Jodi and Yani Deros Bretford Juice® Modular Power System
Alumni Profile: Jodi and Yani Deros '91
Partners in life and work, Jodi and Yani Deros are creative collaborators, innovators, and risk takers. The two first met as sophomore design students at MassArt. They later married and each pursued successful careers in the Boston area—Jodi in advertising and branding and Yani in product development. In 2001, when Yani accepted a new opportunity to work for a medical start up developing non-invasive glucose technology, they moved to Arizona and fell in love with the area where he was part of the executive team that raised $32 million and proceeded to develop numerous generations of this Star Trek medical technology. After a successful run at the company and recognizing the growing need for world-class design services in the area, Jodi and Yani merged professional forces in 2003 to found ATOMdesign, which has grown into an internationally-recognized product development firm and an innovation hub in the Southwest.
Both Jodi and Yani recall enjoying their work experiences in New England after graduating from MassArt in 1991—Jodi with a BFA in Graphic Design and Yani with a BFA in Industrial Design. Yani first joined a technology think tank on the North Shore developing dozens of innovative products each year. Later, he became a Senior Industrial Designer at Continuum and then the Director of Design at Farm Design, Inc. (Formerly Roche Harkins), helping the company grow into a sizeable firm before accepting the position of Director of Technology and Design at Sensys Medical, Inc. in Arizona.
Jodi began a career in advertising and strategic marketing through an opportunity posted in the career services office at MassArt. She learned that Mullen, in Wenham, MA, needed an intern to work on a couple of projects and she had no clue what she was getting herself into. “Yani drove me up to the interview and the first thing I saw was a sign with green and gold letters at the end of a ½ mile driveway leading to a beautiful old mansion in the woods,” says Jodi. “It felt like a scene from a Disney movie.” Luckily at the time, Mullen was looking to add a graphic design component to their advertising business and several MassArt alumni were already employed by the firm. The internship at Mullen turned into a full-time position for Jodi. “Having a strong portfolio developed at MassArt and an alumni network to tap into, made for a nice start in my career,” remarks Jodi. “At Mullen I was able to advance professionally moving between advertising, sales, and developing campaigns for global clients.” She has been the lead creative for campaigns that include an extensive list of clients for national and global brands such as Colgate-Palmolive, Veryfine Juices, BMW, Motorola, Sylvania, Rolls Royce, Reebok, The Henry Ford Museum, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and many others.
Over the past twelve years, Jodi and Yani have worked hard to build the reputation of ATOMdesign as a full-service creative firm offering services including advertising, branding, industrial design and product development operating on the global level. They employ a highly-specialized team of international researchers, designers and engineers with extensive expertise in product strategy, planning and development. This way, the firm can continue to evolve and successfully deliver market leading solutions for its broad range of clients, including global corporations and start-up ventures. Over the past 12 years they have developed over 200 products for their clients, including DelMonte, Dial, HP, LG, Herman Miller, Honeywell, and Taser International.
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To stay on the cutting edge in the marketplace, in 2012 ATOMdesign launched their proprietary STREAM Research® process, which builds and draws upon massive online communities of hundred’s to thousands of users to gather insights using the true “Voice of the Customer” to yield both qualitative and quantitative data. “In this day and age, it is important to differentiate yourself; the creative space is increasingly more demanding to deliver a impactful solutions to the marketplace,” remarks Yani. “Our unique research process helps ATOMdesign separate ourselves from the rest of the pack.” This new way of engaging client programs is transforming the firm’s offerings for insight gathering and development where the entire creative team at ATOMdesign is immersed in research and development concurrently. Programs are often accelerated and compressed from one year of development time into 4-6 months, affording clients the competitive advantage to launch new products and technologies faster and penetrate market segments deeper with validation by the end users throughout the process.
Last fall, ATOMdesign and Massimo Motor Partners unveiled the Massimo® 1200 Series HUTV™ with First Ever iPad® Dashboard Integration at the AIMExpo in Orlando, Florida. Using the STREAM Research® process, they designed and built the hybrid utility terrain vehicle from the ground up in only seven months.
On a recent visit to Boston, Jodi and Yani spent time with current design students at MassArt and they were very impressed with the caliber of the work they saw. They stressed to students the importance of participating in internships, so they can take what they are learning in an academic setting from “blue sky” and apply it to the real world to see how it translates, and that it is critical to developing a strong portfolio of work each student will build their career with. “Portfolios, say it all,” said Jodi. “Students leave MassArt with stellar portfolios that are ready to interview, where other institutions fall short.” Both Jodi and Yani recall being challenged as students by their design professors to work and rework their portfolios. They also took their portfolios out into the design world, and were offered great advice and critique that made them better prepared to work in and succeed in their respective design professions. Now they look to share with the future creative geniuses of tomorrow coming out of MassArt!
To learn more about Jodi and Yani’s work at ATOMdesign, visit their website.