Company profile

We are con­vinced that our product devel­op­ment solu­tion peeked your interest. So, it is now time to tell you about us, who we are and where we are based. But first things first, why Nickel-Chrome? And why our logo look like this…
Nickel, atomic number 28


atomic number: 28

relative atomic mass: 58.693

usual percentage in alloy: 80%

Chromium, atomic number 24


atomic number: 24

relative atomic mass: 51.996

usual percentage in alloy: 20%

In french, there is an expres­sion: “C’est nickel-chrome”, which means: “This is super great”, like the nickel-chrome alloy is so much bet­ter than steel. By choos­ing nickel-chrome as our com­pany name, we made a com­mit­ment to provide an out­stand­ing qual­ity of ser­vice to our clients.

As our com­pany name is based on the com­bin­a­tion of 2 nat­ur­al ele­ments found on the peri­od­ic table of ele­ments, we based our com­pany logo’s design on it. We com­bined the 2 ele­ments and got rid of the atom­ic mass as it would make too much num­bers on the logo. We only show the atom­ic num­bers and the usu­al per­cent­age in alloys made of nick­el & chrome.

Our design philosophy

If you think good design expens­ive, you should look at the cost of bad design.
Dr. Ralf Speth

CEO, Jaguar

This is entirely true, especially as we speak of good design, rather than nice design. Think about it, it is not because a design is nice to look at that it will sell well and be really appreciated by users.

At Nickel‑Chrome, we will leave you the choice at all steps, but we know for sure that good design is always a clear win­ner every time, on every mar­ket, for any brand and users. Therefore, we will always advoc­ate for good design in our pro­jects. The choice will remain yours, of course, but we are pretty sure you will side too with good design.

Cheap design

We refer here to the action of redu­cing the design invest­ment to its min­im­um. The design team have little exper­i­ence and/or the min­im­um of time to work on the design. Plus, the tar­get price is the cheapest possible.

Pros of cheap design

  • Fast and very easy to achieve.
  • Design cost is low.

Cons of cheap design

  • Very low mar­gins, as it has to be sold cheap.
  • Little to no real dif­fer­en­ti­ation from competitors.
  • Usually short product lifecycle.
  • The engin­eer­ing, pro­to­typ­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing very often cost much more money than they should, as they need to solve a lot of prob­lems that could be avoided with a bet­ter thought design.
  • Brand image remains low or, even worse, get dam­aged (if it was good before).
  • Very risky.


Visitors who voted for cheap design

Nice design

We refer here to designs whose aes­thet­ics have been the sole tar­get of the design inten­tion, without much regards to the brand pos­i­tion­ing or the mar­ket needs. It is simply the nicest design the team is cap­able of producing.

Pros of nice design

  • Strong dif­fer­en­ti­ation.
  • Very strong first impres­sion about the product.
  • The first year of sales is good, due to the wow effect.

Cons of nice design

  • Pragmatic people will stay away, as they under­stand that the product is not ergo­nom­ic or prac­tic­al, as aes­thet­ics was clearly the main or only concern.
  • Blurs or dam­ages the brand image/positioning, as many times it does not match it consistently.
  • The product life­cycle is greatly reduced, as it is more like a short fash­ion, boos­ted only by aes­thet­ics, but then hurt by bad reviews.
  • Production costs are often high.


Visitors who voted for nice design

Good design

We refer here to the design that is the best answer to the brand image, pos­i­tion­ing, fea­tures, price, user needs, as well as aes­thet­ic and ergo­nom­ics. It is the design that is the most com­plic­ated to come out with.

Pros of good design

  • Strong dif­fer­en­ti­ation.
  • Good first impres­sion on products.
  • First year and suc­cess­ive years good reviews and sales.
  • Matching brand image and positioning.
  • Good to high product margins.
  • Long product lifecycle.
  • Production costs are reasonable.
  • Easy & stress-free engin­eer­ing and manufacturing.

Cons of good design

  • Takes more time to think & achieve.
  • Requires an exper­i­enced and pro­fes­sion­al design team.


Visitors who voted for good design

Who are we?

An international team of professional industrial designers and engineers.

For any product to be prof­it­able, it needs to be designed by pro­fes­sion­als who know the European mar­ket really well, but also truly mas­ter all the com­plex­ity of tech­nic­al & costs con­straints. To achieve this, our inter­na­tion­al design team stud­ied in Europe and lived in Europe. Our design­ers also worked for European cus­tom­ers for 30 years, from China, and in con­stant prox­im­ity and syn­ergy with manufacturers.

Nickel‑Chrome is much more than a design or engin­eer­ing agency. That is why we can handle pro­jects from their ini­tial idea to their man­u­fac­tur­ing, cer­ti­fic­a­tion, qual­ity con­trol & ship­ping. That is why we are not a fact­ory or a Swiss army knife.

Our teams of design, engin­eer­ing and qual­ity con­trol experts work for you, with your Chinese sup­pli­ers in China. That way, we always lever­age on the exist­ing engin­eer­ing level of your com­pany and sup­pli­ers. We design your product so they can match your exist­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing cap­ab­il­it­ies. All of this without any loss of time or uncer­tainty in estab­lish­ing a new sup­ply chain.

Nickel-Chrome, no timeout in conception
Engineers Business Cards
Nickel-Chrome has temporary office in all its clients' factories
Nickel-Chrome has its permanent office in Guangzhou, in a production hub

Where do we come from?

Nickel‑Chrome was built on the successes of 2 teams with strong experience in industrial design, engineering and manufacturing. We worked for prestigious and international brands from offices in Hong Kong, France and China. We convinced our clients to keep working with us through an even better structure based in China: Nickel‑Chrome.

Being very close to factor­ies is so deep in the DNA of Nickel‑Chrome that we have one tem­por­ary pro­ject office in all our client’s factor­ies + a per­man­ent office near Guangzhou, in a fact­ory hub. That way, we are con­veni­ent to work on all our pro­jects and bene­fit from the latest engin­eer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses around us. Plus, our loc­a­tion is ideally placed, as we are not far from Shenzhen (147 km), Dongguan (45 km), Zhongshan (65 km), Foshan (35 km)…

Our founders

Nicolas MELAN, co-founder of Nickel-Chrome + Head of European design team

Nicolas MÉLAN

Co-founder + Head of European design team

Nicolas MÉLAN is a French indus­tri­al design­er with 18 years of exper­i­ence in design and pro­ject man­age­ment. He is a lec­turer about design & strategy in Hong Kong and China since 2010. He lives in Guangdong (China) since 2006.

Nicolas is a value cre­at­or who com­bines the expert­ise of an in-house design­er and a seni­or con­sult­ant design­er. He is calm, curi­ous, as enthu­si­ast­ic as demand­ing, and from turn to turn meth­od­ic­al and intu­it­ive, but always prag­mat­ic. He has a very strong know-how of the tech­nic­al & oper­a­tion­al exe­cu­tion pro­cess from the first idea to its man­u­fac­tur­ing, but also the stra­tegic & ana­lyt­ic mind of a design consultant.

Nicolas estab­lishes the design dir­ec­tions and man­ages all pro­jects at Nickel‑Chrome, includ­ing the super­vi­sion of follow-up with factor­ies. He is also in charge of the com­mu­nic­a­tion with all European cli­ents and/or for pro­jects which are inten­ded for the European market.

Maggie LI, Co-founder of Nickel-Chrome + Chief Operating Officer

Maggie LI

Co-founder + Chief Operating Officer

Maggie LI, is a Chinese entre­pren­eur with 16 years of exper­i­ence in R&D, pro­ject man­age­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing. She is a lec­turer in innov­a­tion & pro­ject man­age­ment since 2010 at the uni­ver­sity of busi­ness school for entrepreneurs.

Maggie LI leads the research and devel­op­ment of 100 products every year and has a deep under­stand­ing and a strong exper­i­ence in pro­ject man­age­ment. In R&D phase, she put a great emphas­is on risk assess­ment, and in order to meet the needs of con­sumers, she always looks for the per­fect com­bin­a­tion of tech­no­lo­gies and mar­ket needs.

Maggie has a strong exper­i­ence of the whole product oper­a­tion sys­tem. She is exper­i­enced in FMEA, SOP, BOM, APQP, PPAP and ECN man­age­ment to provide high-quality products to our cus­tom­ers. She has cooper­ated with stra­tegic cli­ents such as Ikea, Philips, Aldi, B&Q, Marset, Tchibo… and most of the cli­ents who have cooper­ated with Maggie have main­tained a part­ner­ship with her for more than 10 years.

Company values

Immutable prin­ciples that reflect our vis­ion and every­day practice.


Remain demand­ing of ourselves, seek excel­lence in our respect­ive fields to meet or exceed our cli­ents’ expect­a­tions and object­ives is our second nature.


Multidisciplinarity, team spir­it and con­tinu­ous exper­i­ence shar­ing are cru­cial to advan­cing togeth­er in a healthy and effect­ive way for all our projects.



Personal taste and feel­ings are not to be neg­lected or dimin­ished, but ration­al argu­ments and pure objectiv­ity should always come first.


Even armed with rigour, objectiv­ity and cohe­sion, all work in the long term must be done in con­vi­vi­al­ity. Because yes, the pleas­ure of work­ing togeth­er is essential.