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This is a 2-day project - an accelerated product conceptualization meant to show raw process. The brief is to design a portable knife sharpening product that integrates into the TYROLIT LIFE portfolio, a premium brand that sells mainly knives, statement piece kitchenware and abrasive products. Focus was on process, thought, and analog sketching skills. This project outline is meant to help you better understand the way I work and think. Enjoy!

Design process:

Portable knife sharpening

Project brief overview and game plan.


Every project I do starts with notes on the brief. This helps digest the project as a whole and keeps from missing details along the way. After the brief comes a game plan divided into phases:

Phase 1: TYROLIT LIFE Brand Research

Phase 2: Market Research

Phase 3: Broad Ideation

Phase 4: Targeted Ideation

Phase 5: Refinement

Phase 1: TYROLIT LIFE Brand Research

Analyzing their website, digesting the visual brand language, discovering their product offerings, colors, materials, and key words.

Cutting products.

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Sharpening Products.

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TYROLIT LIFE sharpening products use the 15 degree optimal angle as the foundation for their designs. These products claim to offer professional sharpening results with minimal effort and skill, however there is one inconvenience worth noting:

Pain Point: Sharpening both sides of the knife.

You must rotate the entire product in order to sharpen both sides of the knife with the same stone. If you are cycling through the different stones in order for each side of the blade, then it is required to rotate the product 2x for the MK2 models and 5x for the three-stone model. When using the compact sharpener with the stone upright, you must rotate the product, flip the stone, then rotate the product again to cycle the through the grits in order.

Miscellaneous products.

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Brand language, literally.


For each product I pulled out recurring words from their descriptions that seemed to encapsulate the brand. These will be used as inspiration during the ideation phase to drive TYROLIT's brand values into the new concepts.



The main materials that are embraced in their product line: stainless steel, stone, wood (light oak & beech), acrylic, micarta, ceramic, leather.

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Phase 2: Market Research


Discovery of current products in competition and related to portable knife sharpening. The goal here is to avoid designing something that already exists, and to get inspiration from some of the more innovative ideas.