About Ken Tarlow, Founder of Tarlow Design

Ken Tarlow has 75 patents issued in his name as either a sole inventor or as a co-inventor. He is listed in “Who’s Who of American Inventors,”

A full member of the Industrial Designers Society of America and authored “Mind To Money” a 220-page book about the product development process. He founded Tarlow Design in 1984 so that he could help entrepreneurs, inventors and corporations design, develop, manufacture and license innovative consumer products.

14 year old Ken (at right) and his friend Howard, with Harvey and Max, their walking,
talking robots.

Here’s Ken Tarlow’s story

I have been designing products all my life. At age 7, I designed a flying toy made from a short length of hollowed out bamboo and an attached balloon. The toys were a hit at school and I was soon making and selling them for 20 cents each. At age 14 I built a walking talking robot and was featured in “Newsday,” the local Long Island newspaper.

In January of 1970, I graduated from the University of Bridgeport with a B.S. degree from the School of Engineering in Industrial Design (product design). At the time, the University of Bridgeport had one of the best ID schools in the country. There were 100 students in my freshmen class. There were only seven in my graduating class.

After graduation I was hired by the city of Bridgeport, CT to design day care centers that would do more than just house children from 8 AM to 5 PM. My centers came complete with amphitheaters, water play areas and transparent walls to show the workings of HVAC, plumbing and electrical system.

In 1973 I took a job with an international education company to design an improved video player because their 3/4 inch magnetic tape machines kept breaking down. It turned out to be the forerunner of today’s ever present DVD player. I continued my design career in 1977 by working for the Stansbury Company, a Beverly Hills Industrial Design firm. I started as a staff designer and three years later finished a senior project coordinator for clients such as Ronco, Mattel, and Sankin (Airform Dental Chair).

In 1980 I became head of design and engineering for Casablanca Fan Company.

Casablanca generated 60 million dollars a year in revenue. Through engineering improvements and better sourcing I was able to take three dollars out of the cost of each fan while improving the overall performance resulting in a savings of 3 million dollars a year. I also was responsible for designing the world’s first computerized ceiling fan, “Intellitouch”. The fan was also the first consumer product in the world that could demonstrate itself in a showroom by setting the fan in “Demo” mode.

I started Tarlow Design in 1984.

Ken Tarlow

500,000 sold

Since founding Tarlow Design I have helped design over 1000 products worth
over one billion dollars in retail sales. Including:

  • TurboWash –10 million sold
  • Fast Track Tie Rack –2 million sold
  • Airplane headset – 60 million sold
  • Sharper Image Neck Cooler – 500,000 sold
  • Dough-Nu-Matic home doughnut maker currently on sale

I also founded T-2 Design Corp., a Santa Monica, CA based design company and America Invents LLC, a licensing company based in San Francisco. Both companies are still in operation and use products that I have designed as part of their marketing materials.

My work tends to be innovative and therefore have 75 patents issued in my name either as a sole inventor or as a co-inventor.

I am listed in “Who’s Who of American Inventors”, a full member of the Industrial Designers Society of America and author of “Mind To Money” a 220-page book about the product development process.

Additional projects include:

  • Sound Memory – The world’s first digital audio “talking” picture frame licensed for $500,000.00
  • A guitar with interchangeable fingerboards, designed for Intonation Systems Inc. Allows a player to play in perfect Key by having a fingerboard specially designed for each Key.
  • A dermabrasion device for Aesthetic Solutions Inc, a Novato, CA corporation. I designed the machine from the ground up and helped put it into production, the product is now selling well across the country.
  • The world’s most advanced beverage-monitoring system for Beverage Metrics Inc, a Mill Valley, CA corporation. It includes the design of ultra-miniature components and the means to attach them to each bottle so that they can transmit to a central computer, every time a drink is poured,thereby saving bars and restaurants up to 20% of revenues that were otherwise lost to over-pours
    or free transactions.
  • QuikFresh is one of my own designs for a patented system to keep foods fresh for extended periods of time. It includes an electronically controlled pressure and vacuum pump as well as unique food storage containers.

Needless to say, the large array of products that I have designed has also given me a hands-on education in almost every type of product category including kitchen products, health and beauty items, sports and fitness items, organizing and storage products, toys, medical equipment, furniture, pet care products, garden related products, lighting products, baby care products and novelty items. By developing such a wide variety of products I have also become well acquainted with many forms of manufacturing technologies as well as materials science. I also have extensive OEM manufacturing contacts. Over the years I have learned how to develop a product quickly and at a fraction of the budget of standard engineering and design firms. Additionally, I have built up an extensive list of support engineers that have expertise in related fields such as electronics design, chemical engineering and materials science.

After a life of being on the front line of invention and entrepreneurship, I enjoy passing on the knowledge that I have accumulated from my 30 years of professional experience. I am a frequent speaker at business events and have appeared on TV, radio and in print media. I also host an annual Invention Convention at a local elementary school where each fourth grader comes up with an invention complete with prototype, market research and patent search!

Whether you are a beginning inventor or a seasoned entrepreneur, I look forward to working with you on your next innovative product idea.


Ken Tarlow
Tarlow Design