Happy Birthday OXO: Celebrating 20 Years of Genius

oxo_logo_large.jpgHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear OXO, Happy Birthday to you!

Three cheers for Universal Design, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray, hip hip hooray : )

OXO_gravy.jpgAs I’m sure you can already tell, Enabled by Design are huge fans of OXO (no, not the people who make stock cubes and gravy! ; ) and their work.

OXO started life back in 1990, when a retired entrepreneur Sam Farber noticed that his wife Betsey was struggling to use the kitchen gadgets available due to arthritis. So he decided to set himself the challenge of designing a range of kitchen tools, that would not only be easy to use for his wife, but also for a wide spectrum of people in general. And so the concept for OXO was born…

Interesting fact:

OXO’s founder, Sam Farber, chose the name “OXO” because whether it’s horizontal, vertical, upside down or backwards, it always reads “OXO”.

After hundreds of models, dozens of design iterations and extensive user-based research (that’s what we like to hear!), OXO launched it’s first collection of 15 tools in the US. Since then OXO has become a household name, being sold by a wide range of retailers, with their product line expanding from the original 15 to a more than impressive 850 household tools and gadgets, within their five separate ranges: Good Grips, SteeL, Candela, Tot and Exclusively at Staples.

OXO has always prided itself on its mission statement, which runs through the heart of everything it does:

OXO is dedicated to providing innovative consumer products that make everyday living easier.

So what exactly is OXO’s USP (AKA unique selling point), I hear you ask!?! Well, this is the reason why we’re so interested in and excited by OXO’s work. Each of OXO’s products are developed based on the concept of Universal Design (AKA Inclusive Design, but we also like the term Design for All), a philosophy of making products that are usable by as many people as possible.
For OXO, it means designing products for young and old, male and female, left- and right-handed, as well as people living with disabilities and long term health conditions. Why can’t all products and services be designed in this way? To us it makes complete sense, so why haven’t more companies embraced this way of working? Another blog post coming, me thinks…

Have a very HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY OXO!!! And we’d just like to say a big thank you for all your sterling work and inspiring us to set up Enabled by Design, without you things may have been very different!

Team EbD x