news Industrial Designer Wanted (CMF focus)


Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition

Just in time for Gamescom 2017, our friends at Xbox announced the Xbox One S Minecraft Limited Edition console and controllers. Etched blocks and redstone color, material and finish (CMF) elements immortalizes Minecraft and the thrill of creating, exploring and surviving your own adventure. The limited edition celebrates the game and most importantly, its fans. We’re so proud to have collaborated with Xbox on this fantastic project—congrats to the team!
Ebb Insomnia Therapy


Ebb™ Therapeutics Launches Wearable Device to Treat Insomnia

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder with over 55 million Americans suffering from chronic insomnia. Our partners at Ebb™ Therapeutics recently launched Ebb Insomnia Therapy, a clinically-proven wearable device that delivers safe and effective insomnia treatment. In close collaboration with Ebb Therapeutics, Tactile helped design the first and only FDA-cleared device that reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and enter deep, restorative sleep. With product shipments beginning this fall, Ebb Insomnia Therapy includes an intelligent bedside temperature controller with a comfortable headband that provides precise cooling throughout the night. Congrats to Ebb Therapeutics on the launch! More information at
NAIAS, Detroit Auto Show, Tactile, CMF, Transportation


Best in Show

This month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit isn’t just for motorheads—it also provides plenty of inspiration for designers who look to the automotive world for trends in colors, materials and finishes. A few of our industrial designers attended the 2015 show and shared their observations. First, satin/matte paint is back again (see above). It seemed like most manufacturers were showing at least one car in a satin finish, and they all drew a lot of hands-on attention. This year, wheels were in polished metal—not chrome—which felt both fresh and futuristic. It made cars look like they were concepts, even if they weren’t, and the polished trend showed up everywhere. Every “performance” car seemed to use exposed carbon fiber on interiors, exteriors, and everywhere else. Even if it wasn’t exposed, as expected, carbon fiber was a big part of the build story for the performance cars. The Ford GT was a great example: Their use of carbon fiber looked integrated into the design, with a unique matte gray finish, and completely necessary to the overall visual effect. A few more observations from an exciting show: The majority of personality of the cars was expressed in the headlights and taillights this year (though Audi kicked this off a few years ago). A lot of design attention was on micro details you might only see if you were crouched down inspecting the headlights. Accent stitching was everywhere, especially on high performance cars. Matte black racing stripes and decals were prevalent, particularly among American muscle cars. BMW took some interesting CMF risks with their electric cars. They mixed several different textures, including some raw materials, and the result worked pretty well. Ford’s performance line featured a unique blue (shifting from green to purple), ceramic white accents and matte black/medium gray striping and accents—very cohesive.
Xbox, Microsoft, Tactile, Gamers, CMF


Limited + Special

Tactile once again collaborated with the Xbox Industrial Design team on CMF for an exciting collection of game products: The Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle, the Xbox One Special Edition Armed Forces Wireless Controller and Headset, Midnight Forces Wireless Controllers, and the Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle. We’re gamers ourselves, so we loved finding meaningful graphic details—and getting creative with production processes—that we knew would excite hardcore Xbox fans.
Genie, Tactile, Industrial Design


Brand Elevation

A best-in-class product line deserves a strong visual language. We continued our local partnership with the Genie team, leveraging the passion and attention to detail of longtime Genie staff and loyal fans to understand the Genie brand story and bring it to life. Together, we designed a product line that feels reliable, intuitive, accessible, and safe.



Last week, we began collaborating with a new client on their first foray into hardware development. They have a very well–respected name in the interactive space, synonymous with quality. Of course, they want their first physical product to authentically represent their high–end brand. Which led to a conversation about what, exactly, does it mean for a product to be premium? For this particular device, we might indicate premium status with a high price point, luxe materials or thoughtful features (or some combination thereof). Our key question here is, what would this client’s hyper–loyal users consider premium? Our client already has deep knowledge about their customers’ behaviors. With the addition of research, testing, and iteration, we can help them gain a fuller picture of the physical product experience that will meet or exceed their customers’ expectations. Our client will likely have to make a few tough choices about what’s feasible in this first endeavor. In the end, though, the customer will pick up this beautiful, top–quality new product and immediately feel it was created just for them—because it was.



Titanfall has landed. We’re excited to play the most–anticipated game of the year—and to pick up the limited edition Titanfall Xbox controller. Tactile has been a long–time collaborator with Xbox, and this project let us peek behind the curtain during the development and launch of Titanfall and work directly with both Respawn Entertainment (the game developer) and Xbox’s internal industrial design team. Tactile Design Director Rich Hanks commented, “It’s great to design for such an enthusiastic user. Every detail is meaningful to the core gamer, so authenticity is key. The result has to have a ‘wow’ factor—something that will inspire someone to save up and wait in line the day it hits the shelves. We had to create a must have product for the Titanfall fan.” For this fast–paced graphics project, the Tactile team immersed itself in the world of Titanfall. The controller, like the game, has a future military feel, with direct references to one of the game weapons that is sure to be a player favorite. Our team’s challenge was preserving the integrity of the Xbox brand language while integrating the excitement the game offers. This meant incredible focus on detail, down to constant iteration on the perfect shade of Militia orange. With each limited edition Xbox controller we touch—Tactile collaborated on the Tomb Raider version in 2013—we learn new production processes and build experience we can bring to clients across other industries. We also love working with the Xbox ID team for their consistently high standards of quality and execution. It’s a great fit for the Tactile team, too, which is uniquely suited to intense CMF (color, material, finish) efforts that require high–level graphic attunement. It doesn’t hurt, either, that we have deep experience with Xbox gamer culture. Xbox is quickly becoming the center of entertainment for families. For us, limited edition controllers present a unique chance to design for serious gamers while making sure the result is accessible for every player. Working on graphics for the Titanfall controller is just one great experience in a long history of collaboration with the Xbox team. They are as passionate as we are about details, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.

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We believe great tools cultivate meaningful experiences that can improve our working and living conditions. We’re guided by the principle that functional should also be beautiful and enjoyable. For over 15 years we’ve relied on building trust and collaborative relationships with our clients to do just that.

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