We’re really excited to welcome James Howlett to North Product Design and so that you could get to know him a little better we have asked him a few questions about his experiences in the design world so far.
I’m sure that you will all join me in wishing James the best of luck in his role as an industrial designer.
Stay tuned to see more of his work over the coming months….
Why did you become a designer?
I’ve always been practical and creative throughout my life, whether that was making Lego structures, or drawing in a sketchbook. I succeeded at school in the creative subjects like Graphic and Product Design and knew from then that this was an industry I wanted to be part of.
What is your best achievement or product?
It’s still early days in my career as a Product Designer but I have worked on some exciting and interesting products. During my previous job, I was lucky enough to design, prototype and manufacture over 100 race/gaming seat displays which were then installed in 12 different European countries.
What is your favourite brand and why?
Picking a favourite brand is a tricky one as there’s so many that I enjoy and that influence my life. I would have to say Bose is up there for me. I’ve always found the quality, shapes and feel of Bose products to be great and have taken inspiration from there designs. On the other hand, I also have a slight obsession with New Balance trainers and love their design.
Are there any upcoming trends in your particular field?
I’m keeping a close eye on VR (Virtual Reality). The avenues that VR could offer to designers are vast and it could change the way we design products, but also the way that customers experience products.
Do you have any advice for up and coming designers?
Teach yourself new things and make your set of skills different to others. Whether it’s a new technique of sketching or a different software, making yourself stand out from a crowd is important for a designer.
Whats your favourite part of the design process and why?
Making physical models has always been a stage of design process that I enjoy because it allows me to get hands on and practical. Seeing your design go from first prototype to final prototype, from the foam modelling stage to the final injection moulds.
Where is the best place you have worked and why?
At my last job, I worked as a designer creating retail displays. I developed my skills, learnt new software, and even used a CNC. It was my first job out of uni, and it gave me valuable experience and confidence to progress my career.
What is your favourite design tool?
I would have to say CAD is one of my favourite design tools. Being able to see your design in 3D and quickly make changes, and also being able to 3D print quick prototypes means CAD is at the top of my list. But don’t get me wrong, my other best friend is an A3 notepad and a fine-liner.
What are you most looking forward to at NPD?
Being able to use the skills I have and the skills I bring to collaborate with the designers at NPD to make exciting, innovate, and beautiful designed products for the clients we have.
Here are some examples of Jame’s previous work …