May 2021
Our Expertise: Design Services

Learn about the design services & expertise we bring to the table with examples from our new mobility, commercial, & consumer product design portfolio.


Industrial Design

Industrial Design has been at the core of Sundberg-Ferar’s innovation methodology since our inception in 1934. As Industrial Designers, we aim to make every product we work on more useful, usable, intuitive, understandable, ergonomic, and beautiful – all based on a deep understanding of user behavior, needs, and desires.

Portfolio Examples: Dannar Mobile Power Station, OBI Robotic Feeding Device

Our Expertise: Design Services

Creative Engineering

Our engineers take pride in making products beautiful from the inside out, discovering time and again that an elegant solution to a complex problem is the best recipe for success. The Sundberg-Ferar engineering team applies this mantra and serves to enable innovation, helping you determine your organization’s needs and how best to meet your challenges. We can execute designs for everything from high-volume, cost-sensitive products to limited production, couture systems and we know how to recommend the appropriate manufacturing processes that stage the products for success.Expertise in plastics, mechanisms, metals, composites, soft goods, electro-mechanical systems, among many others helps provide clients with a broad-scope tool box to pull from.

In early project phases, we invent new solutions and flush out specifications that guide the development towards robust solutions. We later execute and validate, bringing the design from the dream to the table with tool-ready data. In every case, we work as a team with industrial design, combining art and science to make your products not just emotionally desirable, but technically feasible and manufacturable to the highest standard.

Portfolio Examples: Hyundai T.I.G.E.R., SproutsIO

Innovation Strategy

Sundberg-Ferar’s Genesis innovation process is our proprietary set of techniques used to identify trends, discover unmet needs, synthesize conclusions and realize innovation pathways. Our Genesis process is the best way clients can dive into future business opportunities to establish ideal consumer experiences, confidently develop solutions and assess high opportunity innovation pathways.

Sundberg-Ferar’s Innovation Strategy techniques ensure that your company is prepared and tactically poised to create and develop sought-after products. Your resources are too valuable to be spent solving the wrong problems and developing products people won’t buy. Our Genesis™ strategy experts consider external and internal variables that may impact your business to uncover unmet market needs and define tactical initiatives to fill your product pipeline.

Portfolio Examples: Masco Cabinetry Merillat CoreGuard, Hyundai The Loop

Design Research

At SF, research is an integral element in the design process, providing insights to fuel innovation and amassing evidence to build confidence in a design direction. There are three distinct roles that research serves in our design process: Discovery, Refinement and Validation.

Through creatively crafted methods and techniques in both qualitative and quantitative formats, we bring clarity to the spoken and unspoken needs of ALL of the appropriate stakeholders: end users, purchase influencers and decision makers, sales and service groups and/or client management teams. Our approach is always customized, iterative in nature, and collaborative… bringing together the unique perspectives of a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, designers and/or engineers.

Portfolio Examples: Club Car Precedent Golf CarAmes True Temper Pruners


Physical prototyped concepts are an early and prolific part of our product-innovation approach. Models and prototypes allow accurate evaluation of product concepts on many levels and at many stages in the development process. From quick mock-ups, 3D sketches, and proof-of-concepts, to high-fidelity, functional, and production intent prototypes the assets we develop are crucial communication tools that speed the decision-making process and are second-to-none in quality. Our techniques range from hand sculpted foam mock-ups and precision milled parts, to additive manufacturing and full-size production-intent prototypes. Along with our dedicated model-makers, every designer and engineer on our team has a thorough understanding of prototypes and we work with our hands wherever possible. Whether it’s big, small, simple or complex, the artists in our modeling facilities can build anything.

Portfolio Examples: JR Clancy Helios Hoists and SceneControl12, Arrow Fasteners Electric and Manual Staplers

GUI Design

We believe that the user interface should be crafted as a marriage  between the physical product, and the ideal user experience.  Beyond basic control, UI is increasingly being used to reflect deeper values; it is the personality of both your product and your brand.   We understand that a product’s user interface is an opportunity to connect the nuances of your users’ needs to feature solutions and the equity for your brand.  Our grounding in product design gives us a thorough understanding of how to intuitively communicate to consumers, and how to create that seamless experience.  Whether your product is a consumer durable, medical device, automotive application, or service, we can help you bring your interface to life in a way that is clear, functional, and beautiful.

Portfolio Examples: Chrysler Uconnect Infotainment SystemElectrolux Large Appliances

Packaging Design

We believe that packaging should reinforce the emotional appeal, elegance, and brand values of the product at the point of purchase. Too often, the best attributes of a product are ignored, covered, or diluted once it’s inside its final package. The way we see it, all of the research and creativity that results in a new product is also directly applicable to the product’s packaging design. The emotional hooks that make a product uniquely compelling must be communicated and accentuated in the “unboxing experience” as well as over its long-term use. At Sundberg-Ferar, our goal is to leverage the thinking that went into the design of the product and use it to develop a packaging strategy that shows off the relevant purchase decision drivers associated with the product itself.

Portfolio Examples: Wiss Tools Medium Duty Shop Scissors

Service Design

Products today are conceived and developed as three-fold embodiments of their physical, digital, and service elements. Service design is increasingly becoming a linchpin of the product development process. At Sundberg-Ferar we’ve navigated the complexities of service design helping clients develop everything from community programs to remote education strategies and elderly care services. Never straying from foundational research and insights on the needs, wants, and behaviors of all stakeholders involved, our designers craft meaningful and seamless experiences whether as product-related or stand-alone services.

Portfolio Examples: Michigan Virtual Emergency Remote Learning ,  Hyundai The Loop

And hey, if you’re looking for an innovation partner to help you realize your product design & strategy goals, or you’re looking for design leadership to bring more skills and guidance to the table – reach out to us!
We’d love to talk!