Bringing New Product Designs to Life
Hi everyone! My name is Julie Guggemos and I am the Vice President of Product Design & Development at Target. I love coming to work every day. Even when I’m not traveling the world for design ideas, I am surrounded by creativity and inspiration.
A walk through our offices at Target HQ is like visiting an art or science fair. At any time of the day, our floors are buzzing with a wide range of design activities and technical experiments. Our team of talented designers and engineers constantly inspire, co-create and reiterate in their drive to create product guests will love.
Come with me for a peek behind the scenes and a day in my life at Target Product Design & Development (PD&D).
First up is our trends team: they’ve just returned from a design inspiration trip, and are reimagining new uses for vintage shapes, patterns and materials they found at flea markets and antique shops. You never know where that might lead. Recently, a vintage mohair plaid skirt inspired a throw pillow, and a European flour sack became a lampshade.
My favorite stage in their process is when they hone in on the upcoming trends and build full room vignettes to showcase what the print and pattern, product and material development would actually look like in a house. Some of the vignettes are so inviting, I am tempted to move in!
Around the corner, our print development team is creating artwork with different mediums and techniques. Recently, the team designed prints and patterns by cutting and dipping fresh vegetables and flower petals into ink and pressing them onto paper. This team of talented artists creates original art with ink, acrylics, watercolors and block prints. That art becomes the beautiful fabrics and materials that make our product offerings unique. You can truly say that your pillow from Target is original artwork!
Down the hall, there are camping tents set up in the conference room. That’s because our engineers build products with our guests in mind. They spend a lot of time talking to our guests to understand their needs so they can develop products with meaningful solutions. But they also conduct product testing first hand, and not just in the conference room. On a recent camping trip with our Embark equipment, the team experienced a heavy rain storm — and quickly identified the need to lengthen the tent’s rain fly. (Thankfully, I wasn’t on that excursion.)
Finally, we come to the 3D prototype team building a product model, using state-of-the-art equipment, so our designers and engineers can communicate the vision of their product with more than just words or a sketch. Sometimes, we go through a lot of models before we get it just right. In the case of our ClearRx bottle, for example, our 3D team built more than 200 prototypes. I guess you could call them perfectionists.
It’s so exciting. Every day, life in PD&D pulses with ideas and inspiration and the passion for creating products that we – and our guests — will love.
- Julie Guggemos, Target’s Vice President of Product Design & Development
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