Inflate and Product design
In the mid 1990’s, Nick Crosbie founded Inflate while studying at the RCA, London. The niche brand started out designing and producing pop-up household products using inflatable technologies. The products, whilst functional, had abstract qualities and ranged from inflatable ash trays to room dividers and table lights. Through its creativity and broad scope of work, Inflate became one of the pioneering young design brands of the 1990’s, exporting all over the world and exhibiting in the most prestigious galleries and stores.
In 1998 Inflate was recognised for its achievements with a headline show at the V&A Museum, London. To accompany the show, the first Inflate publication, titled ‘Swell’, was produced. By then, Crosbie had worked with many well known brands including Paul Smith, Sony, Virgin, Crayola and Pepe Jeans, to name a few. Inflate products were even the main focus of the band Menswear’s 1998 pop video, and were used as props for Channel 4’s film night. Crosbie and his designs were also often be seen on TV shows with Chris Evans.
In the late 1990’s Crosbie successfully turned his hand to other manufacturing methods for creating products. The ‘Snoozy’ rota moulded bed won the OXO Design Award and was later nominated for a D&AD Yellow Pencil. Simultaneously, a launch of their dip moulded products saw Crosbie and Inflate undertake projects that included CD covers for the band Super Furry Animals and the production of over a million functional toiletry packaging products for Boots UK.
In the mid 2000’s Crosbie was commissioned to design the prestigious cover for the D&AD Annual by Michael Johnston, after it was said that Jonny Ive had come up with a design too costly to produce. From the Millennium to present day, Crosbie has been involved in designs for a range of consumer goods, from household electronics to homeware accessories.