A glimpse of the artist behind the industrial designs of ROGOV
Their names are not on the bottom of an oil painting or sketched into a sculpture, but they are artists in every sense of the word. Industrial designers utilize all aspects of artistic creativity, with material as their medium and consumer products their canvass. Someone designs a flat panel display or the car you get into, everything you see on your desk and an industrial designer is the artisan behind those types of things.
For nearly 30 years, Vladymir Rogov, CEO/design director of ROGOV Design, Inc., in La Mesa brought his years of award winning expertise to America and his work can be seen in the palm of a hand to office machines and military combat ready electronics.
His local work spans three decades and his designs and branding repertoire is full of design excellence awards, high profile corporations and has his own Desk Architecture Collection (www.deskarhitecture.com) chosen for the office of Nicholas Cage’s character in the film “Trespass.” Stevie Wonder praised his electronic keyboard design and his work has no boundaries with any product in the business industry. His design and branding strategies have surged business revenues into the millions, and some then sold for billions.
With parents from Russia, born in Germany, studying art in England and working in the design industry in England and Canada, this adventurous entrepreneur is still making heads turn with his designs, both locally and internationally.
His journey began studying engineering, but he wanted to go further and design the things that machinery makes. Working as a mechanical engineering draftsman he began drawing cartoons on the side for fun. A professor, though he did not like the art, said it was talented and told him the Guildford School of Art might be something he would like.
“Just the way he said it to me, I grabbed models, drawings, my electric guitar I designed and built, which was my first project in research in development and went to the school where I was accepted,” he said. “So I spent the next three years learning about art and design. After that I was a changed person.”
After college, Rogov went to London and worked for a design firm, designing glassware, tableware, lights, furniture and found that he loved it. After 16 years, he immigrated to Canada and began designing for many top suppliers in the world, and said he loved what he did. But, eight years later, he fell in love and on a trip to San Francisco, made it down to San Diego. He and his wife fell in love with the area and thought it was the perfect place to bring his high tech artistry. It was 1984 and ROGAV Design was born.
He worked with several local companies, with very successful results in taking a $1 million dollar product and designing it into a multi-million one.
“It is not enough just to have a product,” he said. “It has a look and feel to it. You have to look how people use it, the whole experience. I am an ambassador for the user. Now when you buy something, you become a part of a community. That is an important factor in the many levels of industrial design.”
He said many CEOs today are realizing the look of the product, the competitiveness is very important, he said. “That is where I come in.”
Rogov works with CEOs, develops design strategies for a product, a brand look and then he moves towards the design element of the product and internalized into the company.
“A brand is really a country in the mind. So, I help companies create new products, develop branding and philosophy, then move it into manufacturing,” he said. “I build a language between the company and its constituents.”
Rogov said that in this business he speaks with marketing people, engineers, customers, each having a language of its own. As a child, he spoke Russian, Polish, German and English, but now he speaks design languages that range from marketing, finance, engineering and time manufacturing.
“So at the age of 65, I am a design mentor,” he said. “I go from company to company and take it from Step A to Step B, to the next level. The minimum company that I work with has at least $1 million at stake. You have to work within the resources that they have. Then I do some drawings, make some models and that is how we communicate.”
He said he has many partners that he works with, all specialists in their fields, but he is the look and feel person, or the user interface for the products he designs. He works with independent contractors that specialize in materials. Rogov said it could be anything from sheet metal to plastic, so depending what he is working on he can bring in ethical specialists.
“I am at the look and feel of the project experience level and can bring in the material experts that best produce the product a company is looking for,” he said. “I will recommend the material, design the product with that material with all of its components and then help integrate it into the company. Then once completed I walk away. It’s like planting a tree that you will never sit under.”
Rogov said he loves what he does, the ability to work with such a wide variety of people and it is something where age is irrelevant.
“We forget that industrial design is a visual language and though we do not realize it, we assimilate the language so fast that we are almost afraid to admit it,” he said. “So what I do in working with companies is shape it from scratch and design a language that makes a company or brand unique and does not infringe on someone else’s ideas.”
He said the problem with a lot of design is that one product looks one way and the next is completely different, so in his role it is to begin a conversation with the product by designing something new, because consumers expect a surprising new twist.
Rogov said art, like music is a currency.
“How often do you listen to a song and say this is how I feel,” he said. “It is the same with products, they identify with it and realize it is right for them. These things represent deep emotion, aspirations and expect a great experience with the product they use. That is what I do.”
Some of award winning designs include working with Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Yamaha, Samsung, Casio and more. In hiring Rogov, that is exactly what you get, the artist, the experience and the extensive network of partners that he works with.
For a complete portfolio on products and services with the Rogov signature go to www.rogov.com.