ID firms bought over /acquired by Larger companies?

Hi all,

I just read of the article posted on the website about the chicago based product design company PDT being bought over by this manufacturing company Telezygology.

Is this the trend now that most ID firms are being acquired by larger companies in States? Is it because of financial difficulties of keeping a design company alive? Are there still many independent design consultancies that are standing by itself?

Ok. maybe I still do not know what’s happening to the design companies around the world yet cos i’m still a student.

I want to know whether how effective it is to be a Industrial designer working as “In-house” and “Consultancies”

I’m curious to know after reading this current article.


…some corps have turned their internal design studios into profit centers (they hire out to others as well do the day to day inside work)…this is just a variation on that scheme…

It is no longer unusual for manufacturing firms to be aquiring Design consultancies. It only makes sense that it brings in a customer early in the process and makes sure they can manufacture the product (for good or bad)

ok. maybe i being idealistic or living in the past or something.

cos when i heard that an ID firm being acquired by larger companies and especially a non design firm that cares about profits, my heart sank.

I always think that “Yes , an ID firm is one of the dynamic, creative companies, we pave the way for new products and that our ideas owe nobody, cos it’s our own”

As designer to be, i always like to promote design conscious and awareness without talking about the financial constraints like our design world of community like in this
forum of our own.

Oh well…have to face up to reality


The original post here actully get’s the facts wrong… Telezygology specialize in design and engineering and develop interlectual property, they have international experience in technology development and software distribution - They are not a manufacturing company. PDT are a research, design, engineering and tooling powerhouse - If you look at both companies, their capabilities and resources you’ll quickly see how natural and beneficial this deal can be to both involved parties.

You mean like FROG design bought out by OEM?

Designers have to see that the bottom line does eventually drive these types of decisions. We will probably be seeing more designers working as part of a larger group rather than small individual consultancies. It is simply cheaper for a large manufacturing group to hire designers in-house and offer a complete, integrated OEM/ODM service to their large volume customers.

Palo Alto Products > Flextronics
Frog > Flextronics
Acuson > Design Affairs >>> Seimens

ID firms care about profits too! If you don’t care about profit, chances are you are going out of business, or make so much profit, that you don’t need to care about it.

This has been going on for awhile, Design Works was bought by BMW and Phillips turned there internal staff into a consultancy for hire years ago.

let’s not forget…

IDEO is owned by Steelcase

considering the state of affairs there, it wouldn’t surprise me if IDEO was Steelcase’s hottest commodity right now