About

DESIGN ENABLERS 

COLOR, FINISH and MATERIALS
“Color Finish and Material is the discipline that creates emotional connections between our product and consumer.”

Color Finish and Materials (CFM) offers a direct emotional connection to our consumers through brand differentiation and a definition of color palettes, finishes and materials for products. Leveraging our manufacturing capability, we build enduring relationships with process partners to ensure successful execution of our strategies. We work with a respectable range of products that present both challenges and opportunities for CFM development and a long standing tradition of leading the way.

The CFM Lab process is articulated into four key stages of Discovery - research and understanding of trends; Definition - definition of business and design strategy to achieve appropriate color, finish and material proposals; Development – develop and create market appropriate CFM solutions and targets taking into account our manufacturing capabilities and suppliers to implement results; and Delivery - validating and prototyping of color, finish and material before production.

Wildly popular and globally positioned, the KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a success of CFM. However you look at it - a design icon, a family heirloom or a cool product - it offers a pure and timeless shape and the perfect surface to drape with color.

The recently released 90th Anniversary edition, offers an example of a brilliant new finish introduced in a luminous color called Candy Apple Red (named after the American sweet that is a candy glaze over a bright red apple). Its focus is on the color red - a top selling heritage color for a long time, remaining popular for as long as the mixer has been made - the past nine decades.

But the CFM team wanted to render the color in an innovative, beautiful, leading edge finish. Candy Apple Red is the richest, most technically challenging finish KitchenAid has ever made, and the most difficult to apply. It would not have been possible for us to make this product only a few years ago. In these ways we feel it is prefect for our anniversary mixer, representing both the long history and the future of color and finish in our company.

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Graphic Design focuses on the creation of graphics applied to product and the creation of a graphic strategy for every brand in every category. The graphic visual language includes font choice and application, button shape/style/hierarchy, icon and logo creation, and pattern development. Bigger picture strategy includes LCD graphic style and direction, and brand positioning documentation. Keeping the brands differentiated from each other and cohesive is a key focal point of our activity. Successful design creates a clear visual hierarchy for consumers, improving ease-of-use while reflecting and reinforcing the “persona” of a brand.

METRICS LAB

The Whirlpool GCD Metrics Lab is responsible for generating quantitative design metrics to help assess the “health” of our product designs. Metrics are multifaceted and are intended to measure some of the factors that contribute to product usefulness, usability and desirability. Design metrics help product teams to arrive at consumer-relevant and brand-relevant product design solutions.

Craftsmanship
Whirlpool prides itself on building well-crafted products that meet or exceed the consumers needs and expectations. At Whirlpool we use a highly refined Craftsmanship Process throughout the development of our products. This process engages all our process partners globally, driving innovation while building upon best practices. Fanatical attention to design, development and manufacturing details set Whirlpool Corporation products apart from the competition, both aesthetically and functionally.

PROTOTYPE LAB (VIRTUAL)

Prototype Lab (Virtual)
The Virtual Lab supports the designers with communicating ideas and concepts by creating the most appropriate, effective, and efficient type of visuals, such as: photo realistic 3D digital imagery, motion graphics, interactive multimedia tools and virtual reality applications.

Virtual lab’s contribution visually anticipates and helps decision making within the entire product design development cycle.

PLATFORM LAB

The Platform Studio team develops pre-branded products and architectures across categories, globally to enhance the portfolio of Whirlpool Corporation's multiple brands. Our goal is to enable a emotional connection to our consumer through distinctive brand differentiation and innovation, while providing measurable financial value to the corporation. Studio resources are primarily focused on Global Business Team programs focused around architecture that will be evaluated by the business, branded by GCD studios and brought to market in the next two - five years. The balance of time is used to explore new product and business opportunities. Our goal is to use Design as a connection between consumer needs and business strategy, wherein design methods are used to inform business strategy

Platform Studio Design Strategy
Translating consumer and business insights into actionable solutions
Connecting design efforts to an organization's business strategy
Identification, promotion and adoption of new technologies and services
Strategic Planning – Development of processes that assist in the prioritizing of products and services to be launched

STUDIO ENGINEERING

Studio Engineering is the process of facilitating executable design. It proves the viability of the design by moving Engineering activities upstream and leveraging partnerships with process partners.

The studio engineering team ensures that dialogue and discussion prevail, defining product engineering needs as early as possible in the product development process. This allows the team to understand if a project is feasible and helps reduce concept risk. Interacting between the Design and Engineering functions, Studio Engineering is a bridge that promotes a fully rounded concept that will ultimately lead to a better, stronger product.

STYLEMASTERS LAB

Stylemasters’ primary role is for the preparation and production of artwork which will be used specifically to manufacture products. This “production art” is the full scale representation of every graphic found on a product, aligned correctly to the product using the approved engineering data. This position calls for careful keeping of records stretching as far back as 20 years. Organization is key as we have thousands of documents. Stylemaster may interact with every brand, in every category, every day. Our commitment to preserving our brand language and integrity is defined through the cconsumer-centered process.

PROTOTYPE LAB (PHYSICAL)

Bringing three dimensional surfaces and form development into GCD’s development process. To maximize GCD’s effectiveness by providing the necessary models that will display creative and precise design solutions.

The 3-D Lab is equipped with advanced technological equipment ranging from high a speed CNC Gantry Mill to Highly accurate Rapid Prototyping machines which will allow GCD to maximize efficiency.