Featuring interviews with over 100 product designers who reveal what it takes to build a successful portfolio, Breaking In: Product Design not only discloses priceless information from industry experts about how to land a job as a designer – aimed at students and those considering a career in product design – but also offers insight as to what goes on in these global design studios.

Landing a job as a product designer can be very challenging. Not only is it a competitive industry but you can never be entirely sure what your prospective employers may be looking for in your portfolio. This is the exact position Amino Horozic found herself in at the start of her career and this motivated her to compile this book.

Horozic’s first job was as an automotive designer at Chrysler in 2004, she then moved on to frog design and Aether Things. She is currently the lead industrial designer at fuseproject in San Francisco.

“When I graduated from college I spent about five months sending my portfolio out to anyone and everyone, thinking that the same content would resonate equally in every car studio. It didn’t,” says Horozic.

“Later, when I was leaving the auto industry for a consulting gig, I had to revamp my portfolio yet again. Work that impressed my bosses at Chrysler did not have the same effect at consulting firms that dealt with consumer electronics clients.

“I would have loved to have had the information in this book as a guide. Understanding what the creative leadership is looking for in each organisation is the key to getting your foot in the door.”

The book was two years in the making, with Horozic compiling all hundred interviews herself. The interviewees span a broad field from product and furniture design to footwear and automotive. Similar questions are asked to all so readers can compare and contrast different answers.

For instance, all interviews begin with the question: ‘What kinds of portfolios get your attention these days? What brings in an industrial designer for an interview?’

There are some auspicious names in the book, most of whom offer comprehensive answers, including: Gadi Amit, founder, NewDealDesign in San Francisco; Yves Behar, founder of fuseproject in San Francisco; Fritz Frenkler, founder of f/p design in Munich; Alberto Villarreal, senior industrial designer at Google Mountain View in California; and Dick Powell, co-founder and director of global design at SeymourPowell in London.

The book will no doubt be of value to design students but will also offer food for thought for anyone interested in the industry and where it is heading in the future as all interviewees answer the question: ‘Where do you see industrial design going as it evolves further into the 21st century?’.

 

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