frog’s journey began in 1969 when Hartmut Esslinger founded esslinger design in the Black Forest of Germany, ushering in an era of emotional design in response to the mostly function-oriented products of the day. The firm became known for its work for German electronics brand WEGA and then Sony, generating more than 100 products, including the first standalone television set, the black-box Sony Trinitron, and the Walkman.
1979 – 1989
The Apple Era
Esslinger’s products caught the eye of Steve Jobs, a multimillion-dollar deal was struck, esslinger design arrived in California, and the company took on a new name: frog design. In 1984, frog’s design language for Apple, first embodied by the Apple IIc system, launched with great fanfare and commercial success. The design was recognized by Time Magazine as the “Design of the Year” and inducted into the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of Art.
1989 – 1999
During the 1980s and early 90s, frog moved to support the technological and cultural disruptions that clients were facing. Engineering, branding and packaging became part of frog's core innovation design offerings, working for clients such as Lufthansa, Olympus, Packard Bell and Sun Microsystems. In the mid-1990s, frog led another dramatic shift in the design industry by incorporating software design for web and mobile.
1999 – 2009
Design That Transforms
In 2005, Hartmut Esslinger and Patricia Roller sold a majority stake of frog to Aricent and handed over leadership of the company. frog began large-scale UX and convergent collaborations with organizations like Microsoft, GE and Disney to create new software applications, mobile products and connected experiences that blurred the lines between physical and digital design, shaping the era of ubiquitous computing.
2009 – 2019
New Design Frontier
Today frog designs systems of brand, product and service that deliver distinctly better customer experiences. We look beyond point solutions and apply design thinking to the creation of new strategies, complex ecosystems and—in some cases—entirely new businesses. We are leading clients into the future by continuing to integrate new capabilities and platforms for strategic design like intelligent systems, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and adaptive environments.
The frog manifesto
The frog manifesto is as unique and ever-evolving as frog itself. The text was first penned over 20 years ago by the late Steven Skov Holt, who was a close collaborator of founder Hartmut Esslinger in the 90s. The visual language changes from studio to studio, each capturing the essence of our diverse and multi-disciplinary cultures.
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