Our innovation, design and development teams track trends across the industries in which we work. Here are some stories you might find as interesting as we did.


Innovarion Engine-crop"Universities are in trouble and the influx of brainpower from overseas is shrinking." (Image: Arsh Raziuddin via The Atlantic)

Design & Innovation

  • America’s Innovation Engine is Slowing | The Atlantic
  • [Podcast] Covid-19 is Changing How Designers Think | Wireframe by Adobe
  • Why is Designing for Inclusion Still Treated as Optional? | UX Collective
  • How Ford Drives Business Agility With Design Thinking | Forbes
  • [Podcast] Peloton, Hydrow, and Designing the Connected Fitness Experience (feat. Bruce Smith/Hydrow, David Knies/Essential) | Design Museum Everywhere



brandless is back"In yet another bizarre twist in its short history, Brandless is coming back to life." (Image: Brandless via FastCompany)

Retail & Consumer

  • Remember Brandless, the Amazon Alternative That Crashed and Burned? It’s Back! | FastCompany
  • The Uncertain Future of Post-Pandemic Starbucks | Medium
  • How Nespresso's Coffee Revolution Got Ground Down | The Guardian
  • Delivery Apps Need to Start Treating Suppliers as Partners | HBR
  • Walmart, Target, and CVS Team Up to Reinvent Plastic Bags | FastCompany
  • How the U.S. Consumer Became the Most Resilient Force in the Economy | A Wealth of Common Sense
  • Unlucky Charms: the Rise and Fall of Billion-dollar Jewelry Empire Alex and Ani | Marker


ai computre geenerated design work
"A Russian design firm passed off computer-generated work as human, and it’s a peek at things to come." (Image: Art Lebedev via FastCompany)

AI & Technology

  • Clients Loved This Designer’s Work. Turns Out, He Was an AI | FastCompany
  • Clear Usually Helps People Speed Past the TSA Line. Now It’s Offering a Covid-19 Screening Service | recode by Vox
  • The 6 Biggest Technology Trends in Accounting and Finance | Forbes
  • Researchers Built Robotic Skin With a Sense of Touch | Engadget
  • Why Older People Really Eschew Technology | Slate
  • Seniors Are Embracing Technology: From Healthcare Needs to Binge Watching | PR Newswire



Covid-Polling"Scholars have long warned that constant polling is bad for democracy. In a pandemic, it’s also bad for public health." (Image: Sam Whitney via Wired)


Data Visualization & Information Design

  • America Has a Sick Obsession With Covid-19 Polls | Wired
  • [Interactive] A Detailed Map of Who Is Wearing Masks in the U.S. | The NY Times
  • [Interactive] Designing Data Transparency for All Lens | TTC Labs
  • Data + Creativity 2020: A Muse by Clio Insight Report | Muse by Clio
  • [Tool] Put Your College Through a Financial Stress Test | NBC News



-999x-999"Townscaper is a New Building Game Inspired by the Design of Scandinavian Cities and Children’s Books." (Image: Oskar Stalberg via Bloomberg CityLab)

Building & Space



Essential Design is a leading Innovation Strategy & Design consultancy. We work across the healthcare, consumer, and commercial industries, helping our clients conceive and drive to market comprehensive digital, physical, and service experiences. 

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