Frog Design Inc.

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Frog Design Inc.
Industry Human factors, Mechanical, Electrical, Software engineering, Industrial design, Interaction design
Founded January 1, 1969 (1969-01-01)
Founder Hartmut Esslinger
Headquarters San Francisco, United States
Area served
Key people
Andy Zimmerman
Hans Neubert
(Chief Creative Officer)
Owner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Number of employees
600+ (2014)
Parent Aricent

Frog (styled as frog) is a global design and innovation firm founded in 1969 by industrial designer Hartmut Esslinger in Mutlangen, Germany as "esslinger design".[1] Soon after it moved to Altensteig, Germany, and then to Palo Alto, California, and ultimately to its current headquarters in San Francisco, California. The name was changed to Frogdesign in 1982 (the name apparently originating from an acronym for Esslinger's home country, the Federal Republic of Germany), then to Frog Design in 2000, and finally to frog in 2011.


Originally geared towards industrial design, frog has expanded its capabilities and is now a global product strategy and design firm. Many of its designs are of consumer electronics and computers.

In August 2004, the company announced that Flex (formerly Flextronics), a large electronics manufacturing services provider, was taking an equity stake in the company, a deal characterized by some commentators as essentially an acquisition. Flextronics CEO Michael Marks, in a March 2005 BusinessWeek article, said that Flex was going to integrate their San Jose-based industrial-design group with frog.[2] The company is now a unit of Aricent (formerly Flextronics Software), which itself is controlled by investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Many of today’s design leaders started at frog, including Herbie Pfeifer, Paul Montgomery, Tylor Garland, Steven Skov Holt, Jon Guerra, Gadi Amit, Ross Lovegrove, Tucker Viemeister and Yves Behar.

Designs and clients[edit]

First designs were for WEGA in 1969, a German TV manufacturer, later acquired by Sony. frog continued to work for Sony and designed the Trinitron television set in 1975.

Their first designs for computer manufacturers were for proprietary systems by CTM (Computertechnik Müller) in 1970 and Diehl Data Systems in 1979. More prominent are the designs for Apple Computer, starting with the case of the portable Apple IIc, introducing the Snow White design language used by Apple during 1984–90, and continuing with several Macintosh models.[3] The firm designed Sun's SPARCstations in 1989[4] and the NeXT Computer in 1987.[5]

More recently, frog has worked for clients such as SAP, GE, Microsoft, Siemens, Intel, Lufthansa, HP, and UNICEF.[6]


The company has grown to over 600 employees worldwide, with offices across the globe: San Francisco, Austin, New York City, Seattle, Munich, Milan, Shanghai, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Boston.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hartmut Esslinger (27 May 2009). A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-0-470-50041-5. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Online Extra: "Design Is a Commodity"
  3. ^ Luke Dormehl (2 August 2012). The Apple Revolution: Steve Jobs, the counterculture and how the crazy ones took over the world. Random House. pp. 288–. ISBN 978-1-4481-3136-5. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  4. ^ David Bramston (25 November 2008). Basics Product Design 01: Idea Searching. AVA Publishing. pp. 89–. ISBN 978-2-940373-76-5. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Owen W. Linzmayer (2004). Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive Story of the World's Most Colorful Company. No Starch Press. pp. 209–. ISBN 978-1-59327-010-0. Retrieved 4 March 2013. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]