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A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business Hardcover – June 29, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470451021 ISBN-10: 0470451025 Edition: 1st

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A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business + The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage + Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (June 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470451025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470451021
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description

"Esslinger's work shows that taste can triumph, design and production can be soul mates, and the eye of an individual can shape a product and a company." —From the Foreword by Michael Moritz, partner, Sequoia Capital

For the first time, Hartmut Esslinger, internationally acclaimed designer and founder of frog design, inc., reveals the secrets to better business through better design. Having spent forty years helping build the world's most recognizable brands, Esslinger shows how business leaders and designers can join forces to build creative strategies that will ensure a more profitable and sustainable future.

A Fine Line shares the amazing story of Esslinger's transformation from industrial design wunderkind to a global innovation powerhouse, while detailing the very real challenges facing businesses in the new global economy. Offering companies far more than a temporary innovation booster, Esslinger shows how he and frog build creative design into the framework of an organization's competitive strategy, the same approach that has worked so well for leading edge companies such as Sony, Louis Vuitton, Lufthansa, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Microsoft, and Apple.

Offering a step-by-step overview of the innovation process—from targeting goals to shepherding new products and services to the marketplace—Esslinger reveals how to arrive at a design that reflects an intensely human experience and will connect strongly with consumers. With Esslinger's unique perspective, rich stories, and global mindset, A Fine Line explores business solutions that are environmentally sustainable and contribute to the future of a thriving and lasting global economy.

The blending of design and business intelligence holds the key for shaping a sustainable competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving creative economy. A Fine Line equips business leaders with the necessary tools to thrive in tomorrow's world.

Design Strategy Examples from Frog Design, Inc.


Apple's Brand and Design DNA
Frog Design collaborated on Apple’s “Snow-White” design language in the early 1980s. We worked closely with Steve Jobs and Apple’s developers to innovate computer usability and appearance, resulting in iconic products with no historic precedent.

Disney Cruise Lines
Frog Design's retro-futuristic designs for the Disney Magic® and Disney Wonder® combine classic maritime elegance with starship swagger – and appeal to parents and children, alike.

Lufthansa Airlines
In the 1990s, Lufthansa’s Executive Board asked Frog Design to create a new and more emotionally engaging image for the airline and its base at the Frankfurt am Main Airport. From check-in gates to plane interiors, our designs helped redefine the modern air travel experience.

From the Inside Flap

"Esslinger's work shows that taste can triumph, design and production can be soul mates, and the eye of an individual can shape a product and a company." —From the Foreword by Michael Moritz, partner, Sequoia Capital

For the first time, Hartmut Esslinger, internationally acclaimed designer and founder of frog design, inc., reveals the secrets to better business through better design. Having spent forty years helping build the world's most recognizable brands, Esslinger shows how business leaders and designers can join forces to build creative strategies that will ensure a more profitable and sustainable future.

A Fine Line shares the amazing story of Esslinger's transformation from industrial design wunderkind to a global innovation powerhouse, while detailing the very real challenges facing businesses in the new global economy. Offering companies far more than a temporary innovation booster, Esslinger shows how he and frog build creative design into the framework of an organization's competitive strategy, the same approach that has worked so well for leading edge companies such as Sony, Louis Vuitton, Lufthansa, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, SAP, Microsoft, and Apple.

Offering a step-by-step overview of the innovation process—from targeting goals to shepherding new products and services to the marketplace—Esslinger reveals how to arrive at a design that reflects an intensely human experience and will connect strongly with consumers. With Esslinger's unique perspective, rich stories, and global mindset, A Fine Line explores business solutions that are environmentally sustainable and contribute to the future of a thriving and lasting global economy.

The blending of design and business intelligence holds the key for shaping a sustainable competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving creative economy. A Fine Line equips business leaders with the necessary tools to thrive in tomorrow's world. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.


More About the Author

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 products as the Apple Macintosh computer, Sony's Trinitron television, Lufthansa's brand and fleet image, Disney's Cruise Lines and Consumer Electronics, and Louis Vuitton's brand aesthetic. His designs are in the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York. He is also Founding Professor of the Hochschule fur Gestaltung in Karlsruhe, Germany and Professor for Convergent Design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.


www.afinelinebook.com

Customer Reviews

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This book is a great read about a great designer and his even more famous clients.
Mark H. Long
The book allows you to crawl inside the mind of frog design's founder who held the fate of major brands like Disney and Sony in his hands.
Daniel T. Edmundson
Esslinger's approach is itself highly individualistic, probably why frog design has been so successful.
Bente Palouda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eduardo Riggen on August 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is more focused on why Frog is so great and how they managed to get some of their accounts. I thought I could get a glimpse of where they got their inspiration and how they turned it into products that sell, but there was none of that. I admire the author's success, and even though he tries to open up and show you how he did it, the book is more about business than design.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel T. Edmundson on July 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In A Fine Line Hartmut Esslinger gives forward-thinking insight into building a company's creative culture. The book allows you to crawl inside the mind of frog design's founder who held the fate of major brands like Disney and Sony in his hands. It effectively reveals Hartmut's approach to unique business solutions and the influence of design on corporate strategy. What I enjoyed most about the book's revelations, aside from providing key design and innovation wisdom, are the honest and humanistic anecdotes that Hartmut offers about his experiences working with Apple, cultivating a growing design firm, and pushing brands to take risks and move beyond the "norm."

Inspiring to say the least.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Consumer Product Engineer on July 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is not the book I expected from a world class design company. I was looking for detail on their process of innovation and what I found was a soapbox presentation on "Green" design. This was intertwined with hints about companies that didn't use frog's recommendations to their demise. Much of it was a pitch about why you should use frog design and what might happen if you don't.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Umyot Boonmarlart on March 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The first couple of chapters are pretty dry and more about his company history, but after that is full of inspiring thoughts and ideas. You will see the world differently after finish the book. One thing though. Essinger is such a great visionary. There are so many thoughts in this book that scream for more explicit detail discussion.

I hope he has the second book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Edwards on March 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hartmut has one or two "off" chapters, but otherwise this is a genius book showing genuine insight to industry and what it takes to stick out from the crowd. How to attack design instead of being complacent. A very good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JF Marti on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really liked "A fine line". Harmut Esslinger shares his experience and insights gathered during all his carreer. His wisdom about "selectivity" explained as a key carreer success is one the most useful advice I found in the book. He is very convincing in his field, the industrial design, a bit less when it comes to digital design. But still A Fine Line is worth reading, as it is rare to access so directly to the thinking of great "design achievers" such as Harmut Esslinger.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sparcgirl on July 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book, full of sharp and honest observations about the not always easy marriage between design and business. Unlike other books on design, "A Fine Line" is not all about shapes, surfaces, and interfaces. And unlike other business books, it is not all about numbers, winning, and boardroom intrigues. Soulful and with a deeply humanistic understanding of consumers, "A Fine Line" brings culture back to business.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Rossi on July 7, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
Finally a book on innovation that doesn't come from the "Ivory Tower" of business but is based on experience.
Hartmut Esslinger's book "A Fine Line" is his story on how he has defended creativity in his personal life and in the Board Rooms of major corporations around the world . A great read with new insights on working with Steve Jobs at apple and executives at Sony on their path to become recognized innovation brands.
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