Innovative, individual, iconic: the WMF design

Pots are round, knives sharp and plates flat: Designing cooking and kitchen utensils is easy, isn't it?
Not when you work to WMF’s standards. In addition to functionality and product quality, design has always played a decisive role in the development of new ideas for WMF products. After all, enthusiasm for a product begins long before it is used for the first time.
WMF Design testing

The principles of excellent design

From ingenious visual concepts in award-winning kitchens to colorful cocktails: It is no secret that when it comes to food and drink, appearance is almost as important as taste. So why should the look be any less important for the products with which food and drinks are prepared, served and enjoyed? This is why the design aspect is essential at WMF. However, design is about more than just making a product look good. “It’s about creating an overall experience. This starts when customers notice an item in a store because of its unique design. The closer they get, the more elaborate details they discover. The care we take in processing and how we handle materials and surfaces becomes apparent. They ultimately pick up the product and the simple act of touching it can trigger excitement and joy, which they experience again and again when the product is used later,” says Achim Bölstler, explaining the design journey – the path from the first impression to an emotional bond with the brand through a holistically designed product.

The designer is the head of the WMF Design Studio and is responsible for all new products and enhancements. In this role, Bölstler has played a key role in shaping the unique and innovative WMF look. Or rather: the looks. Because every series, every product and every solution is given an individual design. Consistent design quality and a coherent overall look is achieved nevertheless through the WMF Premium Design Principles.

#1 Holistic design

Design is conceived holistically. The product design aims to represent a harmonious unity between esthetics, functionality and utility.

#2 Authentic design

Real materials, colors and surfaces are used – very carefully and precisely – for every product.

#3 Thought-through detail

Attention to detail is essential. All the subtleties and details must be thought out.

#4 Design icons

It is important for the design to combine zeitgeist and timelessness in order for it to endure and achieve sustainability – and in the best case to create design classics.

Optimal conditions for complete creativity

Developing new designs calls for the perfect combination of heart and mind: deep emotions meet in-depth research. Inspiration is gained from experiences and events as well as from current trends and tendencies. New ideas are consistently checked for compatibility with the WMF Premium Design Principles and then translated into design attributes. In the process, designers are always thinking globally. In the case of individual products intended for certain regions, however, local and cultural peculiarities are also taken into account. For what sets design work at WMF apart is always thinking one step ahead, daring to try new things and giving the unconventional a chance.

“Creativity requires freedom – but also direction, so as not to peter out aimlessly. The Premium Design Principles serve as an important guide for our work. However, sometimes it is good to change direction or at least consider new paths. That is why the WMF Premium Design Principles are constantly evolving.”

Achim Bölstler
Vice President Research & Design

At the company’s site in Geislingen (Steige), Achim Bölstler works with a diverse team of designers, design managers, model builders and innovation managers. Important input also comes from the Article Design, Strategic marketing departments and external partners for special design projects. The close cooperation between these various disciplines constantly gives rise to new design innovations. Take, for example, the Kineo series, which clearly demonstrates how the design attributes of one product are applied to others: As the first product in the line, the Kineo cutlery range defined a design vocabulary and esthetics –“dynamic elegance with interpenetrating surfaces, sensual tension and deliberate slopes and diagonals,” as Achim Bölstler describes it. The fundamental features of these esthetics can then be applied to other objects. As a result, the Kineo series now includes cups, decanters and many other items.

WMF Design Developement

Looking to the future

Of course, Kineo is just one of many esthetic lines. Thanks to the broad, ever-expanding WMF range and new inspirations, fresh designs are always needed. And the WMF design team is already working on the designs of tomorrow, because WMF represents innovation not only in terms of products, but also design. And this claim is and remains absolutely timeless.

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