A globally informed design outlook
For businesses that compete around the world,
welcome to our world
How better to describe the creation of a
plan than to call it “the design”?
Surely good design is a careful plan and
the disciplined execution of that plan
to create something which is nothing
more than appropriate.
Also known as our clients
Readymade might not be a famous
name but we don’t mind, as long as
you remember the names of our
clients. We drop them unashamedly;
after all, their continued fame is what
we hope to be known for.
Diamond ring holder
for Pure Lustre
Johannesburg, South Africa
Pure Lustre wanted to distinguish their branded diamonds
from all others. They asked Readymade to design
packaging that would rival the beauty of the diamond itself
and capture all that is special about the moment a diamond
is offered to a loved one.
Our solution created a mysterious, sparkling object that
could become an heirloom in itself. The two halves are
joined by a precision friction fit. The moment the diamond
is revealed is thus accompanied by a rush of escaping air
from the holder, and hopefully a sharp intake of breath
from the receiver.
Color and finish
Readymade assisted XM’s internal design
team by designing the color and finish pallette
for Tao’s XM2go portable satellite radio.
When the Tao XM2go was released
simultaneously with two competing products,
it gained favor with reviewers for its
distinctive coloring, eventually being picked as
one of WIRED magazine’s gadgets of the year
Mobile phone headsets
for Body Glove
Body Glove is the legendary California based surf and dive company
that invented the wetsuit. Readymade worked with Body Glove and
its licensees on defining the look and engineering of their
technology accessories range from their first internally developed
mobile phone headset in the year 2000 until they exited the
business 7 years later.
During that time the Body Glove headset business won some of the
world’s most coveted design prizes, sold in 42 countries and
increased sales on key products by up to 80%.
When Motorola’s two way radio licensees wanted
to create more relevant appeal for their radios in
Europe, they asked Readymade to design the
color pallette. The result was a fresh color style
for the year 2005.
DAB radio reciever
Readymade was engaged to provide the
industrial design of Motorola’s mooted entry into
the competitive European portable DAB radio
market. Readymade collaborated with Motorola’s
design department in Chicago but did a complete
ground-up design of the product.
SmartIT sells TV accessories throughout Northern Europe.
They approached Readymade to help develop products that
would compete in these sought after markets.
The ELEMENTS universal remote control brought elegance
and simplicity to the unenviable task of running home
entertainment devices from one magic wand.
for ABSA bank
ABSA is South Africa’s largest consumer bank
and a division of the global Barclays Group.
ABSA hired Readymade to assist in solving
some of their most pressing consumer facing
problems. Over 3 years, Readymade has
helped to reduce queuing times, introduce
successful new offerings and engage bank
staff in a culture of creating new solutions
that reduce costs and delight customers.
Angle & Circle Maker
Helix is the famous stationery company that invented
the ring compass in 1894, the first mass-produced
ruler in 1899, the first mathematics set in 1902 and has
since registered many other patents.
Helix approached Readymade to create innovative
school math equipment for sale in key markets.
Our response was a range of products led by the Angle
and Circle Maker which caused a sensation at trade
shows and was called “The first innovation in school
stationery in 80 years”.
The product subsequently won the world’s oldest and
most prestigious awards program organized worldwide,
the Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Awards.
Good Design Award
Clarity, a division of Plantronics (which is
notable for making the headsets used by
NASA - including for the moon landings), is
a company which makes phones for the
Clarity asked Readymade to facilitate
thinking on product strategy and design. An
early success of the engagement was the
reintroduction to Wal-Mart of Clarity’s most
popular phone due to Readymade’s advice
and the Clarity sales team’s hard work.
Paraffin safety cap
60 000 people are hurt by paraffin in South Africa each
year. Some of these are children who drink it because it
is sold and stored in cold drink bottles.
Initiatives to provide a safer paraffin bottle have failed
because users overwhelmingly prefer a free bottle to a
safer container that must be purchased.
Readymade designed a solution that addresses both
issues by making the current bottle safe. The cap has a
fill line that prevents overfilling. This simple feature can
save a reseller significant money and spark adoption of
The safety cap won a paraffin safety award and was a
finalist in the world’s largest prize for design that
improves peoples’ lives, the Danish INDEX award.
BP, as part of its commitment to the
environments where it operates, has an
Emerging Consumer Markets business
that seeks to bring energy solutions to
the world’s poorest people.
This business approached Readymade to
design a 21st century stove for paraffin
users. The brief was impossible; it had to
be affordable, highly efficient, safe, non-
polluting and extremely durable.
Not only did Readymade meet these
targets, we exceeded them, passing
some of the most stringent regulatory
testing of its kind.
SNIF tag system
SNIFlabs was started by a group of MIT graduates with
the idea to create a new generation of products that
bridge the digital and physical worlds.
SNIFlabs engaged Readymade to develop the product
strategy, packaging, concept design and engineering for
The SNIFtag is a social networking product for dogs. It
allows dog owners to track their dog’s friends online
and just possibly meet attractive dog owners in real life.
MIT professor, Neil Gershenfeld has an idea that could
change the economy of the world. Neil explains in his
book, FAB, that instead of sending megatons of
products around to world from factory to consumer, we
could be sending the data around the world and making
products in our basements using personal fabricators.
To realize this vision, Neil asked Readymade to
investigate his global network of FABlabs (fabrication
laboratories) which are the prototype of these new
fabricators. Readymade’s brief is to develop the
commercial model to bring the vision to life in
everyone’s back yard. Working with the FABlab in
Soshanguve, South Africa, Fabrication Africa created
the NEST bowl as the start of a range of distinctive new
products which embrace social conscience and
The bowls are sold worldwide and assembly of the bowls
is done by a local charity that assists homeless and
destitute people in informal settlements. This helps the
poorest of the urban poor.
Rural transport solutions
for the Department of Transport
North West Province, South Africa
Readymade was part of the 2005 Interdesign which focused on
alternative transport for South Africa’s rural poor. Altogether 60
designers from around the world spent 2 weeks in the field
immersing themselves in the daily transport challenges facing the
Readymade’s area of work was in designing for the short distance
transport of heavy goods around the village such as wood, water
We uncovered latent potential in the local people to sustainable
create and supply their own solutions with some outside help, a
concept which guides our design thinking still.
Strategic consulting for Optimal Energy Cape Town, South Africa
Readymade has been part of the team supporting the strategic development of the business plan and capital raising by working with the company executives to
conceptualize the overall plan and reconcile its multitude of complex technical, financial and marketing issues. The goal has been to clear the way for the Joule to claim
its share of the mainstream automotive market and for Optimal Energy to become a leading global manufacturer of electric vehicles.
“Design contains the skills to identify
possible futures, build bridges to
customers and crack wicked problems”
The Designful Company, Marty Neumeier,
Rotman School of Management/Winter 2009
A globally informed design outlook for
product businesses that create a little
beauty, make things work better and
improve the lives of people
That’s our world