MightyStudios might·y / mīdē / Adjective Possessing great and impressive power or strength, especially on account of size.
On the eastern edge of downtown San Jose is a small, unassuming building with the word “mighty” affixed to the side in metallic letters. It’s a little ironic to see such a bold word placed on that tiny structure. But after learning what happens inside that building and about the team that calls it home, you begin to realize what an accurate description “mighty” is for one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific product design studios. Mighty Studios was founded by Tark Abed, a Bay Area native born in Oakland, California. Growing up, Tark and his brothers were constantly engaged in creative endeavors, from building Lego sets to model car kits. In the late ’70s, while snowboarding was still in its infancy, Tark was writing letters to Jake Burton, founder of Burton Snowboards, with his designs and sketches. Tark’s older brother went on 38
to attend USC, later pursuing a career in film and exposing Tark to a new world of set designers and prop makers and to a discipline he had never heard of before that point: industrial design. “This profession finds you. You don’t find it,” Tark says. Returning to the Bay Area after completing his degree, Tark spent over a decade working for product design agencies and consulting for some of the biggest brands in the world. Silicon Valley had become not only the tech capital of the world, but also an industrial design powerhouse due to forward-thinking companies like Apple, IDEO, Matrix, Lunar Design, and others. Despite this ultra-competitive environment, Tark felt this was the perfect place to start his new company. “There is something special about Silicon Valley. I’ve had the opportunity to work all around the world, including
Japan, China, and other parts of Asia. Silicon Valley continues to stand out as unique. We are all going 150 miles an hour all the time. That’s the bar. People on the outside say it’s unhealthy. But it keeps us vibrant, alive, and alert. You need to innovate to survive. We help companies do that.” Mighty is unique compared to most other product design studios, because they have experience not just designing for others, but developing, producing, and marketing their own products and IP. A product’s success depends on a myriad of factors, all of which the Mighty Studios’ team has firsthand experience with. From an in-house ethnographer that provides insights into user needs to a brand designer that helps companies build visual identities and interfaces, the Mighty Studios’ small but diverse team has a broad range of deep expertise that’s hard to
Written by Daniel Codella Photography by Daniel Garcia Mighty Studios 1272 East Julian Street San Jose, CA 95116 mighty-studios.com Facebook mightystudios Instagram _mightystudios