The experience and methodologies that our disciplines bring to research, problem solving, design, and ultimately storytelling, delivers value that solely designers can’t. We believe that a clear, central story is the best way to engage an audience, and we aren’t limited by any given medium. We work with our clients to develop targeted solutions in systems design, organizational change, product design, and brand design, and we use the methods, media, and people that are right for the job.
We found that we're happiest and most successful when we can marry the process of design with the craft of design within our projects, as well as bringing together diverse and often unlikely creative people to work with.
Our approach isn’t for everyone. Our "process" is a proven, flexible toolbox that allows us to work across a broad range of industries and project sizes. We can help you be successful with large-scale projects like the Future of Fish, or create emotionally engaging products for consumers.
Learn more about our process, which we call The Squiggle, pictured below.
About the founder
Damien Newman is the founding principal of Central, a design consultancy that helps organizations create impact through design and innovation. Damien frequently writes, speaks and lectures about the value of the design process and innovation.
For the past two and a half decades, Damien has practiced design across a variety of disciplines, from graphic, interaction, brand, retail experience and organizational design. Today he leads his firm's practice in organizational and systems design, in which he partners with client organizations to identify the challenges of the future, and to use the design process methods and tools, to understand conditions of change. And with that knowledge, to create transformative products, services and systems.
Prior to Central, Damien worked at the global design consultancy IDEO as a Brand Strategist, before that, was a Director of Strategy for frog design, and was a Brand Strategist and Creative Integrator at the interaction design consultancy Studio Archetype.
His projects have spanned Asia, Europe and the States. Current and recent projects have been, business design for a ten billion dollar manufacturer in Tokyo, workspace design and brand strategy for NHN Korea, soft drink design and brand strategy for Pepsi, retail experience design for Silverado Winery, as well as brand and business design for Ashoka Changemakers. Last year saw the completion of the two year research and design project in collaboration with Ashoka and the Packard Foundation to develop sustainable solutions for the future of the fishing industry.
Damien lectures at the Stanford Graduate School for Design, teaching the ME313 class as well as coaches for the d school. Guest lectures at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, and writes for Print Magazine. In 2003 he published the very successful Designer's Guide to Brand Strategy which has been downloaded more than 30,000 times.
The Central team has more than twenty years experience problem-solving and storytelling across disparate domains, including brand strategy, product design, retail experience design, systems design, and working for client companies such as Levis, Pottery Barn, Merck, Novartis, GE, Pepsi, Xerox, Ashoka, Fuji Xerox, NHN, Microsoft, Real Networks and UPS.