Taste of Home

New Housewares for a Legacy Brand 

Developed and launched 4 lines of cookware and bakeware for a newly licensed brand.

Completed as Director of New Product Development at Range Kleen.

 

Project Summary

1 Year

1 Product Designer

Product Management

Research - Learn about the organization, users, and market

Development - Design and prototyping

Production - Manufacturing the pieces

Launch - 26 New Products

* Above images by Taste of Home.

What products should we create?

Initial Research

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Survey of Taste of Home readers

Taste of Home most popular recipes

What is the Taste of Home brand?

Interviews with the Taste of Home test kitchen team

Market and competitive research of other lines

Product testing

Inspiration from old props they use for photography

Starburst Loaf Pan
 
 

What Will the Products Look Like?

Four Different Product Lines

Metal Bakeware

  1. Inspiration for pattern from mid-century bakeware and tin ceilings

  2. Refine the scale of the pattern

  3. Technical drawings

  4. Prototyping - metal and 3D printing

Texture Drawing Final
Testing Bakeware Prototype Sample
3D Printed Bakeware (Painted Plastic)

Aluminum Cookware

  1. Factory visit (Italy)

  2. Colors and printing

  3. Fittings and specifications

  4. Pricing and quantities

Cast Iron

  1. Requests from Taste of Home

  2. Reading reviews and testing reports

  3. Testing competitive samples

  4. Discussion with factory

  5. CAD

  6. Colors. logos, and specifications

Cast Iron Skillet Concept
Color Comparison with Swatch
Cast Iron 5 Qt. Concept Page
Cast Iron Skillet Concept Page

Stoneware

  1. Decision on what pieces to design

  2. Feature development

  3. Textural pattern and color placement

  4. CAD

  5. Collaboration with factory

Stoneware Color Exploration
Stoneware 9x13 Color 1
Stoneware 9x13 Color 2

Bringing the Designs to Life

Production

Metal Bakeware - There was a bit of trial and error getting the embossed pattern on the bottom to come out consistently during production.

Aluminum Cookware - Taste of Home and I tested and approved samples that had the correct materials, sizes, shapes, and handles, but didn’t have the right colors. The factory matched the specified Pantone color well.

Cast Iron - The factory had provided useful feedback on the designs and good CAD for confirmation before tooling. The first off-tool samples were pretty good and we were able to approve them for production quickly.

Stoneware - The factory had evidently not reviewed the CAD before providing the quotes, which caused many issues later. Ceramic is a much more variable material than I am used to designing for, so many of the pieces ended up a bit smaller than I had intended and the glaze covers up a fair amount of the detail. 

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Final Products

* Above images by Taste of Home.

 

What I Learned

Major Takeaways from this Project

Balancing new designs with existing technologies can be a delicate balance, especially when on tight timelines.

Working with new technologies (or materials, in this case) can add extra time to a project.

Confirm that the whoever is executing the design truly understands what I'm looking for and the design intentions.

 
H.C. Logo

© 2020 by Heather Curtin

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