Rupert at opd office

OPD was born from the trifecta of opportunity, talent and culture. Rupert could see the potential that Oxford offered as a location for setting up a product design consultancy to serve all of the emerging technology businesses in the region, most of whom were going to Cambridge or London to work with external design partners. Having worked in other consultancy environments he understood how important recruiting great talent was to delivering successful projects and maintaining strong client relations. Finally, Rupert wanted to foster a culture that prioritised innovation and quality without compromise, making it as easy as possible for people to do their best work by having the right tools and equipment within the backdrop of a supportive environment. He decided to put a flag in the ground and set up Oxford Product Design with his wife Clare.

As a seasoned design professional, Rupert’s experience of both working in consultancy and as an in-house Design Director allowed him to immediately focus on the design and client facing side of the business, with perspective from ‘both sides of the fence’ of what excellence looked like. Clare’s board level experience in Communications based roles meant that she took on the personnel and operational aspects of the business, each acting as a counterbalance to the other, but with clearly delineated roles and the same strategic focus on what success looked like for them both as a business endeavour.

From the outset Rupert and Clare were committed to building a sustainable business, organically growing year on year and investing in the next stage of growth using the profits from the previous stage. This approach saw them outgrow three sets of offices, embed ISO certifications within the operating procedures of the business, invest in cutting edge technology and recruit top talent. It meant they could successfully pivot to homeworking during the pandemic due to investments already made in technology that supported remote working and everyone automatically being issued with CAD laptops on joining OPD.

Rupert and Clare’s founding philosophy ‘making things better, by making better things’ has been the guiding principle of OPD since it founded, driving its success and establishing it as a beacon of innovation and excellence within the design industry.