Design 1st 2022 Year in Review

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Design 1st Achieves Record Numbers in 2022 Despite Challenging Economy


Battery innovation, sensor technology, autonomous robotics, and increasing entrepreneurship are among the growing trends happening today.


January 10, 2023 – Design 1st, one of the most prolific full-service product design-engineering firms across North America, achieved record numbers across the board in 2022, closing the year with 93 unique products developed, 44 new customers, 38 new customer projects, and 6 industry awards. Additionally, the company helped 15 unique clients complete their first volume production runs in 2022, compared to the 6 client projects launched in the previous fiscal year.

Growth Highlights from 2022
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2022 Project Breakdown by Industry and Product Type

For over 25 years, Design 1st has helped guide customers, from entrepreneur to enterprise, through all stages of the product design and development process. Design 1st balances deep expertise in new tech, usability, materials, component supply and risk assessment with global manufacturing expertise and network to provide an end-to-end service. Design 1st has designed and developed over 1,000 products for a wide range of clients that influence millions of people globally.

Key highlights of the year include:
  • 200% increase in industry accolades
  • 150% growth in projects completed and launched to market
  • 45% growth in connected electronics projects
  • 78 new products in development in 2022
Client Product Awards in 2022

“These past few years have proved to be both dynamic and disruptive for the manufacturing industry,” said Kevin Bailey, CEO, Design 1st.

“Despite an unpredictable market our team at Design 1st has persevered through and positioned our clients for success during these times. We are excited for 2023, and look forward to reaching new heights.”

Product Design Trends We See in 2023:

As the world continues to acclimatize to social and economic changes caused by the pandemic, consumers and businesses look to adapt to the new trends that continue to emerge via an altered landscape. Not only did Design 1st play a pivotal role in identifying and helping companies implement these trends through an uncertain economic environment, they did so in 10 distinctive markets, expanding their reach by 43% since 2020. Some notable trends the company identified, and their solutions, are:

  • An increase in unique physical products with innovative battery configurations. As technology advances, consumer expectation increases with it. Batteries, a product typically expected to simply produce power, are now sought to be interchangeable, have a longer lifespan, and even have solar compatibilities. Design 1st helped develop products to fit these needs, such as the swappable battery designed for Levy Electric Scooter, described as the first electric scooter with a swappable battery pack, a solar power pack for electric vehicles, a USB charging station for warehouse and commercial spaces, and custom firmware of existing IoT-connected products to maximize battery life.
  • New sensor technology creating wearable innovation. Since the start of the pandemic, health has become the topic of seemingly every discussion. From respiratory, to neuro, to sleep health, Design 1st has played a role in developing a product to help make the world a healthier place. Calibre Biometrics’ wearable breathing tracker, described as the first in the world, Neurovine’s concussion recovering system, Dreamclear’s compact sleep apnea monitoring system, and Smarter Wake Up’s wearable vibrating alarm bracelet are all wearables that have received the Design 1st touch.
Benchmodel Prototype of Design Client's Headband With Sensors
  • Autonomous robotics. From self-driving cars to delivery robots, autonomous technology continues to improve at a tremendous rate. As these technologies become increasingly integrated into our everyday lives, Design 1st aims to play a large role in its development. In 2022, Design 1st helped create a robotic farming tractor and a robotic sports field turf cutter.
  • The rise of entrepreneurs. Another byproduct of the pandemic is the ascent of entrepreneurship, a trend that Design 1st has witnessed for 27 years. During times of economic turbulence, entrepreneurs shine because, rather than investing capital, they put it to use building innovative ideas and improving existing products. Design 1st experienced this firsthand in 2022, generating 780 leads, a 22% increase from the previous year, and gained 44 new customers. We’ll likely see further growth in 2023 as the economy remains unstable.
Meeting With Entrepreneurs in Design 1st Boardroom
Additional Resources

About Design 1st

Design 1st is one of the most trusted full-service product design firms across North America, with a seasoned team consisting of diverse technical expertise, over 1,000 products developed, and 130 client patents secured. From Startup to Enterprise, we enable companies to quickly scale capabilities throughout their new product development programs by leveraging our core competencies in human behavior, industrial design, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, embedded firmware, and manufacturing setup. Design 1st’s plug-in experienced team has helped clients transform their physical ideas into commercialized hardgoods products across a variety of industries and influenced millions of people globally. For more information, please visit our website,, or follow us on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Joan Highet
[email protected]
+1 (613) 620-3243


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