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2012 Best in Category: Countertop Kitchenware

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Joseph Joseph Inc.

No-Spill Mill Electric Salt and Pepper Mill with Closing Base

Joseph Joseph's focus on functional design was fully apparent in the No-Spill Mill the English company entered in the 2012 Housewares Design Awards, a product that earned the company a Best in Category Award for Countertop Kitchenware.

Joseph Joseph's No-Spill electric spice mill conceals an integrated base that captures excess salt or pepper after use, preventing particles from being deposited on surfaces when the mill is placed down. "We research opportunities and make small changes in the way a product functions," said Richard Joseph, managing director, when asked how the company determines design elements in their products.

With the No-Spill pepper mill, for example, to operate, the unit is squeezed at the flared lever at the top until the desired amount of salt or pepper is dispensed. When the lever is released, the base of the unit closes, sealing off the grinding mechanism and preventing spills on table or countertops. The mill also has an adjustable, ceramic mechanism that grinds from fine to coarse grain.

"We looked at salt and pepper mills and one of the problems is they leave residue on the table. Ours is no-spill so you put that down and it leaves no residue on the table," Joseph said. "It's also an electric mill so it's easy to use and it's aesthetic makes a nice presentation on your dining room table."

"Once we've established the functional differences, we tie it all together with packaging and color," Joseph added.

The No-Spill Mill features a white exterior with just a punch of green where the lever meets the base of the mill, giving it an elegant yet fun appeal. For trending colors, shapes and overall visual appeal, the Josephs often take influence from outside the the housewares industry, pulling from architecture, interior design and fashion for structural design and color direction.

While functionality is always top of mind when designing a product, according to Joseph, one of the more important elements when designing a product is making sure "it connects emotionally with the consumer." Development for most Joseph Joseph products take up to two years from design concept to market, with consumer testing part of the process before release to make sure the products the company is releasing will resonate with its consumer base. He added, "Sometimes color is more difficult than the technical design of the product."

The company, which only recently expanded its markets to include the U.S., seems to be connecting well with consumers here as it now launches two new collections a year.

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