frog’s journey began in 1969 when Hartmut Esslinger founded esslinger design in the Black Forest of Germany, ushering in an era of emotional design in response to the mostly function-oriented products of the day. The firm became known for its work for German electronics brand WEGA and then Sony, generating more than 100 products, including the first standalone television set, the black-box Sony Trinitron, and the Walkman.
Esslinger’s products caught the eye of Steve Jobs, a multimillion-dollar deal was struck, esslinger design arrived in California, and the company took on a new name: frog design. In 1984, frog’s design language for Apple, first embodied by the Apple IIc system, launched with great fanfare and commercial success. The design was recognized by Time Magazine as the “Design of the Year” and inducted into the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of Art.
During the 1980s and early 90s, frog moved to support the technological and cultural disruptions that clients were facing. Engineering, branding, and packaging became part of frog's core offering, working for clients such as Sun Microsystems, Packard Bell, Lufthansa, and Olympus. In the mid-1990s, frog led another dramatic shift in the design industry by incorporating software design for web and mobile.