3M is often thought of as chiefly a manufacturing and materials-science company. But our user-centric design philosophy also drives innovation within our walls. At 3M, design informs innovation, and vice versa.
“Design brings innovation to life with arresting beauty, captivating stories, and exceptional attention to detail. We search for unexpected solutions that create passion: stepping beyond function towards the iconic. It's about innovation worthy of love.”
- Kevin Gilboe
Head of 3M Global Design
Design is far more than just making things look good. Design helps solve a myriad of challenges, from enhancing usability to communicating function. Elegance and simplicity must coexist to go beyond meeting the customer’s needs.
By embracing this philosophy, we seamlessly infuse emotion into functionality. From sleek water filtration systems to portable electronic devices, we continue to apply design discipline to innovation and bring new solutions to the world.
To continue to deliver innovative yet relevant products to our customers around the world, our integrated design team is spread across five key global locations: United States, Italy, Japan, China, and Brazil, with plans for further future expansion. Such talent draws from diverse areas of design expertise encompassing strategic, industrial, and graphic application. This global approach enables continuous discovery of international trends, insights, and inspiration for new ideas from around the world.
By nature, designers are good storytellers. This is an important quality because at 3M, our designers are tasked with translating the story of innovation and technology expertise into a design language that builds connection and understanding with our customers. Our global design team works closely with marketing, laboratory, and manufacturing experts across 3M to enhance customer experience with our products, moving simple customer satisfaction into the realm of innovation and delight.
3M continues to be recognized for design excellence from a multitude of renowned institutions, including the Chicago Athenaeum and the Red Dot Institute. Some of our products have even been part of global expositions such as the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy in addition to featured exhibits at museums such as MOMA in New York City. We expect such recognition to continue as we increase emphasis on design as a strategic innovation priority for the company.