Ep. 8: Robert Brunner

Robert Brunner, co-founder of Ammunition in San Francisco, is kind of a big deal. You might not immediately recognize his name if you're not entrenched in the product design scene, but you definitely know at least one if not more of his designs. Maybe you've heard of Beats by Dre headphones? Yeah, we thought so. 

Robert reveals that he considered engineering and art as career options, after his artist mother and engineer dad, but instead merged them by studying industrial design.  

A young Robert

A young Robert

Playing water polo in high school

Playing water polo in high school

Robert with his family

Robert with his family

Brunner founded a modernist grill company called Fuego, which makes outdoor grilling products for the design-savvy homeowner.

Mindset computer - Robert's piece that landed in the MoMA

Mindset computer - Robert's piece that landed in the MoMA

DoYouMatter-book-Robert-Brunner.jpg

He's also the author of a book about his design philosophy called Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company. Tune in to hear him talk about his design philosophy that goes beyond form and branding. 

A notable career moment was when he accepted a position at Apple ("between Jobs" as he says) and played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for Apple's design division. 

The now ubiquitous Beats by Dre headphones

The now ubiquitous Beats by Dre headphones

At Ammunition, Robert is able to practice his design philosophy freely, and people are taking note. Ammunition was recently awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Product Design, a distinguished honor that celebrates an entire body of work. And if that wasn't cool enough, he also got to hang with Dre and Diddy, so yeah... he's got cred all over the place.

Robert in a Dre-Diddy sandwich! We're so jealous!

Robert in a Dre-Diddy sandwich! We're so jealous!

Besides Beats by Dre, Ammunition has been responsible for the design of products for Polaroid, Williams-Sonoma, Adobe, Sonos, Intel, Citibank and many more... One of the most recent projects Robert and his team worked on was revamping the Lyft mustache into the more subtle Glowstache

Robert with his Ammunition Partners, Brett Wickens and Matt Rolandson

Robert with his Ammunition Partners, Brett Wickens and Matt Rolandson

Follow Ammunition online at ammunitiongroup.com and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow Robert on Twitter @rdbrunner.

Read Robert's Friday Five on Design Milk here.

Thanks to our sponsor Freshbooks for supporting this episode of Clever.

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Special thanks to Chris Modl of Yore Studio for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.