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Design innovation company Kinneir Dufort is 30 years old this year. Established in 1977, the agency began life as a straightforward product design company committed to delivering intelligent design solutions to meet end-user requirements and clients’ business needs. Thirty years on, Kinneir Dufort is run by five directors who joined the company as employees and who took over from the founders to jointly own and lead the firm. As a result, Kinneir Dufort today is unrecognisable in terms of scale and service delivery. The company now offers a complete range of design, innovation and research disciplines, backed by state of the art technologies and processes, but the founding principles of meeting end-user requirements and clients’ business goals remain stronger than ever.

In a fast-changing, ‘young’ industry such as product design, it is rare to find a company with the heritage of Kinneir Dufort. Design director Craig Wightman, who joined the company in 1984 as a graduate, attributes the company’s success and longevity to a number of factors, but particularly its ability and desire to keep moving with the times.

“Adapting to and embracing change is one of the overarching principles that has always been a feature of the company,” explains Wightman. “Kinneir Dufort today is very different to the way it was 30, 15 or even just five years ago. If that wasn’t the case we probably wouldn’t still be here.”

Today, Kinneir Dufort employs a team of 35, with a range of specialist skills including planning, research, innovation, design, engineering, prototyping and early stage manufacturing. The range of clients and the work undertaken has also grown in both scale and diversity, now covering the full range from entrepreneurial start-ups to global corporations, from product and packaging development to design and innovation strategy. The company has also developed its profile overseas and now exports around 50 percent of its output to clients in the US, Northern Europe and the Far East.

“We’ve found that our blend of creativity, technical know-how and user research is a powerful and unique mix, which clients in the UK and abroad really want to tap into,” explains Kinneir Dufort managing director Jim Orkney. “This is backed up by documented evidence that our input creates real business advantage for our clients.”

A significant part of the Kinneir Dufort success story lies within the medical and healthcare sectors, helping clients world-wide to develop fledgling technologies into life-enhancing products and packaging for both professional and consumer markets.

“We put a lot of emphasis on end-user research and testing,” says Wightman. “Often our clients say they’d like their customers to design their perfect product, in practical terms end-user research is the next best thing.”

With over 1,000 innovation projects undertaken, Kinneir Dufort’s experience continues to grow; in fact the company’s 30th year is set to be its biggest and most successful to date. Kinneir Dufort is now looking to the next 30 years of business, and with UK and international expansion on the horizon, there is certainly much to look forward to. Indeed, when asked about Kinneir Dufort in another 30 years, Wightman is certain of one thing: “It will be completely reinvented – or not here at all.”

Ends.

About Kinneir Dufort:
Based in the UK, Kinneir Dufort works with some of the world’s largest brands. The company's expertise covers packaging, consumer products, telecommunications and commercial high technology. Kinneir Dufort has established a reputation for user understanding, design strategy and creativity. With a comprehensive design development capability that includes high quality prototyping, Kinneir Dufort provides a world-class resource for design innovation. For more information visit: www.kinneirdufort.com

If you would like to speak to either Craig Wightman or Jim Orkney please call Robyn Pierce on 020 7740 4400 to schedule an interview.

For further information:
Robyn Pierce
020 7749 4400
robyn.pierce@thecroc.com

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