TEAMS Design

teamsdesigncompany

 TEAMS Design is a multinational industrial design firm that specializes in the comprehensive design of entire product lines and the revitalization of brands.

Founded in 1956, TEAMS is among the oldest industrial design consultancies in the world. We've had the great luck to work on incredible projects that have earned over 1000 design awards over the years, and – more importantly – our brand-wide focus has helped our clients see substantial market success.

With offices in the US, Germany, China, and Serbia, we like to think of ourselves as internationally local. 

 

  • Bayer Material Science Cello 2.0

    The Cello 2.0 is the first musical instrument with the ability to express the user's performance not only through sound, but also through visual effects on its own body. Light effects and projected media allow the instrument and its user to interact and communicate with their audience in a completely new manner.

    We collaborated with Bayer Material Science to explore the potential of their new and highly innovative material, and the first working prototype of the cello debuted at the 2013 K International Trade Show in Germany.

    In addition to its artistic merit, the light effects have the potential to reshape music education, working as a metronome or changing colors to indicate correct tuning and intonation.

  • Bean Kids' Camera

    Digital photography has made point and shoot faster and easier than ever; it's also increasingly affordable. Cheap components that still deliver high quality photos have paved the way for a new subset of photographers — children.

    A camera for kids has to fulfill a unique set of needs. Treated as a toy, the product must stand up to rough handling and be difficult for the child to misplace. The standout feature of the design became its carabineer clip. By clipping to the child’s clothing or backpack, the camera is less likely to be crushed in the back of a locker or forgotten at the playground. The rounded shape of the clip guided the design into a signature oval form to fit comfortably in small hands. 

    In addition to a warm reception from consumers, the Bean has been honored with exceptional critical recognition. We were particularly proud to see the Bean win the prestigious IDEA Award in 2009 and grace the cover of Appliance Design Magazine's 2009 Excellence in Design issue.

     

  • Bionaire Brand Line

    Jarden Consumer Solutions is the brains behind well-known household brands like Mr. Coffee, Crockpot, Sunbeam, and Bionaire.

    When creating design languages for stablemates Sunbeam and Bionaire, the visual differentiation of the two brands was a high priority. For Bionaire, the language became architectural, featuring delicately curved surfaces, highly geometric repeating patterns, and a restrained color palette.

    In addition to solidifying the brand language of their fans, heaters, and humidifiers, the housing for each item had to be part of a modular system that allowed for a range of SKUs at varying sizes and price points. Engineering and design teams worked closely together so that the internal components and external housings complemented each other and fulfilled the brand’s need for modularity.

     

  • Bosch PowerBox 360

     We've enjoyed a successful collaboration with Bosch since 1956, designing their two major lines of power tools, creating lawn and garden tools, and working with many of their subsidiaries.

    As a jobsite radio and power tool charging station, the PowerBox 360 resides in tough environments full of sawdust and sparks. In construction sites and workshops, the radio has to survive debris, moisture, potential accidents, and generally rough handling.

    Sealed part lines keep debris and moisture safely away from the internal electronics, and an enclosed media bay protects devices like phones and thumb drives while they charge and play music. The light-weight, aluminum-and-rubber roll cage flexibly absorbs shock if the unit is dropped. Bosch had some fun demonstrating this tough-as-nails aspect of the design, launching it with a trebuchet and beating it with baseball bats.

     

  • Chicago Cutlery DesignPro Knives

    The broad scope of the original project brief tasked designers with researching the entire history of cutlery to generate truly new cutting solutions for Chicago Cutlery. Through investigations like user research and classes in knife skills, the design team discovered that home cooks and professional chefs hold knives quite differently. The pros pinch the knife at the top of the handle in a position that improves speed, safety, and precision while slicing and dicing.

    However, a typical knife design does little to communicate this optimal ergonomic position. Consumers are more likely to grasp the handle with their palm, the only position that seems intuitive to them. We sought to change that with the DesignPro line.

    To guide the hand to the correct position, the bolster that connects the knife handle to the blade is shaped for intuitive finger placement with a graphic dot pattern that highlights touchpoints. Each knife in the line was individually designed for its specific task to ensure that the innovative grip philosophy would translate across all kitchen cutting tasks.

     

  • CubeXX Concept Forklift

     The Still cubeXX was created as a vision for the future of intralogistics — the in-house flow of goods and materials. As a concept vehicle, the forklift was designed to have an unprecedented level of adaptability by morphing into a variety of functional configurations.

    To adapt to each day’s varied tasks and rotation of operators, the cubeXX transforms from an easily stored, compact cube into a fully functioning forklift that runs autonomously or with a driver. In its automated mode, the canopy retracts, creating the minimal, cube-shaped form. In its manned mode, the cab extends up and offers the driver a fully enclosed and tech-savvy workplace. Various configurations allow this one vehicle to perform the tasks of many without the need to store and pay for multiple vehicles.

    The concept has received critical acclaim, winning awards such as:
    2012 Bronze IDEA Award
    2012 Fast Co. Innovation By Design Finalist
    2011 Gold Spark Award

     

  • Electro-Voice ZXL Speaker Family

    As an industry leader in professional audio equipment, Electro-Voice was in need of a design language that reflected the sound quality of their products.

    The design of the ZLX family marks the first implementation of the brand’s new VBL, combining a bold, angular form with features that enhance the user experience. Since musicians, DJs, and other performers regularly transport and mount the speaker, three over-molded handles offer multiple grip positions to make the heavy lifting a little easier. Working closely with the EV engineering team, we developed an optimal interface display and graphic layout to give the user precise control over their sound. With the newly implemented design changes, EV has seen their brand sour to number one in their market.

     

  • Fiskars Ergonomic Hand Tools

    Founded in 1649, Fiskars Corporation is one of the oldest brands in the world. To create a line of office, craft, and gardening hand tools for them, we started by creating a deluge of ergonomic prototypes.

    Working through the many iterations of each tool, we developed a line that provided the user’s hands with the right structure and support for each product.

    The VBL reinforced the careful ergonomic considerations with the inclusion of visual design cues: a pattern of indentations in the gray grip calls out key grip points and provides traction, while functional touchpoints are highlighted in orange.

     

  • Forklift Innovation

    As a world leader in the production of forklift and pallet trucks, Still has to create products that are at the forefront of technology, transportation design, and ergonomics.

    For over twenty years, we've collaborated closely with them to innovate everything from engine technology to driver safety.

    As a diesel-electric hybrid, the RX70 boasts the lowest rate of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in its class. Its cutting-edge electrical storage and recovery system charges capacitors every time the truck brakes. Upon acceleration, the capacitors provide power from this stored energy, reducing engine output by up to 11%.

    In 1998, the conceptual RXX led to a full line of forklifts for Still which eventually became their all time best-selling vehicles. Its cabin rises with the load, optimizing visibility for positioning the load onto high shelves. Even when driving, the operator can raise the cabin in order to see over the load. Other innovations included rear view cameras, a telescoping shaft, and an intuitive joystick control arm.

     

  • The House of Marley VBL

    Even decades after his passing, the music of Bob Marley remains an inspiration to people the world over, delivering a message of hope and love. To better spread that message, Marley’s children and other surviving family came together to establish the House of Marley.

    The Marleys gave themselves — and us — a lofty goal: to develop a range of innovative products that exemplify Marley's values of equality, unity, authenticity, charity, and sustainability.

    To kick off the project, design teams in Chicago, Hamburg, and Shanghai each brainstormed innovative products and services that would reflect Marley’s values. The project focused on concepts that would inspire eco-friendly attitudes and actions, create shared experiences across cultures, and encourage healthy living.

    The first line of products released by the House of Marley was fittingly an audio line featuring headphones, ear buds, travel speaker pouches, and iPod docks. Drawing from the Rastafari reverence for all things of the earth, natural materials like sisal and bamboo were ranked for their sustainability and then integrated into the designs. The high end Destiny Collection in particular combines these rich, earthy details with sophisticated, timeless styling.

    As audio accessories have become increasingly slick and utilitarian in their style, the Trenchtown Rock headphones offer more soulful, authentic flavor. Through premium sound, responsibly sourced materials, and a rich interplay of high-end design details, the headphones satisfy the user aurally, spiritually, and aesthetically.

     

  • Kärcher Power Washers

    Kärcher is the world's largest manufacturer of power washers and high pressure cleaning systems.

    Since 1962, TEAMS has collaborated with Kärcher on over 200 appliances, bringing both incredible success on the international marketplace and critical acclaim from over 100 major awards, including the Design of the Decade award presented by the IDSA in 2000.

    "The Kärcher story has been one of consistency, distinct personality and clarity for nearly 10 years....proving the successful effect of a long-term design strategy." - Dr. Stefano Marzano, Philips Design

     

  • Lawn & Garden

    Because you should be able to spend more time enjoying your yard and less time maintaining it, the design of Bosch Lawn and Garden products aims to give users powerful, light-weight tools without the inconvenience of obtrusive extension cords. Lithium-Ion batteries allow both power and portability to be maximized in products ranging from compact shrub shears to powerful hedge cutters.

    This equipment for the European market echoes the style of Bosch’s European line of DIY power tools – durable and dynamic – but with slightly more organic lines that reflect its garden environment.

     

  • Mr. Coffee Product Line

    We created a styling language to breathe new life into this pioneer brand, bringing a fresh and high-end look to the outside in order to accurately reflect the first-class internals.

    But our journey with Mr. Coffee did begin on the inside. The design of the Optimal Brew had a singular goal: to brew better tasting coffee faster. No mere facelift, this project required a thorough evaluation of a coffeemaker's inner workings. We started by deconstructing a variety of coffeemakers to review how each heated and insulated its brew.

    After perfecting the internals, we went on to convey this higher performance in the modern exterior. In our continuing work with the brand, we've developed high-capacity machines and single-serve machines, machines that make an old-fashioned cup of Joe and ones that make specialty coffee drinks – all with the same modern design language tying them together.

     

  • Pyrex Kitchen Tools

    When iconic Pyrex decided to enter the crowded market for kitchen gadgets, they were intent on creating products that would inspire confidence in the kitchen.

    Because nothing inspires confidence like success, we knew that it would be key to make each tool function optimally. To that end, we abandoned the idea that each tool should have an identical handle. While that would lower tooling costs and solidify the brand language, it would sacrifice ergonomic considerations. Instead, each tool's shape, size, and weight were developed in accordance with the movement required of it — be it scooping, pushing, or squeezing.

     

     

  • Remington Groomer

    We worked with the Remington team to infuse their Visual Brand Language with styling elements evocative of stealth and aerodynamics. Building upon their strong brand equity in visually dynamic features, we incorporated masculine design trends for black-on-black palettes and strong facets. The automotive-inspired look creates lines that draw the eye to the product’s key features. Beauty, balance, ergonomics, yet oh so manly.

     

  • Safepole IV Pole

    When Safepole founder Cari Ugent was hospitalized for intensive cancer treatment, she became frustrated while dragging around an IV pole that hindered her from performing basic tasks. She came to us to improve upon the flawed device, and together, we pushed the limits of standard IV poles.

    We found that the format of IV poles had remained relatively unchanged for about a century. The new design would have to better solve ambulatory patients’ problems, such as unsteadiness while walking, tangled cords and tubes, and general encumbrance from the device.

    By empowering patients to perform tasks that would normally require assistance, Safepole’s design offers significant improvements for both patients and hospitals. The tip-resistant base provides support while walking and even leverage when rising from bed. This increased stability and mobility encourage ambulation, speeding recovery and reducing side effects like bed sores. The self-coiling cord doesn’t drag on the floor, eliminating one more source of germs for patients who must unplug their IV pole each time they get up to move.

    The features also help meet the patient’s unglamorous daily needs: the dual poles hold twice as many infusion pumps, the domed wheel base prevents tangling and tripping, and the large utility basket stores necessary bedside items in easy reach. The telescoping pole, IV tube router, on-board power strip, and oxygen tank holder help busy nurses efficiently replenish a patient’s medications.

    The design won a prestigious Gold Medical Design Excellence award in 2012.

     

  • Siemens Visual Brand Language

    Since 1989, we’ve designed Siemens’ portfolio of total building solutions, from climate control to fire prevention and security. Part of our work has included redefining icons for user interfaces. The graphic language is applied to both physical buttons and onscreen buttons, providing a consistent user experience.

    Though many of Siemens' climate control systems provide the user with a lot of complex data, the careful arrangement of components makes interaction highly intuitive. By factoring in our brain's positional memory and knack for finding hierarchies, the information on the controls is simplified and divided into manageable segments.

     

  • Sunbeam Brand Line

    Jarden Consumer Solutions is the brains behind well-known household brands like Mr. Coffee, Crockpot, Sunbeam, and Bionaire.

    When creating design languages for stablemates Sunbeam and Bionaire, the visual differentiation of the two brands was a high priority. Sunbeam’s language was re-aligned to convey the brand’s personable reputation with a range of warm and cool gray tones, and through repeating arched design elements reminiscent of a smile.

    In addition to solidifying the brand language of their fans, heaters, humidifiers, and irons, the housing for each item had to be part of a modular system that allowed for a range of SKUs at varying sizes and price points. Engineering and design teams worked closely together so that the internal components and external housings complemented each other and fulfilled the brand’s need for modularity.

     

Connect

Studio:
1812 W Hubbard Street
Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60622

Web:
www.teamsdesign.com

Phone:
(312) 733-5063

Fax:
(312) 492-9263

Email:
teams@teamsdesign.com

International Locations:
Germany:

Kollwitzstrasse 1
73728
Esslingen, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)711-35 17 650
Fax: +49 (0)711-35 17 6525 

Gertigstrasse 10a
22303
Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)40 492 939 - 50
Fax: +49 (0)40 492 939 – 53

China:
735 Liyang Rd
Office 5301
200080
Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China
Phone: +86 (0) 21 659 09 911
Fax: +86 (0) 21 659 09 232

Serbia:
Ljubinke Bobic 24/15
11070
Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +49 (0)711-35 17 650
Fax: +49 (0)711-35 17 6525

Awards

Some of our recent accolades include:
• iF Product Design 2013: Bosch Digital Conference System
• IDEA 2012, Bronze: Still cubeXX Concept Forklift
• Plus X 2012: Dremel Saw-Max
• Good Design 2012: Chicago Cutlery DesignPro Knives, Dremel Saw-Max
• Medical Design Excellence Award 2012, Gold: Safepole IV Pole

Services/Capabilities

Strategy
Industrial Design
User Interface
Conceptual Design
Product Development
Visual Brand Language
Research & Ideation
Brand Communication
Prototyping
Global Support
Packaging
Ergonomics

Founded:
1956

Clients:
Bosch, Mr. Coffee, Remington, Siemens, Intel, Pyrex, House of Marley