Hartmut Esslinger

Product/Industrial Designer / United States / De Tao Group/Studio Esslinger

Hartmut Esslinger is the founder of frog design, inc., a leading global innovation firm, and one of the most respected designers and business consultants in the world. Esslinger sparked a design revolution when he founded frog design in his native Germany around the guiding principle “form follows emotion.” His work has defined the modern consumer aesthetic with such revolutionary strategies as Apple’s “Snow White Design Language”— including the Macintosh line—and Sony’s “International Style”—including Personal Stereo and Trinitron TVs. He designed Lufthansa's brand and fleet image, Disney’s retro-futuristic Cruise Ships and Consumer Electronics, Louis Vuitton’s brand aesthetic as well as User Interfaces for Microsoft Windows and SAP. His designs are held in the permanent collections of 15 museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Die Neue Sammlung, Munich.

Esslinger is Founding Professor of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany (1989), and from 2005 to 2011 he was Professor for Convergent Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria. Since 2011 he has been DeTao Professor for Strategic Design & Innovation at the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, China. Parsons The New School for Design, New York awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, and he has also been named a Honorary Royal Designer for Industry (HonRDI) by the Royal Society of Arts, London.

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