We'd like to tell you a story -- a tale of two Designers, if you will.
It's Monday morning in a generic office space that's bathed in a dull fluorescent light. Already three coffees deep, you're seated in your cubicle - slouching at your desk. Your supervisor, let’s call him Steve, is four coffees deep. You know this because you’ve prepared each of them for him yourself (one milk, three sugars). Shockingly, this has been the most engaging task of your day thus far. Over the weekend, your inbox has been filled with an avalanche of “opportunities” ranging from designing senior-proof pill bottles to belatedly cashing in on the wildly-outdated "trend" of plastic spinning toys. Strict project timelines mean that you're spending an average of thirty minutes throwing together generic commodity goods so devoid of originality that you'll have a hard time finding the Amazon listing once it's live.
Functionality? Performance? Aesthetic? As Steve would say: who cares about any of that stuff? See, Steve's a numbers guy. By extension, you also need to be a numbers person. In the age-old debate of quality vs quantity, quality has the distinct disadvantage of not being a number. Quantity wins with Steve every time. As for you: the only number you actually care about is five. That's the number the clock hits before the mind-numbing labour of the past eight hours becomes a sort of featureless sludge in the deepest recesses of your memory, never to be unearthed again.
In an alternate universe, you work for us, and that same Monday morning is now set within the comfort of your own home. After finishing breakfast, you sit down at your desk and turn on your computer. Overnight, we received CADs for four new smartphones that won’t be announced for another six months. Your job, as always, is to give measured, careful consideration to every detail of accessory development. You examine curves, chamfers, and camera bumps. Your supervisor - let’s call him “not Steve” - is constantly encouraging you to not only develop a compelling product, but by extension, a compelling experience.
Whether it's best-in-class phone cases or something more disruptive, one truth remains constant: dbrand doesn't create commodity products; dbrand creates compelling experiences out of commodity products. In 2021, we dropped Darkplates, in 2022, Killswitch (fuck magnets), in 2023 Ghost; This year, we’re dropping [REDACTED]. Where do we go from here? Perhaps you'll help us to chart that course.
If you're reading this, it's pretty likely that your next role will be a lot closer to the first story than the second one. It's equally likely that you're also looking to change that. Well, we've got good news and bad news. The good news is that by opening this job ad, you're already one step closer to making the dream a reality. The bad news? We're only hiring one Industrial Designer for product development.
If you’re unsure if you have what it takes, save us all some time and close this tab. If, on the other hand, you check all of the boxes, your Mondays are about to get a lot more interesting.
dbrand thrives where other eCommerce companies have failed because our customers enjoy a revolutionary degree of commitment, engagement, and accessibility from us. Maintaining an internal culture of excellence, the likes of which our highly-engaged audience demands and deserves, is critical to dbrand's current and future success. Our customers deserve no less than the absolute best, and we hold every member of the team to that exacting standard. Surrounded by a diverse team that lives and breathes dbrand, the Industrial Designer is tasked with, you guessed it: product development. As a member of dbrand's Product Development team, the Industrial Designer is also expected to make meaningful contributions to communications with our supply chain partners, perform tests on product samples, and organize all the latest development details for key stakeholders.
So, what's in it for you? Well, unlike most companies, we actually care about the work we're doing. Every time our customers tweet about us, post on our subreddit, or write an adoring email, we're moving one step closer to world domination. Spreading the good word and growing our cult-like audience? That's its own reward. At dbrand, you have the opportunity to create once-in-a-lifetime brand experiences for consumers. If you're someone who's organized, committed, and excited about our mission, to say you'd thrive here would be an understatement.
Before you can get the opportunity to join our passionate, dynamic team and help us grow the cult, you'll need to prove yourself. Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes…
- Agile: You’re nimble. You’re adaptable. You thrive in an environment where priorities can change in an instant.
- Analytical: Your decisions are driven by only one thing: data. You continue to master all the tools necessary to surface insights.
- Collaborative: You enjoy purposeful meetings. You value the contributions and perspectives of your CEO as much as you do your subordinates.
- Curious: You’re eager to learn new concepts and master new skills. There’s no tool that’s useless in your arsenal.
- Disciplined: You never allow the details to slip, understanding that every bit of minutiae forms the bigger picture.
- Enthusiastic: You exhibit a contagious passion for problem solving, quality, accuracy, and camaraderie.
- Innovative: You develop new approaches to complex problems.
- Perfectionist: You persist until the smallest detail has been optimized. Knows nothing less than 100%.
- Persistent: You’ve never failed. You’ve only experienced speed bumps on your path to success.
- Reliable: You live up to both verbal and written agreements. You can be trusted to work effectively, without oversight.
The Responsibilities and Qualifications
In order to make a positive impact as part of our team, your focus in this role will be:
- CAD Expertise: Proficiency in CAD software for designing and modifying the dimensions and features of phone cases, screen protectors, and other tech accessories.
- Product Sample Review: Evaluating samples for manufacturing quality and consistency with design specifications. This includes assessing the fit, durability, and aesthetic aspects of the products, then following up with communications with our manufacturing partners.
- Manufacturing Process Knowledge: Understanding of the injection molding process, materials used, limitations or challenges specific to phone cases and other accessories.
- Quality Control: Ensuring that the products consistently meet set quality standards and taking corrective actions when deviations occur.
- Factory Comms: Coordinating with suppliers and manufacturers to ensure timely delivery of samples (through to production) and resolving any issues related to production or material quality.
- Product Improvement: Making incremental improvements to existing products based on direction from industrial design team, customer feedback or revised device attributes.
- Internal Comms: Keeping detailed records on our internal communication platform of design changes, manufacturing processes, quality control measures, supplier interactions, etc.
- Compliance and Testing: Ensuring that the products comply with OEM partner standards (e.g. Made for Google).
- Project Management: Overseeing the timeline and resources for ongoing development / improvement projects. At times, includes coordinating with other teams (e.g. Operations, Logistics, Supply Chain, Marketing, Creative) for product launches.
- Technical Problem-Solving: Quickly addressing and resolving any technical or design issues that arise during the product lifecycle.
If you find a box you can’t check, do us both a favour and find a company that expects less of their employees.
- A degree or diploma from an Industrial Design program or comparable experience/education.
- Engaged and passionate about new consumer technology such as smartphones, game consoles and computers, particularly as they relate to industrial design and consumer products.
- Mechanically minded and eager to apply your knowledge of mass production processes to solve manufacturing issues with specific focus on injection moulding and CNC machining.
- A thorough understanding and intrinsic thirst to learn new or unfamiliar mass production manufacturing techniques and processes.
- Top-of-class in producing high fidelity Solidworks CAD that can be sent directly to our partners for tooling (Fusion360 experience will also be accepted).
- Can work effectively independently as well as in collaboration.
- A nuanced communication style to articulate complex problems and design rationale in simple ways - both written and verbally.
- A valid passport for travel within North America and overseas, if necessary.
- Fluency or working proficiency in Mandarin is considered an asset.
The Moment of Truth
The job starts between $50,000 and $60,000 per year with health, dental, vision, profit-sharing, and GRSP benefits.
Still think you have what it takes?
To be perfectly honest, we doubt it.
You’re welcome to prove us wrong.