Setting industry standards, one user-centered product at a time

World-renowned for efficient material-handling products, Crown’s definition of design involves optimizing operator interaction, improving ergonomics and comfort and increasing truck reliability. Their reputation for award-winning product design, advanced engineering, technology, and sustainability has earned them numerous awards and in turn, has set new standards for design excellence.

  • Crown
  • Commercial
  • Strategy
  • Research
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping
  • User Experience


Design Central’s background in material handling drew Crown’s interest as a potential partner in support of their product development and brand enhancement activity. Our role grew alongside Crown’s internal design team, becoming front-end innovators providing creative, fresh ideas leveraging the collaborative, innovative process.


The new, synergistic relationship established Design Central as Crown’s trusted development partner, bringing multiple generations of productive, ergonomic and robust lift trucks to market. This partnership, which spanned 20 years, has helped elevate Crown's brand and has resulted in many design awards, including the International Design Excellence Award and the iF Design Award.


Developing cost-competitive lift trucks was a driving focus of our partnership with Crown. A deep understanding of their manufacturing process enabled us to push innovative concepts just past “the comfort level” and bring higher levels of quality to detail implementation and manufacturing, while still maintaining Crown’s excellence in comprehensive user-centered solutions, which are recognized as industry standards.

Human Factors

Working with Crown, we studied warehouses around the world to gain valuable insights into the needs of operators. Following Crown’s dedication to operator efficiency, the team designed ergonomic solutions that included improvements in seat position, floorboard space, pedal position and control locations that reduce fatigue and improve performance.