RKS Product Design Company entry with industrial designer looking at wall of Design Firm process

Elevating the human experience, since 1980.

RKS Design

is a human-centered and award-winning top product design firm, industrial design company, product development firm, and innovation consultancy.

Product Design firm main entry way
List of design and innovation awards for RKS Product Design Company

Founded in 1980, our human-centered product design firm and development company works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everything in between. In 2023, our design consultancy resides in a 20,000 sq. ft, solar-powered studio in California that buzzes with category experts in industrial design, product development, engineering design, rapid prototyping, UI/UX design, brand, strategy, research, and software. Our unique in-house rapid prototyping lab allows our industrial designers and product engineers to quickly iterate through fast-fails and develop market-ready solutions quickly. Our design company’s creative culture is and always has been open and inclusive, and we embrace a diversity of ideas, cultures, and backgrounds. RKS is widely regarded as one of the best product design companies in the world, and a top product engineering and development firm.

Our Services

We design experiences that improve people's lives

We utilize a human-centered, collaborative and cross-functional process to create industrial designs for our clients. Because we usually aren’t designing for our own needs, we begin every project understanding the strategic goals of our client, and developing deep empathy with our target customers. We leverage our advanced design-thinking framework Psycho-Aesthetics™ to develop strong alignment and consistent delivery throughout the process.

Logos of Innovation Industrial Design Clients
Logos of Innovation Industrial Design Clients

We utilize a human-centered, collaborative and cross-functional process to create industrial designs for our clients. Because we usually aren’t designing for our own needs, we begin every project understanding the strategic goals of our client, and developing deep empathy with our target customers. We leverage our advanced design-thinking framework Psycho-Aesthetics™ to develop strong alignment and consistent delivery throughout the process.

We use human-centered principles and tools to develop deep empathy

We use decades of experience to carefully plan efficient research, which is essential to creating an emotional connection with consumers to products and services. At the same time, well-designed ethnography can reduce the cost of product development by targeting the important and necessary data required without wasting valuable time and resources. Our market research and ethnographic research processes have multiple phases that move from planning, to execution, to synthesis.

We use decades of experience to carefully plan efficient research, which is essential to creating an emotional connection with consumers to products and services. At the same time, well-designed ethnography can reduce the cost of product development by targeting the important and necessary data required without wasting valuable time and resources. Our market research and ethnographic research processes have multiple phases that move from planning, to execution, to synthesis.

We design brands to create long-lasting emotional connection and viral demand

Our brand strategy team develops and refines brands that reflect organizations, their values, and the needs and aspirations of target consumers. While a brand can be broken in constitute parts, such as a unique design, sign, symbol, or words, a powerful branding experience depends not only on the aesthetic features of brand elements but on the emotional appeal standing behind it.

Our brand strategy team develops and refines brands that reflect organizations, their values, and the needs and aspirations of target consumers. While a brand can be broken in constitute parts, such as a unique design, sign, symbol, or words, a powerful branding experience depends not only on the aesthetic features of brand elements but on the emotional appeal standing behind it.

We design iconic user experiences and user interfaces that empower users

We use our human-centered lens to collaborate across research, design, and development to develop experiences that achieve product-led growth. Our UI and UX teams use Psycho-Aesthetics™ to create deep empathy with target users, crafting user experience and user interfaces that elevate the lives of users and generate word-of-mouth demand.

We use our human-centered lens to collaborate across research, design, and development to develop experiences that achieve product-led growth. Our UI and UX teams use Psycho-Aesthetics™ to create deep empathy with target users, crafting user experience and user interfaces that elevate the lives of users and generate word-of-mouth demand.

We create innovative strategies and solutions

We use our human-centered methodology, Psycho-Aesthetics™, to help organizations and their teams build the capabilities to look into the future. Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit for many companies. We work with organizations to develop an innovation strategy around a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies and behaviors to achieve a specific competitive goal.

We use our human-centered methodology, Psycho-Aesthetics™, to help organizations and their teams build the capabilities to look into the future. Despite massive investments of management time and money, innovation remains a frustrating pursuit for many companies. We work with organizations to develop an innovation strategy around a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies and behaviors to achieve a specific competitive goal.

We build custom software using the latest technologies

Our unique integrated approach to software development allows us to create transformative digital experiences for users and organizations and allow us to link these experience to hardware products. Our dev team keeps up-to-date with the latest frameworks and libraries, allowing us to deploy software cross-platform, out-of-the-box. Some of our most recent projects include IoT, blockchain development, AI/ML algorithms, computer vision, and cross-platform digital transformations.

Our unique integrated approach to software development allows us to create transformative digital experiences for users and organizations and allow us to link these experience to hardware products. Our dev team keeps up-to-date with the latest frameworks and libraries, allowing us to deploy software cross-platform, out-of-the-box. Some of our most recent projects include IoT, blockchain development, AI/ML algorithms, computer vision, and cross-platform digital transformations.

We use our human-centered methodology to solve any engineering challenge

We utilize a combination of tried and true engineering methods and emergent technologies that give us a unique advantage in product engineering. While prototyping is a cornerstone of our work, new 3D printing methods allow us to quickly create life-like models that can be used to solve problems and make adjustments early on that are costly when done later. Our systems engineering methods incorporate traditional understandings of systems integration and organization-wide technologies driving innovation like AI/ML and IoT.

We utilize a combination of tried and true engineering methods and emergent technologies that give us a unique advantage in product engineering. While prototyping is a cornerstone of our work, new 3D printing methods allow us to quickly create life-like models that can be used to solve problems and make adjustments early on that are costly when done later. Our systems engineering methods incorporate traditional understandings of systems integration and organization-wide technologies driving innovation like AI/ML and IoT.

We blend design and engineering innovation

We’re experts at designing elegant, efficient, and patentable new technologies. Product development is often a strategic decision in the new product design and engineering process, that allows companies to create a competitive moat for their new product. Our team has developed and patented hundreds of products, that have been iterations of existing technologies and built entirely from the ground up. Making choices about how to use or create new technologies is a vital risk of the product development process. We manage this risk at every stage in the process.

Logos of Product Development Company Clients
Logos of Innovation Product Development Clients

We’re experts at designing elegant, efficient, and patentable new technologies. Product development is often a strategic decision in the new product design and engineering process, that allows companies to create a competitive moat for their new product. Our team has developed and patented hundreds of products, that have been iterations of existing technologies and built entirely from the ground up. Making choices about how to use or create new technologies is a vital risk of the product development process. We manage this risk at every stage in the process.

"Creativity + Strategic Thinking = RKS.

Atypical of many design firms, Ravi and Lance have brought together a team of passionate, talented designers, researchers, strategists and experience experts that deliver quality results.”
Joseph Lee, Chief Design Officer Life Technologies​
Studio view of RKS Product Design and Development Company

"Creativity + Strategic Thinking = RKS.

Atypical of many design firms, Ravi and Lance have brought together a team of passionate, talented designers, researchers, strategists and experience experts that deliver quality results.”

– Chief Design Officer, Life Technologies

Studio view of RKS Product Design and Development Company

Design Spotlight

Featured projects that reminded us why we love what we do.​

Bringing the Big Screen to the comfort of your home with Venue.

Singular Genomics G4​

An innovative benchtop sequencing platform with unmatched speed.

Talis​

In office analyzer solution that will transform the future of women’s health.

Impact-driven projects that moved us along the way.​

Child Safety Network​

Repositioning a brand in its 30th year to help appeal to millennial parents and facilitate fundraising to ensure the safety of kids.

RKS Guitars​

Reinventing the electric guitar to drive sustainability and increase usability for the optimal playing experience.

Unilever​

Sustainability and Global Strategy to drive and reduce the usage of water in the laundry category for emerging markets.

Recent Insights from us over at RKS, as we all continue to innovate together.

RKS Playlist

 As you may have heard, “Music can be the drug of choice for designers.” We are a firm fueled by music, and we thought, what better than a collaborative playlist to share music that fuels our creativity with you?

RKS Video

As designers, we develop products that create emotional connections with the user integrating all aspects of form, fit, and function to optimize the user experience. 

the designer

Check out the designer Volume 14. From AI and machine learning to dogs being able to smell diseases, this Volume is overflowing with engaging and divergent information and resources.

Psycho-Aesthetics™ (P/A)

Our Advanced Human-Centered Design & Development Methodology

Top design is no longer just about winning awards and creating great portfolios—it’s much more. The best products create lasting emotional connections between the product, brand, and service, and the user. The basis of this connection is a foundational understanding and user’s needs and wants. Crafted over forty years, our advanced design thinking approach, Psycho- Aesthetics (P/A), allows us to understand and quantify these emotional connections. Unique among product design companies, this human-centered methodology is deep the bones of our firm. Our product design agency uses it to conceive and bring to life new innovative technologies, new products, and services, new brands, new digital experiences, new environments, even whole new companies. Our best work is done when we create solutions that remain fresh, inspired, relevant, and human. Using this approach, we work with our clients to create lasting, impactful projects that grow their businesses to new heights. United by Psycho-Aesthetics, our design firm creates a common languages with our clients that can be used over the life of the relationship.

A few of the great institutions that use our design thinking methodology; P/A™:

What We Do

Product Design

As a top product design company and innovation consultancy we prioritize functional industrial design that emphasizes intuitive creativity and calculated scientific decision-making. In our product design work, we take seriously our responsibility to create impactful designs that define their markets and industries and create new intellectual property. Our highly collaborative environment allows our designers to find best-in-class solutions that consider product form and function, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, sustainability, and sales. Our past industrial design projects have blended art and science into sustainable package design, consumer products, user experiences, medical devices, water filtration, toys, and more. Our industrial company offers great design any where and for everyone, and we are driven by our mission of creating impactful solutions that are both financially successful and address the most pressing social issues of our time. Our design consulting services have been applied to a diverse set of industries including consumer, healthcare. We work with large enterprises and small business alike.

Product Engineering

We are globally recognized as one of the best product engineering and development companies in the world. Our company uses the latest process and technologies and is second to none. Our company’s expert product engineering and product development team has decades of experience in engineering and developing simple and complex mechanical and electro-mechanical systems. Among top product design firms and product development companies, RKS has a rare combination of this in-house technical expertise and the facilities required to engineer and develop. Our firm has both computerized and physical prototyping capabilities, We use industry-standard CAD software on the latest devices, and host a full workshop with 3D printing and CNC Machining in our 20,000 sq. ft. studio. This enables us to develop prototypes in-hour, speeding time to market through quick-fail assessments. In some product development projects, we use existing systems and integrate them into our designs. In other product development projects, we have to develop entirely new technologies. We are capable or engaging our existing vendors, liaising with client vendors, or sourcing new vendors. While we consider design for manufacturing in all of our designs, we are also able to liase with or source manufactured and suppliers. We can work collaboratively with client designer or engineers, or we can work independently.

Research & Strategy

As one of the best products design companies, we rely on our top-notch research team – experts in ethnographic research and synthesizing consumer insights. We are experts at ethnographic research and synthesizing consumer insights from primary and secondary research. Using our advanced psycho-aesthetic framework we design strategies for businesses, products, and services that are relative, scalable, and adaptive. Strategy is a design competency that links brand, product, and market. Our designers use our psycho-aesthetic approach, to create three types of strategies: A relative strategy that confronts the existence of competing companies and products to find the right white-space; A scalable strategy that looks ahead to the future of business and industry; An adaptive strategy that changes a strategy in the context of new information. A successful business, product, or service needs to consider all three. In most cases, designers are not the consumers and without deeper understanding and insights into people’s behavior and psychological patterns, RKS designs would be unable to create long and lasting benefits over many years. The foundation of this success comes from insights into people, their needs, their aspirations, their challenges, how they work, live, and play, and the interior and social architecture of their lives. We use the picture developed from this ethnographic research as the basis of designs. Our team has years of experience in designing, executing, and transferring data from our ethnographies to award-winning designs.

Product Development

We are globally recognized as one of the best product development companies in the world. We company uses the latest process and technologies and is second-to-none. Our company’s expert product engineering and product development team has decades of experience engineering and developing simple and complex mechanical and electro mechanical systems. Among top product design firms and product development companies, RKS has a rare combination of this in-house technical expertise and the facilities required to engineer and develop. Our firm has both computerized and physical prototyping capabilities, We use industry standard CAD software on the latest devices, and host a full workshop with 3D printing and CNC Machining in our 20,000 sq. ft. studio. This enables to develop prototypes in-hour, speeding time to market through quick-fail assessments. In some product development projects, we use existing systems and integrate them into our designs. In other product development projects, we have to develop entirely new technologies. We are capable or engaging our existing vendors, liaising with client vendors, or sourcing new vendors. While we consider design for manufacturing in all of our designs, we are also able to liase with or source manufactured and suppliers. We can work collaboratively with client designer or engineers, or we can work independently.

Software Engineering

We used our advanced design thinking methodology to design, build, and validate your ideas into human-centered digital experiences. As the barrier to entry for digital products lowers with the cost of engineering, design has become more and more important. We use our psycho-aesthetic approach to design user experiences and user interfaces that both solve user needs and resonate with the user on an emotional level, turning them into product heroes. At the same time, we use the latest tech and tools. We are as comfortable designing an e-commerce website as we are working in IoT, custom AI deployments, and blockchain tech. We have experience with: augmented reality SDKs, AI-based facial tracking and body tracking/scanning, natural language processing with Amazon Lex, blockchain technologies including smart contracts, decentralized security and privacy frameworks, machine learning algorithms, and deep learning with TensorFlow and sci-kit, video and Image processing, HIPAA compliance and attestation, on-device hardware integration, IoT and beacon technologies, and 3D imaging using OpenGL. We are fluent in many development environments, including web, mobile apps, and software.
View of RKS Software development upclose visual of someone on a computer looking at code
Brand Asset package of a re branding project for Beat the Streets includes posters, stationary, business cards and pencils

Brand Design

Today, most industries and companies find themselves competing on brand. Brands fundamentally create trust, through honest emotional connections. These types of emotional connections are priority one for business leaders engaged in strategy, innovation, and design processes. Though we know brands must resonate emotionally, observing this phenomenon is much easier than creating it. Most branding agencies focus on how a brand makes people feel – we focus on how a brand makes people feel about themselves. As designers, we develop brands based on this understanding of how people see the world, resulting in our ability to empathize with them and their dreams and aspirations. As a brand design firm and agency, we define and understand the attributes, benefits, values, and personality of a product, service, or company. In developing brand identity we also consider brand personality, awareness, recognition, and recall. Our work researches deep into name, logo, tagline, graphics, shapes, colors, sounds, scents, tastes, and even movements to create long-lasting emotional connections and differentiation.

Innovation Strategy

Located in the fertile California design community, RKS’s designs create an emotional resonance between consumers, products, and brands. We welcome not only existing categories of design projects but strategic innovation. Leading the trends in California Product and Industrial Design and Product Development, we focus on our client’s product design, industrial design, and engineering needs. We are one of the best industrial design firms in the world, and the RKS team is comprised of talented, dedicated industrial designers, engineers, researchers, UI UX designers, and branding and marketing specialists. As a result, RKS provides world-class industrial design, design research, and engineering service to companies not only in Los Angeles and greater California, but also nationally and globally. We work with companies of all sizes – from technology start-ups to category-leading companies that seek to increase market share. We pride ourselves on our creative ability to meet all of our client’s design needs. Ultimately, our company takes great price in meeting the demanding needs a client.

Two men looking at images on a table in discussion on which ones to pick
Branding for Talis Biomedical, portrays the rebranding on an ipad, iphone, and laptop all in different orientations.

Digital Marketing

RKS is a top digital marketing agency and innovation firm that focuses on paid, earned and owned media marketing campaigns backed by a data-driven approach. As a top digital marketing agency we work with both startups and later-stage companies to create and execute high-ROI digital marketing campaigns. We use our Holistic Marketing framework and our Psycho Aesthetics™ (P/A) methodology to solve the omnichannel needs of offline and online convergence. Among digital marketing agencies, we distinguish ourselves by our human-centered approach that relies on our P/A methodology to identify and understand consumers’ emotional and rational needs. We are a full-service digital marketing agency that provides paid, earned, and owned media support. We rely on our team of cross-disciplinary specialists in website platforming, advertising, software development, brand strategy, graphic design, and product innovation.  

FAQ's

A product design firm is a company that specializes in creating innovative and functional designs for a wide range of products. Firms like our work with clients to understand their specific needs and requirements, and then use their expertise in design and engineering to develop products that meet those needs.

The process of product design typically involves a number of different steps, including research and development, concept creation, prototyping, and testing. The goal of a product design firm is to create products that are not only visually appealing and functional, but also easy to manufacture and cost-effective to produce.

Product design firms often employ a team of designers and engineers with a wide range of skills and expertise. These teams work together to create designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They may also work closely with manufacturers to ensure that the designs can be easily and cost-effectively produced.

Product design firms may focus on a particular industry or product type, such as consumer electronics, medical devices, or automotive parts. They may also specialize in a specific design process, such as industrial design, user experience design, or engineering.

In addition to designing products, product design firms may also provide additional services such as branding and packaging design, market research, and product testing. This helps clients to create a cohesive and effective product launch strategy.

A product design firm is a valuable resource for companies looking to develop innovative and effective products. By working with a team of experienced designers and engineers, clients can ensure that their products are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and can be easily and cost-effectively produced.

A product design agency is a professional organization that specializes in creating and developing products for businesses and organizations. Agencies like ours are typically composed of a team of designers, engineers, and other experts who have extensive experience and knowledge in the field of product design.

The primary goal of a product design agency is to help businesses and organizations bring their ideas to life. This involves working closely with clients to understand their needs and requirements, as well as conducting extensive research and analysis to identify potential design solutions. Through a collaborative process, the design team will then create detailed designs and prototypes, using advanced technology and tools to ensure that the final product meets all of the specified requirements.

In addition to creating the initial design, a product design agency will also provide ongoing support and assistance throughout the product development process. This may include conducting product testing and evaluations to ensure that the product meets all safety and performance standards, as well as providing assistance with manufacturing and production processes.

One of the key advantages of working with a product design agency is that they can provide a level of expertise and expertise that may not be available in-house. This is particularly important for businesses and organizations that are developing complex or innovative products, where the design process can be highly complex and require specialized knowledge and skills.

In order to provide the best possible service, product design agencies will typically have a highly experienced and dedicated team of designers and engineers who are trained and experienced in a wide range of design disciplines. This includes experts in areas such as industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, as well as specialists in areas such as user experience design and ergonomics.

A product design agency is a valuable resource for businesses and organizations looking to develop and bring new products to market. Through their expertise and experience, these agencies can help ensure that the design process is successful, and that the final product meets all of the specified requirements.

Product design consulting is a specialized field that focuses on the design and development of products for businesses and organizations. This type of consulting involves working closely with clients to understand their needs and goals, and then using design and engineering principles to create products that meet those needs.

Product design consulting involves a range of activities, from brainstorming and concept development to prototyping and testing. In the early stages of a project, a product design consultant will work with clients to identify their product needs and goals, and then develop a range of potential design solutions. This may involve conducting market research, analyzing user needs, and creating conceptual designs that illustrate how the product could look and function.

Once a concept has been chosen, the product design consultant will work with engineers and other specialists to develop detailed designs, specifications, and prototypes of the product. This may involve creating 3D models, conducting engineering analyses, and developing test plans to ensure that the product will function as intended.

Throughout the design process, product design consultants work closely with clients to ensure that the product meets their needs and expectations. They may also work with suppliers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product can be produced and delivered on time and within budget.

In addition to design and development, product design consulting may also involve activities such as market research, user testing, and product launch support. This can help clients to better understand their target market and ensure that their product is well-positioned for success.

Overall, product design consulting is a valuable service that can help businesses and organizations to develop innovative and effective products that meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. By leveraging the expertise of experienced consultants, businesses can gain a competitive edge and drive growth and success in their markets.

Product design and product development are two crucial components in the creation of a new product or service. While they are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.

Product design is the process of envisioning and creating a new product. This involves conceptualizing ideas, conducting research, and sketching out designs. The focus of product design is on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product. This includes things like the shape, color, and materials used, as well as the user experience and usability.

Product development, on the other hand, is the process of bringing a product design to life. This involves engineering and manufacturing the product, as well as testing and refining it. The focus of product development is on the technical aspects of the product, such as the materials, components, and processes used to create it.

One key difference between product design and development is the stage of the product creation process in which they occur. Product design takes place at the beginning, before the product has been created. Product development, on the other hand, occurs after the product design has been finalized and the product is ready to be manufactured.

Another difference is the focus of the two processes. Product design is focused on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product, while product development is focused on the technical aspects. This means that product designers are concerned with things like the look and feel of the product, while product developers are focused on how the product is made and how it works.

Another key difference is the skills and expertise required for each process. Product design typically requires a mix of creative and technical skills, such as design, engineering, and user experience. Product development, on the other hand, typically requires more technical skills, such as engineering, manufacturing, and quality control.

Despite these differences, product design and development are highly interconnected and often overlap. For example, a product designer may need to consult with a product developer during the design process to ensure that the product can be manufactured and assembled efficiently. Similarly, a product developer may need to work closely with the product designer to ensure that the product meets the design requirements and delivers a great user experience.

Product design and development are two distinct processes in the creation of a new product. Product design focuses on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product, while product development focuses on the technical aspects. While they are interconnected and often overlap, the skills and expertise required for each process are different.

Human-centered design is a design approach that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user. It is a collaborative process that involves the user in every step of the design process, from concept development to testing and iteration.

The goal of human-centered design is to create products, services, and systems that are intuitive, easy to use, and provide value to the user. This approach is based on the belief that the user’s perspective should be the driving force behind the design, rather than the designer’s own assumptions or preferences.

The human-centered design process typically begins with research and discovery. This involves gathering information about the user’s needs, wants, and limitations through a variety of methods such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and observations. This information is then used to generate ideas and concepts for the design.

Once a concept has been developed, it is then prototyped and tested with the user to gather feedback and refine the design. This feedback is used to make iterative changes to the design, ensuring that it meets the user’s needs and is easy to use.

One of the key benefits of human-centered design is that it helps to create solutions that are tailored to the user’s specific needs and preferences. This can lead to higher levels of user satisfaction and engagement, as well as increased adoption and usage of the product or service.

Another key benefit of human-centered design is that it can help to identify and solve potential problems before they arise. By involving the user in the design process, designers can gain valuable insights into how the product or service will be used, and can make adjustments to ensure that it is user-friendly and meets the user’s needs.

Human-centered design is often used in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, education, and government. It is particularly useful for complex systems or products that require a deep understanding of the user’s needs and limitations in order to be successful.

In conclusion, human-centered design is a design approach that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user. It is a collaborative process that involves the user in every step of the design process, and is aimed at creating solutions that are tailored to the user’s specific needs and preferences. By involving the user in the design process, designers can gain valuable insights and create solutions that are intuitive, easy to use, and provide value to the user.

Design-thinking is a process of problem-solving that involves a deep understanding of users, their needs and preferences, and the creation of innovative solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is a methodology that is used by designers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to come up with new ideas and solutions to complex challenges.

The design-thinking process typically involves five key steps: research, synthesis, design and ideation, execution, and moments of truth. In the first step, research, designers try to understand the needs, motivations, and experiences of the people they are designing for. This can involve conducting user research, conducting interviews and observations, and gathering insights about their target audience.

In the second step, synthesis, designers use the information gathered during the empathize stage to define the problem they are trying to solve. This involves identifying the challenge or opportunity, and creating a clear and concise problem statement that captures the essence of the problem.

The third step, design, involves brainstorming and generating a wide range of potential solutions to the problem. This can involve sketching, drawing, or using other visual tools to come up with ideas. The goal of this step is to generate a diverse range of potential solutions, without judging or evaluating them at this stage.

In the fourth step, execution, designers create a physical or digital representation of their solution. This can involve building a model, creating a mockup, or creating a working prototype. The goal of this step is to create a tangible representation of the solution that can be tested and refined.

The final step, moments of truth, involves conducting user research to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of the solution. This can involve conducting user testing, gathering feedback, and iterating on the solution based on the feedback. The goal of this step is to create a final solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and meets the needs and preferences of the target audience.

Design-thinking is a powerful tool for solving complex challenges and creating innovative solutions. It allows designers and innovators to deeply understand the needs and preferences of users, and create solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. By using the design-thinking process, designers and innovators can create solutions that are both effective and user-friendly, and help to improve the quality of people’s lives.

RKS stands for Ravi K Sawhney, the founder and current CEO of RKS Design. Ravi founded RKS in 1980.

Elevating the human experience, since 1980

RKS Product Design Company entry with industrial designer looking at wall of Design Firm process

RKS Design

is a human-centered and award-winning top product design firm, industrial design company, product development firm, and innovation consultancy.

Studio view of RKS Product Design and Development Company

"Creativity + Strategic Thinking = RKS.

Atypical of many design firms, Ravi and Lance have brought together a team of passionate, talented designers, researchers, strategists and experience experts that deliver quality results.”

- Chief Design Officer, Life Technologies
List of design and innovation awards for RKS Product Design Company
Founded in 1980, our human-centered product design firm and development company works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, and everything in between. In 2023, our design consultancy resides in a 20,000 sq. ft, solar-powered studio in California that buzzes with category experts in industrial design, product development, engineering design, rapid prototyping, UI/UX design, brand, strategy, research, and software. Our unique in-house rapid prototyping lab allows our industrial designers and product engineers to quickly iterate through fast-fails and develop market-ready solutions quickly. Our design company’s creative culture is and always has been open and inclusive, and we embrace a diversity of ideas, cultures, and backgrounds. RKS is widely regarded as one of the best product design companies in the world, and a top product engineering and development firm.

Design Spotlight

Featured projects that reminded us why we love what we do.​

XCINEX​

Bringing the Big Screen to the comfort of your home with Venue. The venue uses advanced computer vision to contextualize the viewers and charge on a per ticket basis so consumers can have the latest hits right at home

Singular Genomics G4​

An innovative benchtop sequencing platform with novel, high-performance
chemistry, and advanced engineering optimized to deliver unmatched
power, speed, and versatility.

Talis​

In office analyzer solution that will transform the future of women’s health.

 

Impact-driven projects that moved us along the way.​

Child Safety Network​

Repositioning a brand in its 30th year to help appeal to millennial parents and facilitate fundraising to ensure the safety of kids.

RKS Guitars​

Reinventing the electric guitar to drive sustainability and increase usability for the optimal playing experience.

Unilever​

Sustainability and Global Strategy to drive and reduce the usage of water in the laundry category for emerging markets.

 

Recent Insights from us over at RKS, as we all continue to innovate together.

Recent Insights from us over at RKS, as we all continue to innovate together.

RKS Playlist

 As you may have heard, “Music can be the drug of choice for designers.” We are a firm fueled by music, and we thought, what better than a collaborative playlist to share music that fuels our creativity with you?

RKS Video

As designers, we develop products that create emotional connections with the user integrating all aspects of form, fit, and function to optimize the user experience. 

the designer

Check out the designer Volume 14. From AI and machine learning to dogs being able to smell diseases, this Volume is overflowing with engaging and divergent information and resources.

Psycho-Aesthetics (P/A)

Our Advanced Human-Centered Design & Development Methodology

Top design is no longer just about winning awards and creating great portfolios—it’s much more. The best products create lasting emotional connections between the product, brand, and service, and the user. The basis of this connection is a foundational understanding and user’s needs and wants. Crafted over forty years, our advanced design thinking approach, Psycho- Aesthetics (P/A), allows us to understand and quantify these emotional connections. Unique among product design companies, this human-centered methodology is deep the bones of our firm. Our product design agency uses it to conceive and bring to life new innovative technologies, new products, and services, new brands, new digital experiences, new environments, even whole new companies. Our best work is done when we create solutions that remain fresh, inspired, relevant, and human. Using this approach, we work with our clients to create lasting, impactful projects that grow their businesses to new heights. United by Psycho-Aesthetics, our design firm creates a common languages with our clients that can be used over the life of the relationship.

A few of the great institutions that use our design thinking methodology...

What We Do

Product Design

Industrial Designerer sketches for product design and development firm
As a top product design company and innovation consultancy we prioritize functional industrial design that emphasizes intuitive creativity and calculated scientific decision-making. In our product design work, we take seriously our responsibility to create impactful designs that define their markets and industries and create new intellectual property. Our highly collaborative environment allows our designers to find best-in-class solutions that consider product form and function, usability, physical ergonomics, marketing, brand development, sustainability, and sales. Our past industrial design projects have blended art and science into sustainable package design, consumer products, user experiences, medical devices, water filtration, toys, and more. Our industrial company offers great design any where and for everyone, and we are driven by our mission of creating impactful solutions that are both financially successful and address the most pressing social issues of our time. Our design consulting services have been applied to a diverse set of industries including consumer, healthcare. We work with large enterprises and small business alike.

Product Engineering

Mechanical Engineering working on product engineering for product design company
We are globally recognized as one of the best product engineering and development companies in the world. Our company uses the latest process and technologies and is second to none. Our company’s expert product engineering and product development team has decades of experience in engineering and developing simple and complex mechanical and electro-mechanical systems. Among top product design firms and product development companies, RKS has a rare combination of this in-house technical expertise and the facilities required to engineer and develop. Our firm has both computerized and physical prototyping capabilities, We use industry-standard CAD software on the latest devices, and host a full workshop with 3D printing and CNC Machining in our 20,000 sq. ft. studio. This enables us to develop prototypes in-hour, speeding time to market through quick-fail assessments. In some product development projects, we use existing systems and integrate them into our designs. In other product development projects, we have to develop entirely new technologies. We are capable or engaging our existing vendors, liaising with client vendors, or sourcing new vendors. While we consider design for manufacturing in all of our designs, we are also able to liase with or source manufactured and suppliers. We can work collaboratively with client designer or engineers, or we can work independently.

Research & Strategy

View of RKS Research and Strategy team for product design and development firm
As one of the best products design companies, we rely on our top-notch research team – experts in ethnographic research and synthesizing consumer insights. We are experts at ethnographic research and synthesizing consumer insights from primary and secondary research. Using our advanced psycho-aesthetic framework we design strategies for businesses, products, and services that are relative, scalable, and adaptive. Strategy is a design competency that links brand, product, and market. Our designers use our psycho-aesthetic approach, to create three types of strategies: A relative strategy that confronts the existence of competing companies and products to find the right white-space; A scalable strategy that looks ahead to the future of business and industry; An adaptive strategy that changes a strategy in the context of new information. A successful business, product, or service needs to consider all three. In most cases, designers are not the consumers and without deeper understanding and insights into people’s behavior and psychological patterns, RKS designs would be unable to create long and lasting benefits over many years. The foundation of this success comes from insights into people, their needs, their aspirations, their challenges, how they work, live, and play, and the interior and social architecture of their lives. We use the picture developed from this ethnographic research as the basis of designs. Our team has years of experience in designing, executing, and transferring data from our ethnographies to award-winning designs.

Product Development

View of RKS Product Development team for product design and development firm
We are globally recognized as one of the best product development companies in the world. We company uses the latest process and technologies and is second-to-none. Our company’s expert product engineering and product development team has decades of experience engineering and developing simple and complex mechanical and electro mechanical systems. Among top product design firms and product development companies, RKS has a rare combination of this in-house technical expertise and the facilities required to engineer and develop. Our firm has both computerized and physical prototyping capabilities, We use industry standard CAD software on the latest devices, and host a full workshop with 3D printing and CNC Machining in our 20,000 sq. ft. studio. This enables to develop prototypes in-hour, speeding time to market through quick-fail assessments. In some product development projects, we use existing systems and integrate them into our designs. In other product development projects, we have to develop entirely new technologies. We are capable or engaging our existing vendors, liaising with client vendors, or sourcing new vendors. While we consider design for manufacturing in all of our designs, we are also able to liase with or source manufactured and suppliers. We can work collaboratively with client designer or engineers, or we can work independently.

Software Engineering

View of RKS Software development upclose visual of someone on a computer looking at code
We used our advanced design thinking methodology to design, build, and validate your ideas into human-centered digital experiences. As the barrier to entry for digital products lowers with the cost of engineering, design has become more and more important. We use our psycho-aesthetic approach to design user experiences and user interfaces that both solve user needs and resonate with the user on an emotional level, turning them into product heroes. At the same time, we use the latest tech and tools. We are as comfortable designing an e-commerce website as we are working in IoT, custom AI deployments, and blockchain tech. We have experience with: augmented reality SDKs, AI-based facial tracking and body tracking/scanning, natural language processing with Amazon Lex, blockchain technologies including smart contracts, decentralized security and privacy frameworks, machine learning algorithms, and deep learning with TensorFlow and sci-kit, video and Image processing, HIPAA compliance and attestation, on-device hardware integration, IoT and beacon technologies, and 3D imaging using OpenGL. We are fluent in many development environments, including web, mobile apps, and software.

Brand Design

Brand Asset package of a re branding project for Beat the Streets includes posters, stationary, business cards and pencils
Today, most industries and companies find themselves competing on brand. Brands fundamentally create trust, through honest emotional connections. These types of emotional connections are priority one for business leaders engaged in strategy, innovation, and design processes. Though we know brands must resonate emotionally, observing this phenomenon is much easier than creating it. Most branding agencies focus on how a brand makes people feel – we focus on how a brand makes people feel about themselves. As designers, we develop brands based on this understanding of how people see the world, resulting in our ability to empathize with them and their dreams and aspirations. As a brand design firm and agency, we define and understand the attributes, benefits, values, and personality of a product, service, or company. In developing brand identity we also consider brand personality, awareness, recognition, and recall. Our work researches deep into name, logo, tagline, graphics, shapes, colors, sounds, scents, tastes, and even movements to create long-lasting emotional connections and differentiation.

Innovation Strategy

Two men looking at images on a table in discussion on which ones to pick

Located in the fertile California design community, RKS’s designs create an emotional resonance between consumers, products, and brands. We welcome not only existing categories of design projects but strategic innovation. Leading the trends in California Product and Industrial Design and Product Development, we focus on our client’s product design, industrial design, and engineering needs. We are one of the best industrial design firms in the world, and the RKS team is comprised of talented, dedicated industrial designers, engineers, researchers, UI UX designers, and branding and marketing specialists. As a result, RKS provides world-class industrial design, design research, and engineering service to companies not only in Los Angeles and greater California, but also nationally and globally. We work with companies of all sizes – from technology start-ups to category-leading companies that seek to increase market share. We pride ourselves on our creative ability to meet all of our client’s design needs. Ultimately, our company takes great price in meeting the demanding needs a client.

Digital Marketing

Branding for Talis Biomedical, portrays the rebranding on an ipad, iphone, and laptop all in different orientations.

RKS is a top digital marketing agency and innovation firm that focuses on paid, earned and owned media marketing campaigns backed by a data-driven approach. As a top digital marketing agency we work with both startups and later-stage companies to create and execute high-ROI digital marketing campaigns. We use our Holistic Marketing framework and our Psycho Aesthetics™ (P/A) methodology to solve the omnichannel needs of offline and online convergence. Among digital marketing agencies, we distinguish ourselves by our human-centered approach that relies on our P/A methodology to identify and understand consumers’ emotional and rational needs. We are a full-service digital marketing agency that provides paid, earned, and owned media support. We rely on our team of cross-disciplinary specialists in website platforming, advertising, software development, brand strategy, graphic design, and product innovation.  

FAQ's

A product design firm is a company that specializes in creating innovative and functional designs for a wide range of products. Firms like our work with clients to understand their specific needs and requirements, and then use their expertise in design and engineering to develop products that meet those needs.

The process of product design typically involves a number of different steps, including research and development, concept creation, prototyping, and testing. The goal of a product design firm is to create products that are not only visually appealing and functional, but also easy to manufacture and cost-effective to produce.

Product design firms often employ a team of designers and engineers with a wide range of skills and expertise. These teams work together to create designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They may also work closely with manufacturers to ensure that the designs can be easily and cost-effectively produced.

Product design firms may focus on a particular industry or product type, such as consumer electronics, medical devices, or automotive parts. They may also specialize in a specific design process, such as industrial design, user experience design, or engineering.

In addition to designing products, product design firms may also provide additional services such as branding and packaging design, market research, and product testing. This helps clients to create a cohesive and effective product launch strategy.

A product design firm is a valuable resource for companies looking to develop innovative and effective products. By working with a team of experienced designers and engineers, clients can ensure that their products are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and can be easily and cost-effectively produced.

A product design agency is a professional organization that specializes in creating and developing products for businesses and organizations. Agencies like ours are typically composed of a team of designers, engineers, and other experts who have extensive experience and knowledge in the field of product design.

The primary goal of a product design agency is to help businesses and organizations bring their ideas to life. This involves working closely with clients to understand their needs and requirements, as well as conducting extensive research and analysis to identify potential design solutions. Through a collaborative process, the design team will then create detailed designs and prototypes, using advanced technology and tools to ensure that the final product meets all of the specified requirements.

In addition to creating the initial design, a product design agency will also provide ongoing support and assistance throughout the product development process. This may include conducting product testing and evaluations to ensure that the product meets all safety and performance standards, as well as providing assistance with manufacturing and production processes.

One of the key advantages of working with a product design agency is that they can provide a level of expertise and expertise that may not be available in-house. This is particularly important for businesses and organizations that are developing complex or innovative products, where the design process can be highly complex and require specialized knowledge and skills.

In order to provide the best possible service, product design agencies will typically have a highly experienced and dedicated team of designers and engineers who are trained and experienced in a wide range of design disciplines. This includes experts in areas such as industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering, as well as specialists in areas such as user experience design and ergonomics.

A product design agency is a valuable resource for businesses and organizations looking to develop and bring new products to market. Through their expertise and experience, these agencies can help ensure that the design process is successful, and that the final product meets all of the specified requirements.

Product design consulting is a specialized field that focuses on the design and development of products for businesses and organizations. This type of consulting involves working closely with clients to understand their needs and goals, and then using design and engineering principles to create products that meet those needs.

Product design consulting involves a range of activities, from brainstorming and concept development to prototyping and testing. In the early stages of a project, a product design consultant will work with clients to identify their product needs and goals, and then develop a range of potential design solutions. This may involve conducting market research, analyzing user needs, and creating conceptual designs that illustrate how the product could look and function.

Once a concept has been chosen, the product design consultant will work with engineers and other specialists to develop detailed designs, specifications, and prototypes of the product. This may involve creating 3D models, conducting engineering analyses, and developing test plans to ensure that the product will function as intended.

Throughout the design process, product design consultants work closely with clients to ensure that the product meets their needs and expectations. They may also work with suppliers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the product can be produced and delivered on time and within budget.

In addition to design and development, product design consulting may also involve activities such as market research, user testing, and product launch support. This can help clients to better understand their target market and ensure that their product is well-positioned for success.

Overall, product design consulting is a valuable service that can help businesses and organizations to develop innovative and effective products that meet the needs of their customers and stakeholders. By leveraging the expertise of experienced consultants, businesses can gain a competitive edge and drive growth and success in their markets.

Product design and product development are two crucial components in the creation of a new product or service. While they are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.

Product design is the process of envisioning and creating a new product. This involves conceptualizing ideas, conducting research, and sketching out designs. The focus of product design is on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product. This includes things like the shape, color, and materials used, as well as the user experience and usability.

Product development, on the other hand, is the process of bringing a product design to life. This involves engineering and manufacturing the product, as well as testing and refining it. The focus of product development is on the technical aspects of the product, such as the materials, components, and processes used to create it.

One key difference between product design and development is the stage of the product creation process in which they occur. Product design takes place at the beginning, before the product has been created. Product development, on the other hand, occurs after the product design has been finalized and the product is ready to be manufactured.

Another difference is the focus of the two processes. Product design is focused on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product, while product development is focused on the technical aspects. This means that product designers are concerned with things like the look and feel of the product, while product developers are focused on how the product is made and how it works.

Another key difference is the skills and expertise required for each process. Product design typically requires a mix of creative and technical skills, such as design, engineering, and user experience. Product development, on the other hand, typically requires more technical skills, such as engineering, manufacturing, and quality control.

Despite these differences, product design and development are highly interconnected and often overlap. For example, a product designer may need to consult with a product developer during the design process to ensure that the product can be manufactured and assembled efficiently. Similarly, a product developer may need to work closely with the product designer to ensure that the product meets the design requirements and delivers a great user experience.

Product design and development are two distinct processes in the creation of a new product. Product design focuses on the aesthetic and functional aspects of the product, while product development focuses on the technical aspects. While they are interconnected and often overlap, the skills and expertise required for each process are different.

Human-centered design is a design approach that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user. It is a collaborative process that involves the user in every step of the design process, from concept development to testing and iteration.

The goal of human-centered design is to create products, services, and systems that are intuitive, easy to use, and provide value to the user. This approach is based on the belief that the user’s perspective should be the driving force behind the design, rather than the designer’s own assumptions or preferences.

The human-centered design process typically begins with research and discovery. This involves gathering information about the user’s needs, wants, and limitations through a variety of methods such as interviews, surveys, focus groups, and observations. This information is then used to generate ideas and concepts for the design.

Once a concept has been developed, it is then prototyped and tested with the user to gather feedback and refine the design. This feedback is used to make iterative changes to the design, ensuring that it meets the user’s needs and is easy to use.

One of the key benefits of human-centered design is that it helps to create solutions that are tailored to the user’s specific needs and preferences. This can lead to higher levels of user satisfaction and engagement, as well as increased adoption and usage of the product or service.

Another key benefit of human-centered design is that it can help to identify and solve potential problems before they arise. By involving the user in the design process, designers can gain valuable insights into how the product or service will be used, and can make adjustments to ensure that it is user-friendly and meets the user’s needs.

Human-centered design is often used in a variety of industries, including technology, healthcare, education, and government. It is particularly useful for complex systems or products that require a deep understanding of the user’s needs and limitations in order to be successful.

In conclusion, human-centered design is a design approach that focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user. It is a collaborative process that involves the user in every step of the design process, and is aimed at creating solutions that are tailored to the user’s specific needs and preferences. By involving the user in the design process, designers can gain valuable insights and create solutions that are intuitive, easy to use, and provide value to the user.

Design-thinking is a process of problem-solving that involves a deep understanding of users, their needs and preferences, and the creation of innovative solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is a methodology that is used by designers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to come up with new ideas and solutions to complex challenges.

The design-thinking process typically involves five key steps: research, synthesis, design and ideation, execution, and moments of truth. In the first step, research, designers try to understand the needs, motivations, and experiences of the people they are designing for. This can involve conducting user research, conducting interviews and observations, and gathering insights about their target audience.

In the second step, synthesis, designers use the information gathered during the empathize stage to define the problem they are trying to solve. This involves identifying the challenge or opportunity, and creating a clear and concise problem statement that captures the essence of the problem.

The third step, design, involves brainstorming and generating a wide range of potential solutions to the problem. This can involve sketching, drawing, or using other visual tools to come up with ideas. The goal of this step is to generate a diverse range of potential solutions, without judging or evaluating them at this stage.

In the fourth step, execution, designers create a physical or digital representation of their solution. This can involve building a model, creating a mockup, or creating a working prototype. The goal of this step is to create a tangible representation of the solution that can be tested and refined.

The final step, moments of truth, involves conducting user research to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of the solution. This can involve conducting user testing, gathering feedback, and iterating on the solution based on the feedback. The goal of this step is to create a final solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, and meets the needs and preferences of the target audience.

Design-thinking is a powerful tool for solving complex challenges and creating innovative solutions. It allows designers and innovators to deeply understand the needs and preferences of users, and create solutions that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. By using the design-thinking process, designers and innovators can create solutions that are both effective and user-friendly, and help to improve the quality of people’s lives.

RKS stands for Ravi K Sawhney, the founder and current CEO of RKS Design. Ravi founded RKS in 1980.

Hiring a product design company can be a crucial step in bringing your product to market. Here are some tips to help you find the right company for your project:
 
  1. Define your project’s scope and goals. Before you begin your search, it’s important to clearly define what you want to achieve with your product. This will help you communicate your needs to potential design companies and ensure that they understand what you’re looking for.
  2. Research potential companies. Look for companies that have experience in your industry and have a portfolio of work that demonstrates their capabilities. You should also consider their size and resources, as well as their location, to ensure that they can meet your needs.
  3. Schedule a consultation. Once you have a shortlist of potential companies, schedule a consultation to discuss your project in more detail. This will give you a chance to get to know the company and its team, and to see if they are a good fit for your project.
  4. Look for a company that understands your needs. It is important to find a company that understands your needs and can provide solutions that align with your goals.
  5. Consider their flexibility. It is important to find a company that is willing to work with you throughout the entire design process and make changes as needed.
  6. Check their references and reviews. Before making a final decision, it’s important to check the company’s references and reviews to ensure that they have a good reputation and that their previous clients were satisfied with their work.
  7. Consider the cost. Product design can be expensive, so it’s important to find a company that offers a fair price for their services without compromising on quality.