves patients at the Cleveland Plastic Surgery Institute located in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. 

Dr. Leedy invented the Dazzylle implant sizing system with the intent to help better educate patients about breast augmentation.  These sizers mimic the volume, weight and feel of actual breast implants. DAZZYLLE Sizers allows you to “test drive” your new look, all in the privacy of your own home. This allows for the most realistic experience of what breast augmentation surgery will do for you. 

Tags: dazzylle product design

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January 1, 2030

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