Pantone: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in product development?
JR: My background is in Industrial Design and Human Factors. I specialize in creating product experiences that balance usability, aesthetics, branding and manufacturability, without compromising safety. I've been an Industrial designer at Farm Design, Inc. for the past 8 years. While at Farm; I've worked for a range of clients, including GE Healthcare, DePuy Mitek, Haemonetics, Medtronic, and Mako Surgical.
Pantone: What type of work does Farm specialize in?
JR: Farm focuses on product development in three areas: medical, life sciences, and consumer health. We provide research, design, and engineering services.
Pantone: Can you take us behind the scenes of when Farm first started working on the Pantone CAPSURE?
JR: Actually, our relationship with Pantone started before the CAPSURE project. Farm first worked with X-Rite on the Huey monitor calibrating device. This relationship eventually led to us designing the PANTONE CAPSURE. The initial design phase for CAPSURE involved multiple stages of sketches and 3D renderings to find the right design for each user group. CAPSURE was designed to be a mobile color specification device, so ergonomics played a big role in the design to ensure ease of use. For instance, we went through multiple design revisions to find the perfect thumb placement for taking readings and navigating the user interface.
Pantone CAPSURE Sketch by James Rudolph
Pantone: CAPSURE is a highly technical device that has many mainstream applications. How did you go about designing the form factor to be intuitive and user friendly?
JR: The CAPSURE was originally designed for two primary user groups: 1) designers; and 2) contractors. Our early research and development efforts focused on meeting the disparate needs of these two groups. Contractors, for example, wanted a device that could withstand physical abuse and extreme environmental conditions. On the other hand designers wanted a device that would visually communicate the technological capabilities of the device. The result is a delicate balance of form and materials, a dance of sorts between physical durability and aesthetic simplicity.
Capsure Body Design
Pantone: What was your team’s reaction to the capabilities of the device?
JR: We're always amazed at how accurate the CAPSURE matches colors - in every environment, under all lighting conditions, on difficult surfaces. Previous devices tended to be the size of a small brick, and the color matching abilities were mediocre. CAPSURE represents a truly remarkable engineering success in terms of both color matching capability and size.
Pantone: How does it feel to see a product you designed being used by major companies like Sephora in their Color IQ system?
JR: I think it’s a lesson that we continue to learn from in design: you never know how people will use your product. When we designed the CAPSURE, we didn’t know it would become the application that Sephora is using today. Their use of Color IQ is novel and appropriate. It goes to show you how accurate this device is at matching colors.