I’m thrilled to officially announce Nicholas Baker Studio.
Which may seem a bit silly, considering I’ve been an independent designer for the last five years. While I’ve been fortunate to design exciting products with some fantastic people, my practice has never had a singular focus.
I’ve worked with incredible clients to design numerous products, from exercise equipment to medical devices to neural interfaces. I’ve hired talented designers and collaborated with friends. I’ve worn many hats, from freelancer to podcaster. It’s been gratifying, but it’s time to take the next step and steer the studio toward one mission.
Nicholas Baker Studio designs objects that embrace a delightful future.
If you think about many great designs like the Eames LCW chair or the iPhone, you’ll notice one thing in common: they embraced the latest technology of the time. As designers, it’s our job to help bring innovations to the public and push society toward a brighter future. I believe we are here to embrace the future and make it delightful.
Over the past year, I’ve pivoted my consulting studio to focus on this new direction. As someone who has always loved designing furniture and everyday objects, they are the perfect vessels to explore new technologies and tell stories about the future. Every object is a moment to make someone smile and craft a more optimistic world. This is why I’m excited that Nicholas Baker Studio now focuses on designing furniture, lighting, and everyday objects to be licensed and produced by brands around the world.
Four values guide the studio on our mission to design delightful objects:
We strive to push the boundaries of design through new technologies and novel ideas. There are infinite ways to pioneer in design; sometimes the product is a new technology, other times technology creates the product, and sometimes the product simply just brings a fresh perspective to an old archetype. We believe in embracing the leading edge to design better, no matter how small the improvement may be.
To design a better future, we must believe in one. Therefore, we approach every setback as an opportunity to challenge our creativity and resiliency. This outlook helps us push through complex problems, and the optimism carries into our designs. As a result, our work inspires joy in us, our clients, and the customers who use our designs daily.
Play is fundamental to creating novel ideas. Design is best done in a series of sprints and rests. Play is our sprint mindset. Play aims to experiment, try new things, and produce as many ideas as possible without restraint. Play is a moment when there are no mistakes or wrong ways of thinking. This mindset allows us to discover new ideas and playful interactions unimpeded by past norms.
Distilling designs allow us to create concise, distinctive objects that focus on one core idea. If play is the sprint, then distill is the rest. This resting period gives the subconscious mind time to remove all unnecessary elements and make novel connections. The combination of play and distill creates delightful objects that tell compelling stories.
I’ve always subconsciously held these values throughout my career but never had the foresight to reflect and write them down. Narrowing my business down to one focus is scary, but if I’ve learned anything from the greats, it’s to focus on one mission and do it well. Building a proper studio practice has always been the dream, and while the new studio is far from complete, I’m proud to reach this next step in my career.
No pivot is complete without a rebrand. So I’m excited to show off the new internet home of Nicholas Baker Studio. The new minimal website highlights work with playful interactions that tie back to the studio values, and the star icon carries throughout the brand as a symbol of a brighter future.
It can sometimes feel as if designing delightful objects for a brighter future is a frivolous pursuit. I reject this mentality. All that is worth living for comes from those who dare to create something beautiful. It’s when your favorite song comes on in the car. It’s standing in front of a painting that moves you. It’s rediscovering that childhood toy in your parent’s attic. It’s coming home and relaxing in the chair that hugs you. It’s the moments like these that make life extraordinary. I believe many designers and businesses share this mission, and I look forward to designing a delightful future together.
- Nicholas Baker