Hasbro Gaming’s Dougal Grimes on how the worlds of marketing and design are blurring

Dougal Grimes
As nominations are open for the 2019 edition of the Mojo Nation 100 – a listing of 100 figures in toy and game design that have had a great year -we’re speaking with some of those who made it into the book earlier this year.

First up, it’s Dougal Grimes, director of product design at Hasbro Gaming. A hugely popular figure in the design community and a passionate supporter of the wider inventor community, Grimes has spearheaded many successes for the firm, including Pie Face, Speak Out and Coinhole.

Here we learn how he got his start in design, and what makes games such a rich space for designers to work in.

How did you get your start in the world of design?
I studied Product Design Engineering but didn’t join the toy and game business in design. I started at Hasbro in Marketing and worked my way through a series of pretty diverse roles. I have found that all of the roles have helped me immensely in developing my design skills, and understanding the business as a whole has led to better products.

How do you stay creative?
I try and take on board and experience as many different influences as possible; music, movies, TV, food, festivals; all of it helps change your perceptions. It’s also useful to try and get bored every once in a while, usually this involves shutting off your phone and writing and drawing. I find a plane is always a good place to think in a bubble.

What makes this industry a great one for designers to work in?
It’s universally known that play facilities creativity and also leads to better experiential design. The toy and game business is built upon consumers playing and hands on experiences, so what better way to marry the two together!

From a design point of view, is the world of toys and games in a good place creatively at present?
I believe so, and social media and the way that people play and communicate has had an unprecedented effect on this. Norms and rules are being broken continually. The fact that the space between marketing and design has now been completely blurred and we can have conversations with our consumers and listen to them means that the doors for creativity are blown wide open. The real challenge is actually trying to find the real insights and giving yourself some parameters amid all of the information that’s available.

To nominate a designer for a spot in the 2019 edition of the Mojo Nation 100, click here  for all the information.

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