miller electric continuum welder Line – VBL

The new Miller Continuum welder line was developed to modularize three core product lines with a new VBL (visual brand language) to capture efficiencies in housing design, the operator interface, and component configurations. 

The project was a big success, the the VBL guide has since been utilized as the baseline for multiple new welder product lines at Miller over the past several years. 


Miller Electric wanted to develop a new line of industrial welders with common components and a rugged aesthetic as the baseline for the new design language. Miller’s product line had grown over the decades to encompass several different product families, and the design languages for each line varied significantly across Miller’s full product line. The primary goal for our team was to develop a new design language that utilized core design features from existing Miller products, where feasible and appropriate, and set a new direction for three core Miller product lines such that their designs could be modularized. The new design language was to be implemented on the new Miller Continuum line first.

Initial Product Research

Miller’s existing product line was studied in detail, including the following key aspects of each core product family:

  • Front profiles
  • Side profiles
  • Corner radii
  • Corner threshold
  • Branding
  • Handles
  • UI graphic layout
  • Knobs and buttons (controls)
  • Lift point
  • Naming convention
  • Front grille
  • Base treatment
  • Color splits


The key design details and VBL for the existing Miller product lines were studied in detail to give the joint Miller/DI team a detailed overview of the design landscape. The image to the right shows the variation in side profiles across the prior line of Miller welders, which were developed by separate business units within the organization over the yeas. 

VBL Assessment – Base Treatments

The image to the left shows the variety of base treatments applied to the different existing Miller product lines at the time of the project. The initial research effort was a valuable exercise, as it informed the team of Miller’s product history, showed what design elements were timeline and which needed updating. Before the joint team could move forward, it was helpful to take a look at the past for inspiration and lessons learned. 

Conceptual Design

A wide variety of initial concepts were developed, numbering well over 100 sketches. Our point contact at Miller preferred a high quantity of concept sketches over quality during the early stages. The sketches were scanned to save original copies, and they were then liberally sketched over during multiple design review and refinement sessions with Miller team members in an effort to refine and combine the leading concepts. 

Design Refinement

As the conceptual designs were funneled down to the final few leading candidates, each of the leading options was developed at a higher level of detail. A favored direction rose to the top, and that design was eventually promoted to the the final selected design direction.

Final Conceptual Design

The new Continuum welder line included large industrial welders, and the rugged aesthetic with the large angled front surfaces set a new direction that wowed the Miller team and their customer base. The new design is entirely striking in person. It looks like it is as strong as a tank, and the front panel is purposeful in its simplicity. 

Engineering Subsystem Design

The Design Integrity engineering team supported the development of a few design elements, including the enclosure design, the design-for-manufacturing intent, and the cable management subsystem including the strain relief. 

Successful Market Launch

The new Continuum welder was launched to market successfully. The design team met all of the project goals, and the new aesthetic design has been well-received in the marketplace.  The rugged appearance is functional and appropriately modern.

The new line also capitalizes on the cost benefits associated with the use of common parts, and welders have benefitted from the simplicity of the new user interface.

Following the launch of the Continuum line, the VBL (visual brand language) guide was then applied by multiple Miller teams on new product platforms. Overall, the project was considered a big success story.

VBL – Form Language Guide

At the conclusion of the project, Design Integrity delivered a visual brand language (VBL) guide to Miller that documented the recommended form language, key design elements, aspect ratios, construction alternatives, branding options, control locations and color breaks for the Continuum line of industrial welders. The guide allowed Miller product development teams to design future products in the category with a consistent visual aesthetic that reinforced Miller’s brand image.

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