what's your favorite ID firm?

Curious, what do you guys think are the coolest ID firms?

I really like the work of Industrial Facility > http://www.industrialfacility.co.uk/

I’m not afraid to be mocked for my generic responses. :slight_smile:

Coolest name: Gravity Tank / Whipsaw
Work I like the most: Whipsaw, Smart, Design Edge. RKS
…and ASTRO for their insanely pure aesthetics and branding.

I’m liking these guys a lot:

And not because of the ‘Optimus Maximus’ keyboard that got them a lot of press (although it does look slick).

Very clever, fresh thinking all round.

When I was a student (which is going back a bit now though) these guys used to inspire me too:


But I’ve not kept up to date with their work much since I graduated all those years ago.

Tangerine Design intrigues me. http://www.tangerine.net/
Two partners formed the company in 1988, soon after they hired Jonathan Ive (of later Apple fame) and Peter Philips. Today they still only have four design partners, and yet have great clients and a solid portfolio.

The exceptional thing is that they have stuck to what they do best. Rather than aiming at “growth” in terms of staff size (and size of managements’ wallets) they have focused on doing better work.
-Crazy huh?!

Having a great reputation and portfolio and yet remaining so small means they must be able to select only the jobs they want to do, and I’m sure they have good control over the budget and timing too. Isn’t that the ideal situation for a designer?

This philosophy has always acted as a guiding light for me. I think they demonstrate that a design office doesn’t have to fit into the generic business models to be ‘successful’. If we concentrate on what we do best we’ll be more RELEVANT.


Good pick Paul.

I go with:

To add on to the list that includes industrial facility (though their Muji coffee machine and that handle is on my list of worsts designs)

leading edge design, tokyo

fumie shibata’s design studio S, tokyo

iwasaki design studio, tokyo

Fukasawa Naoto doesn’t make the list because half the +/-0 stuff looks good but break after a month. I know some people blame that on the OEM but I think thats part of it.

Popping up an old thread. But I came across these and fell in love.

Barber & Osgerby’s -

Barber & Osgerby
Industrial Facility

These two have some quite interesting projects:


How did you come across Alto?

Plus these guys are amazing to work with and for.
Awesome leaders besides being fantastic designers!

Digging the design directory a few months back, why?

They are a great firm. I thought they were unknown outside of Canada.

I wouldn’t say they are widely known, but if you dig a bit you can find them. High quality design and wide range of products, it really caught my attention!

I work for Ammunition so I’m a bit biased there. These are some special folks doing some very nice work.

The other firm that was put on my radar a bit ago is: Aruliden - small firm in NYC doing some nice work as well. http://www.aruliden.com

After seeing the C77 design awards, I’m leaning to Fuseproject. I really don’t want to like them (completely unjustified, I have no reason), but their work is always top rack.

When it comes to developing and designing products that will actually make it to market - there are no two better firms than Fuseproject and Ammunition.

Both firms focus on bringing things to market rather than doing conceptual work that might never see the light of day. Some folks like IDEO and Frog are great at that sort of thing - big picture design that has potential for vast cultural impact. But those projects require lots of funding and getting through lots of red tape (think the New York Taxi system). Different strokes.

This topic is odd to me. How many firms have you worked with as a client? On what types of projects? I think the opinions need qualifications. Otherwise the question becomes what design firm is doing the best PR?

That’s true. I’ve only worked with two firms and I think they could have done better. Having said that, I could have been a better client:/