Herbst Produkt invited to speak in Santiago
February 2013

Scot Herbst was invited by the Chilean government to speak to the next generation of entrepreneurs about innovation and design. The weeklong summit on Design, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business was hosted by some of Santiago's most creative design and strategy agencies with the support of the Chilean Business Council. In addition to Scot Herbst speakers included Marty Neumeier and Alfredo Muccino of Liquid Agency (Silicon Valley), Chuck Eichten (Nike), Ville Kokkonen (Artek, Finland) along with a host of influential innovators from around the globe.

PHOOS just arrived at CB2...
October 2012

Our new PHOOS design just landed at CB2, featured as this weeks Fall '12 design...a fun opportunity for us to explore the intersection of playtime and the role of formal furniture. With it's clean lines the Phoos lives comfortably as an item of decor, but come game-time it's transformed into a playful centerpiece!...


Scot Herbst Invited to Speak at the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois
October 2012

Produkt Parnter Scot Herbst was honored to be invited to speak at the University of Illinois on the subject of Design Entrepreneurship and his perspective on current design trends and thinking. The lecture took place at the School of Art & Design for an audience of Graphic Design, Product Design and Mechanical Engineering students and faculty in the same historic design building that produced such legendary industry veterans as Bill Stumpf (creator of the Herman Miller Aeron Chair), Walter Herbst (founder of HLB and Herbst Produkt partner), Greg Holderfield (Director of the Segal Design Institute, Chicago) and countless others.
Thanks so much to all who attended and to U of I for their gracious support.

In the Olive HD Music Servers
October 2012

Caught a glimpse of our newest line of touchscreen audio products for SF client Olive Media. The 03HD is a state of the art integrated server, amplifier and content management device built around a series of patented technologies. We're excited to continue sharing new developments as we refine and continue to push the limits of what great sound should look like!...


WAVE Chosen as Men's Journal's 2012 Style & Design
September 2012

We were excited to receive the news that our WAVE Dish Nest System was selected as one of 2012's Perfect Things for the annual Men's Journal Style & Design Guide. Alongside Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, the Trek Madone racing bike and the new Philips LED lightbulb our WAVE system was chosen as the 'clever design' for the kitchen this year.
Created for DesignLab, a Chicago based brand of innovative home and kitchenwares the WAVE is the first in a series of new products in collaboration with Crate & Barrel founder Gordon Segal's newest retail venture. Stay tuned for more details...

Eco Development...
October 2012

For Cereplast Inc., a manufacturer of environmentally friendly plastics, the Wine Cocoon is a biodegradable alternative to styrofoam. The Eco Foam boasts the same performance characteristics as EPS (expanded polystyrene) but w/ the ability to break down under commercial composting conditions. Still in development, the design was done for and in collaboration with Oakland based Pfeiffer Lab, and it may someday revolutionize the packaging world...


In the pipeline: Slice pushing for BIG Fall 2012 product launch
July 20, 2012

Just received mechanical samples of new products in the pipeline for Fall '12 launch!
Alot of work left to do but EXTREMELY exciting, going to be some of the safest, most innovative cutting tools on the globe.
We LOVE working with Slice ( since they have a triple bottom line and are chartered to raise awareness and funding for Autism research with Stanford
Follow the progress on Twitter @ scotherbst


Green Toys wins Silver 2012 IDEA Award
July 2012

Big congratulations to Green Toys for being awarded a '12 IDEA.
Green Toys are a durable, sustainable and safe family of domestically produced toys made with 100 percent recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk jugs from the California municipal curbside recycling system. The toys can also be recycled, resulting in a closed loop manufacturing model. The toys encourage play, age-appropriate learning and stimulation for children 6 months and up.

Credits: Green Toys Inc.: Robert von Goeben & Brian Gulassa and LUNAR: Jeff Servaites, Scot Herbst

Walter Herbst, 2012 Illinois Distinguished Alumnus Award!
April 2012

We're extremely proud to congratulate Produkt partner Walter Herbst for recently receiving the 2012 University of Illinois Distinguished Alumnus from the School of Art + Design. The reception took place at the Mather Tower in Chicago, the historic Wacker Dr. building in the heart of the city which served as Herbst's first design office in the late '50's and 60's. The University recognized Walter for his contribution to the field in which he has received over eighty patents and was selected as one of Business Week Magazines "Best of the Decade." With the distinction Herbst joins previously awarded fellow designer and classmate Bill Stumpf, the legendary creator of the Aeron Chair.

Herbst Produkt Awarded 2011 Edison
March 2012

Herbst Produkt was recently recognized as a 2011 winner of the prized Edison Award for their innovative design and development work with client Slice Inc.
Named after innovator Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) the Awards have recognized ideas at the forefront of new products, services, marketing, design and innovation. Winning an Edison Award has become one of the highest accolades a company can receive in the name of innovation and business.
Winners of the 2011 Edison Award will be featured on the Discovery Channel in May of 2012.

Slice Ceramic Box Cutter wins Good Design Award
January 2012

Recognized for it's utility and unique design approach the Slice Box Cutter just received the coveted GOOD DESIGN Award. The criteria for award selection follows the original, historic GOOD DESIGN program set forth in 1950, formulated by Saarinen and Eames, which is based on function, aesthetic and environmental concerns. GOOD DESIGN remains the most coveted design prize for the most innovative and advanced design produced worldwide. This year, the world's most visionary corporations were awarded including 3M, Alessi, Apple Inc., BMW, Bodum, Bosch, CISCO and Coca Cola. All products and graphics will be exhibited at The Chicago Athenaeum in the GOOD DESIGN Show for 2011 in Chicago in June, 2012.

Rhombins win Good Design Award
January 2012

Recognized for a unique modular architecture the Rhombin collection designed by Scot Herbst and Eric Pfeiffer just received the coveted GOOD DESIGN Award. The criteria for award selection follows the original, historic GOOD DESIGN program set forth in 1950, formulated by Saarinen and Eames, which is based on function, aesthetic and environmental concerns. GOOD DESIGN remains the most coveted design prize for the most innovative and advanced design produced worldwide. This year, the world's most visionary corporations were awarded including 3M, Alessi, Apple Inc., BMW, Bodum, Bosch, CISCO and Coca Cola. All products and graphics will be exhibited at The Chicago Athenaeum in the GOOD DESIGN Show for 2011 in Chicago in June, 2012.

Herbst Produkt on NBC
October 2011

Herbst Produkt was thrilled to accommodate NBC news for an interview with partner Scot Herbst at his South Bay studio on October 12th. The first of a three part segment on innovative new product focused companies in the Bay Area, producers asked Scot to lend insight from his past year as a leading force in the product design sphere while working both domestically and internationally with a wide range of clients and retailers.
The segment is scheduled to air November 22nd on NBC. Herbst Produkt will post more details as they develop.

Herbst in The Royal Institution of Naval Architects
October 2011

Herbst Produkt partner Walter Herbst received distinction in the international design community with his October publication in the industry prized International Journal of Marine Design. For the Journal from The Royal Institution of Naval Architects Herbst was asked to share insight from a long and distinguished design career as well as a lifetime of devotion to the boating industry punctuated by his title of Captain in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Speaking to the emotional purchase drivers and segmentation which guides the ethos behind yacht design in the U.S., Herbst reacted in saying "I'm honored to work with The Royal Institution on this piece, and grateful for the opportunity to merge my two lifelong passions of design and yachting."
Founded in 1860, The Royal Institution of Naval Architects is an international organisation headquartered in the UK and representing naval architects worldwide.
To view the Herbst article visit

Hextec Brand Launch
September 2011

Herbst Produkt is proud to announce the recent launch of Hextec, a new brand for hardware client YC Industrial of Shanghai. The Hextec designed products and brand are an innovative hand and power tool platform that will continue to build YC's dominant position as one of the world's largest hand tool manufacturers by speaking to a younger, more design savvy customer. Hextec's initial launch includes the Stealth screwdriver set, featuring a patented dynamic quick-release bit changing mechanism and will be available in North America at major home center and hardware retailers beginning in Winter 2011.

Rhombins at The Container Store
August 2011

Herbst Produkt is excited to announce the successful launch of Rhombins, the innovative line of desktop storage and accessory products designed in collaboration with Pfeiffer Lab and manufactured by AMAC of Sausalito, California. Rhombins offer a bold modular storage solution for the desk and tabletop and are made using a plant based bio-plastic called Cereplast, so they are great for creating zen-like organization and good for the planet. From it's roots in the bohemian enclave of Sausalito, AMAC is famous for having created a line of colorful molded boxes in 1960 that have appeared in popular Americana and now reside in the permanent collection of the NY MoMA. The new design initiative including the Rhombin line is the first of a series of collaborations designed to reignite the AMAC heritage with a functionally modern twist.
Available now at The Container Store and

Olive wins Plus X Award
July 2011

Olive and Herbst were proud to receive the coveted Plus X Award for their progressive O6HD Music Server. Awarded to a select few new products each year the Plus X honors the most innovative releases in technology and lifestyle, juried by 134 international journalists and industry professionals representing 32 nations. The distinction is granted to thoughtfully designed products that exhibit exemplary standards in technology, human factors and ecology and is the most highly coveted design honor on the European continent. The 06HD incorporates state of the art design to deliver a warm, full-bodied and spacious sound with an exceptionally realistic soundstage.
In addition to recognition for their work with Olive, Herbst Produkt partner Scot Herbst was recently named to Olive’s Board of Directors.
Admired by music lovers worldwide, Olive Media LLC is a progressive technology company located in San Francisco California.

Slice wins RedDot ‘11
April 2011

The origins of RedDot date back to 1955, and it has become the biggest and most prestigious design competition in the world today with more than 12,000 entries from more than 60 nations. The sheer number of entries and the diversity of nations represented makes this event highly competitive, so we are extremely pleased to announce that we have received this distinction.

Slice is a company dedicated to developing innovative products that cut, slice, chop, grate and more. The Slice Box Cutter is a perfect example of that commitment. The product’s innovations include the use of ceramic blades, the unique form factor, and the fact that it provides not only added convenience, but also a new level of safety for the users. Slice products are particularly successful in that they solve design challenges for both the home and industrial settings.

Olive wins RedDot ‘11
April 2011

Olive Media and Herbst were recently awarded a RedDot for their latest and most advanced HD Music Server, the 06HD. This state of the art device delivers the best quality sound of any system that Olive has ever made, while also offering wireless connectivity, storage for up to 20,000 high resolution tracks, an extremely easy to use interface, and a 10 inch color touch screen.

For years, Herbst has been collaborating with Olive to build a brand DNA and design language that is distinctive and performance driven, with all of the products assembled by hand in downtown San Francisco. Visit www.Olive.US to see what great music looks like.

Slice Ceramic Box Cutter wins ‘Best of’ award
March 2011

Slice showed up to the 2011 International Home & Housewares show in Chicago with a broad new lineup of innovative items designed by Herbst—but it was the Ceramic Box Cutter that once again stole the show. The Box Cutter received one of only ten “Best of 2011” distinctions from the Int’l Housewares Association (IHA) chosen from a field of over 7000 entries and corporate submissions.

Slice CEO TJ Scimone demonstrates the award winner to Core 77, watch it here.

Herbst featured in Gladwell book
December 2010

When Malcom Gladwell published his 4th book “What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures” Herbst Produkt was excited to find a nice feature on partner Walter Herbst. The book is a compilation of the author's favorite work from The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1996. Throughout a segment where Gladwell includes portraits of legendary pitchman and inventor Ron Popeil, Walter Herbst provides insights from his own experiences as a young designer with the wild inventor. A fascinatingly hilarious and true account of our early days. Check it out, in Part One from The Pitchman: Ron Popeil and the Conquest of the American Kitchen. Available at Amazon.

Walter Herbst speaks on innovation
November 2010

Walter Herbst, legendary designer and Herbst Produkt partner in Chicago, has shared his insights at lectures and talks around the globe, but it was his Survival Guide to Innovation that landed him as keynote speaker at Northrup Grumman in January. Herbst spoke in front of his biggest audience to date about the realities of innovation in the marketplace---”without these innovations, companies will literally die.”

Northrup Grumman is a leading global security company whose 75,000 employees provide innovative systems and products to the U.S. governement and commercial customers around the world. To view Walter’s keynote click here.

Northwestern University invites Scot Herbst to speak
August 2010

Partner Scot Herbst was asked to speak at Northwestern University’s Master of Product Design and Development seminar series which hosts design professionals from across the country. The subject of Scot’s lecture was entrepreneurship and innovation, highlighting his work with clients including Green Toys and Olive as well as his own furniture company Kaiku. Titled Entrepreneurship and the Long Reach Scot spoke to pushing the limits and featured anecdotes from his own experience building a brand while designing, sourcing and distributing products internationally.

MPD at Northwestern is a masters program in the science of product development and hosts world renown faculty in the field.

To view Scot’s talk click here.

[prod-uhkt] -noun; a thing resulting from a process.
Spelling; Swedish, German

Herbst Produkt is the coalescence of a design heritage born from Swedish simplicity and German refinement. With this signature ethos Herbst brings 50 years of expertise to design and product development. Helmed by industry leading designers Walter and Scot Herbst the team catalyzes a potent mixture of art and science in product creation.

The studio’s award winning work is crafted from a multi-disciplinary approach that spans industries ranging from technology to housewares, hardware, furniture, lifestyle and fashion.

Walter Herbst, partner Chicago

Walter Herbst is considered to be one of the “founding fathers “ of modern product design. Formed in 1962, Herbst grew the consultancy HLB to the largest independently owned product design firm in the U.S. before developing the Master of Product Design and Development Program at Northwestern University where he currently is the Director, as well as Clinical Professor with the Kellogg School of Management.

Walter holds more than 85 patents and serves on the United Nations World Intellectual Properties Organization. For his contribution to the industry he was recognized by Business Week magazine and the Industrial Design Society of America as one of the Best of the Decade. His late mid-century work for the Smithsonian is still on display in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Scot Herbst, partner San Francisco Bay Area

Scot Herbst searches for authenticity in objects that foster deep consumer connections. His holistic approach to form, brand and retail has been granted numerous awards from RedDot and the International Design Excellence Awards. Scot has created products for fortune 100 hundred brands and small to mid-size entrepreneurial startups. His own products under the KAIKU label have been selected for the New York Museum of Modern Arts curated retail collection of which the Zen Wagon was awarded a “Product of the Year 2009” distinction Sustainability and materials exploration continue to be focal points of his diverse work.

Dr. Deana McDonagh, Director Research + Insights

An experienced design practitioner and entrepreneur, Dr. McDonagh is an Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. Her research concentrates on emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs, ensuring both functional and emotional needs are met by products. In addition to her role at Herbst, Deana is the Chair of the Industrial Design program in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Previously leading User-Centred Design at Loughborough University in the UK, she is currently a Research Fellow at Coventry University (UK) and Designer Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she provides design advice and guidance for start-up companies.

Chris Makinen, partner Shanghai

Herbst Produkt is anchored by the international presence of Chris Makinen, studio partner in Shanghai. With over two decades of industry experience Chris has a refined knowledge of delivering new products to market while navigating diverse and complex product development, manufacturing and retail channels. Chris has designed, developed, and sold products to many of the largest US and international retailers including an internal development role at The Home Depot where he was responsible for over $1 billion in sales.

Chris is also currently leading Project Revolve, an international philanthropic effort in alliance with major retail brands which converts a large portion of product development profit margin to charitable giving.

Our Process
It’s simple: Mediocrity is not an option.
We work with companies who understand that great design and powerful branding are table stakes in today’s competitive retail climate. An even deeper connection to manufacturing, brand, retail and the consumer is what drives exceptional product experiences.

Working collaboratively we craft a singular vision from idea through form, engineering, production, branding, packaging, retail and beyond.

Our Expertise
Along this journey our practice includes disciplines supporting the creation, execution and delivery of our collaborative vision:
Industrial Design
Brand + Identity
Design Research + Ethnography
Manufacturing + Supply Chain
Retail + Distribution Strategy
Our Model
We’re passionate about delivering great products to market. For us, every design engagement is a partnership. In supporting the development effort we’re open to mutual investment and equity sharing.
Men's Journal, Style & Design 2012
September, 2012
Content Magazine
Spring 2012
Financial Times
Thursday Dec 8, 2011
Dwell Magazine
Holiday 2010, p. 119
Arq Y Diseno, 2010 Home Special
August 2010, p. 9
Fast Company Magazine
July/Aug 2010, p. 16
California Home + Design, Summer 2010
July/Aug 2010, p. 62
Dwell Magazine
May 2010, pp. 33-34
Kids Design, Monsa Publications 2010
February 2010, pp. 253-256
Metropolis Magazine
February 2010, p. 38
What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell, Back Bay Books 2010
October 2009, pp. 18-24

chicago office
shanghai office
san francisco office

220 Fridley Dr
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
T+1 408 439 9525
Ford Motor Engineering Center
Northwestern University
2133 Sheridan Rd
Evanston, IL 60208
T +1 847 682 0129
3318 Hongmei Road,
Building 6 Unit 102
Shanghai China 201103
T +01 8613 9182 17173