Product Design Partners
Oregonians and childhood friends Jake Fromer and Stewart Worthington grew up in neighboring houses in SW Portland’s forested hills. They began playful innovation from an early age. It could have started when they were four, after one too many juice boxes when they decided to spray paint Stewart’s father’s red convertible only three days off the lot.
Not normally this destructive, the two generally stuck to making pvc pipe bow and arrows, wooden swords and plotting out how to take down their older sisters. They were young, inseparable and on a mission to explore. This continued through high school and onto the U of O where as housemates their collaborative, creative juices once again began to flow in the Universities new Product Design program. Entering their fifth and final BFA year in Portland, they had the summer off. During their free time, they started sketching designs for wooden license plate frames, only because a friend said that they had never seen them before. After a few sketches, one turned out to look very reminiscent of a familiar logo, the Oregon ‘O.’ After realizing wood just wouldn’t stand the test of time in the weather conditions of the great northwest, the first prototypes were thermoformed polystyrene over a laser cut MDF mold.
With this new prototyped concept in hand, it was shown to the Duck Store. They were interested, and so began the process of getting the product on the shelves. This entailed starting their own business, and researching the most efficient local manufacturing and packaging available. After many quotes and quality tests, the final product ended up being laser cut, then powder coated aluminum. This method provided the longest lasting, most durable, overall highest quality product, which as product designers is always a goal. Cheaper versions could have been produced overseas, but the conscious decision to provide local manufactures with business was made with the economy in mind. By late November of 2011, the two friends who have known each other since before they could crawl had their first product on the shelves. To see more, go to www.id8products.com, a portion of online sales go back to the U of O’s Product Design program to help afford more resources for students to explore their ideas.