Iconic Silicon Valley design firm marks 50 years


A presentation at Frog’s 50 year celebration at its HQ in San Francisco — seen behind a glass wall.

Photo: Tom Foremski

Frog Design recently celebrated its 50-year anniversary — with a party at its San Francisco headquarters. The firm has built a huge reputation, thanks to its early work with Apple, which brought many additional clients. 

It was founded in 1969 in Germany by Hartmut Esslinger and now employs more than 500 people in studios around the world.

In Germany, it designed several Sony products, such as the very successful Sony Walkman and Sony Trinitron TV, and then moved to Silicon Valley, where Esslinger’s team designed several early Apple products including the Lisa and first Macintosh models.

Here are some of Frog’s designs:


Esslinger sold the company in 2007 and has been acting as a self-described an ambassador of good design with a mission: “To spread my professional vision to bring human-driven, high-touch design to the world of complex hardware and software technology.” 

His website is calling for a design revolution for the “Internet of Real Things.”

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