By the early 1950s, consumer products, such as radios, record-players, televisions and shavers, formed such a significant part of the company’s output, that a dedicated design group was created. Led by Rein Veersema, design was elevated to the forefront of the Philips brand. Philips set up a team of designers who could participate in the development process, and who understood the technology and marketing goals. The formation of this new group was the first step towards a coordinated industrial design policy within the company based on agreed standards.
When choosing the successor to Veersma, the board of management looked for a head of design who would represent the international nature of its business. In 1966, Norwegian designer, poet and painter Knut Yran was appointed. Knut Yran viewed design as an inter-disciplinary activity and established industrial design and corporate identity as the main tasks of the design team. His time at Philips was characterized by growth and internationalization, the development of traditional design skills, and strong central design control.
American architect Robert Blaich took over as from Yran when he retired in 1980. Blaich introduced new and transparent processes and brought in outside design consultants to teach the team new skills. He recruited top talent and built up strong internal management and nurtured new, progressive forms of collaborative, creative working