Our Story

When a consumer-products company founded in 1903 recognizes the power of design thinking, we’re the result.

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2014

Design Expertise United

Design disciplines from across the organization are brought together to nurture creativity, learning, and innovation.

The stage set for collaboration

The Design Center in Kalamazoo opens on March 31. The facility includes unique immersion rooms, flexible studio space, a usability lab, and full prototyping capabilities. Industrial and graphic design are the primary disciplines.

Design management recognized

Newell Rubbermaid receives the Design Management Europe award among large companies. This international award recognizes how organizations manage design.

2015

Leadership, governance,
and culture develop

The Design Center, led by Nate Young, forms a creative leadership team and structure that incorporates management, design excellence, and internal sharing of best practices.

Culture Clubs inspire employees with shared interests

Proposed, planned, and led by employees, activity clubs contribute to enrichment, satisfaction, and learning.

2016


Corporate changes call for new identity

Newell Rubbermaid acquires Jarden and becomes Newell Brands, which launches an initiative for fresh new branding for the corporation.

Design hubs add to diverse perspectives

Locations in Hoboken, New Jersey, and South Deerfield, Massachusetts, are added to the Design organization, adding their design expertise to the collaborative effort.





2017

Design Day recognizes excellence

A new tradition is begun with the first annual gathering of global teams, part of nurturing the culture of design excellence. A Design Fair held as part of the event ignites new initiatives.

Team expands with additional capabilities

An eCommerce team is established in Hoboken to support all Newell brands with digital experiences, and a Design Communications team provides a foundation of concept design, frameworks, standards, and corporate design.

Experiential pop-up shop exceeds expectations

The Design team partners with Yankee Candle® from concept through implementation in the launch of Candle Power, a pop-up shop in New York City through the 2017 holiday season. The boutique is recognized in a WGSN trend report and wins a PR Platinum award for demonstrating innovative storytelling, creativity, and measurable results—exceeding social and media impressions targets by 400%.



2018

Brands & Rapid Design and Deployment
(later named SPEED Lab) reduces time to market

New technology and design sprints are used to increase ideation output.

Design education offered to team and business partners

The Design Institute is launched, offering courses in design disciplines and processes, design leadership, and creativity and innovation. In addition to developing skills of team members, the Institute invites others across Newell Brands to incorporate design thinking into their work.

Product designs garner awards

The Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ Countertop storage system is named among the Best Inventions by Time magazine. The Oster® HeatSoft Hand Mixer receives Honorable Mention in the annual Time magazine survey of Best Inventions. The Calphalon® Appliances line also wins a Good Design® award.

Annual event recognizing design excellence expands

What was begun as Design Day expands to Design Week in recognition of the value of bringing teams together for recognition, collaboration, and inspiration.

Design connects with the corporate sustainability initiative

Design team members join the Newell Brands Sustainability & Social Compliance Council. They also found a Design-centric team called re:newell, with an emphasis on assuring that environmental issues are factored into product design from the start.



2019

Design Center adds individual, collaborative, and community spaces

The Design Center facility in Kalamazoo expands by nearly one-third its original footprint, with spaces especially designed for the individual and team work processes. It opens on July 31.

X-Rite® technology ramps up color work

The Color, Material and Finish team adopts technology from X-Rite that enables them to more easily visualize any material on product surfaces and produce 3D renderings, as well as measuring and matching colors precisely.

Partnership celebrates excellence in graphic design

With the West Michigan Graphic Design Archive and the regional chapter of the AIGA, the Design Center supports a series of four exhibits in multiple West Michigan locations, including the final exhibit hosted at the Design Center. The exhibits draw from work in the archives to highlight aspects of the design process—and award-winning results.

New facility welcomes local business community

At the newly expanded Kalamazoo facility, over 300 designers and business people are hosted at an evening MIX event organized in partnership with Southwest Michigan First.

A harvest of awards and recognition for design and innovation

The collaborative work of Design Center teams is recognized with a series of awards in 2019: for Calphalon® Premiere™ Space Saving Cookware, an IDEA Bronze Award; for Calphalon® Appliances, an IDEA Silver Award; for Mr. Coffee® Easy Measure Coffeemaker, Good Housekeeping Editor’s Pick, International Home and Housewares Show; for Parker Pen packaging, an iF World Design Award; and Good Design® Awards for Graco® Sense2Soothe™ Swing, Oster® HeatSoft Hand Mixer and Rubbermaid® Freshworks™ Countertop food storage.

Synergy with corporate legal department gains honors

The Atlanta Bar Association presents Newell Brands its Most Innovative Corporate IP Law Department Award, recognizing the team’s work in close partnership with the Design Center. Their collaboration protects against counterfeit products and emphasizes the importance of design patents in the Newell portfolio.



2020

ArtCenter College of Design collaboration challenges students to replace plastic

In a studio class called “Life without Plastic,” Newell design team members inspire students in pursuit of new thinking about alternative materials and closing the loop in product design.

Design gains digital design capabilities

Located in Hoboken, the eDesign team develops digital touchpoints for all of the Newell brands, including videos, social stories, website videos, and more.

See how our Kalamazoo Facility
supports our teams in creativity.

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