Brains Bravery and Magic

By Gadi Amit

When NewDealDesign began as a small, scrappy design team in the middle of the boondocks – we were literally next to boat repair docks – I had an eye towards longevity. Not purely in the sense of business success, but in the cultural impact I wanted our work to have on the world. I also felt an urge to expose large bulky “design agencies” as substandard…bigger is not better. A handful of highly trained designers will always surpass a whole bunch of poorly-managed, decentralized, creatives. This was and still is an immense challenge. 

As NewDealDesign enters its next chapter, questioning the philosophical vantage point of “what is good design” has more meaning for us than ever.  

There are many ways to judge the achievements of good design. Capitalists use good design to produce immediate and sustained cash flow. Purists unravel and reveal the underlying meaning of good design, identifying and building off of the statement it makes. Technologists desire efficiencies from good design that deliver function, reduce production timelines, material usage and increase product reliability. We designers have to meld it all into a single concise experience, since culture simply adopts good design, sometimes seemingly unconsciously, in an attempt to fill a rational void, or more frequently, an emotional one. 

Good design can be an elusory concept. For some the meaning is narrow, others obscure, but at NewDealDesign it has clear, rich significance. Good design is first and foremost building something people will love. A good design is high quality, honest, inspires discovery, and seamlessly converges hardware and software, using creativity correctly to connect things for the better. You can’t fake good, and if you try, people will know.

So, as I reminisce about the past thirteen years of NewDealDesign from the days of Palm, Netgear, the flood that ruined our Harrison Street office to the launch of Fitbit and Lytro to Cooper-Hewitt awarding us the National Design Award, I think about how and why we got here. We’re still nearly-small and messy, but we get the job done- better than ever! 

It’s simple. NewDealDesign is built upon the belief that good design needs a New Deal. Like then and like now, we want to redefine the parameters of what we promise to our clients, to culture and to designers. It’s not delivering dissertations or analysis paralysis – it’s about pure hard work, getting dirty, burning midnight oil and sweating every detail…taming chaos to be kind through good design. 

We do this because we believe that every product, no matter how ordinary, cannot be a figment of pure philosophical extremism – they have to work in the real world, constraints and all, but still provoke substantive human connections. NewDealDesign doesn’t just make products, we do good. Good is good design, good work and good people. Good is good. It’s an aspiration, making sure everything works right, looks perfect, fits in and feels nice. 

Welcome once again to NewDealDesign… 

Good Happens Here

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Gadi Amit

Founder, Principle Designer

Gadi is a Bay Area based designer behind some of the most innovative and lasting technology products created over the last decade. Prior to founding NewDeal, Gadi was Vice-President of Design at Frog and Senior Designer at Scitex Corp. Gadi regularly speaks at design conferences, contributes his design insights to top publications and keeps a blog with Fast Company.