“When we first decided to deploy Cumulus, I knew we were going to have our digital assets organized better and searching for them was going to be easier. But what I didn’t realize was the additional features and functionality you can do.”

Mikako Ito
Art Director


Managing product images, videos and graphic files was straight-forward for simplehuman when their company started designing and manufacturing kitchen and bath tools in 2000.

But as the company grew, so did their product lines and associated graphics, videos, website assets, plan-o-grams, product information and photos. The growing number of digital assets became hard to find on their shared internal server. While their entire organization had access to the digital assets, finding them was a challenge. The digital assets were housed in complex folder structures which made it difficult for members outside of the Graphics team to navigate and locate the digital assets they needed.

The Graphics team ended up being the gatekeeper to the organization’s digital assets, simply because they knew where to find them. Sales, Customer Service and Product development teams relied on the Graphics team to provide all the files as they needed them. This resulted in the Graphics team spending a fair amount of time sorting through requests, locating the digital assets and emailing them out.

Furthermore, the Graphics team often needed to send large files to remote employees, but sometimes couldn’t due to large file sizes and internet bandwidth issues. For international employees, they often had to resort to mailing out assets stored in CDs.

simplehuman’s management team recognized these challenges and the time lost by the Graphics team due to the growing number of digital assets, so they tasked Art Director, Mikako Ito, to find a solution.


Mikako was fairly familiar with digital asset management solutions and researched many vendors, ultimately selecting Cumulus. Once selected, Canto’s Professional Services team managed the deployment and helped to get Cumulus up and running.

Cumulus gives their Graphics team the ability to easily catalog finished assets in a central location so they are available to the rest of the organization. Each cataloged asset is assigned category tags, making the digital assets easy to find. When an asset is cataloged, metadata is added to each asset, which provides more product detail, thus making it easier to locate at a future time.

With Cumulus, their remote employees are able to drag and drop large files into Cumulus with no problem, so that others can access the assets without having to transfer them through internal servers or in physical form.

With dedicated catalogs, such as plan-o-grams and product photography, the Sales team can easily locate the plan-o-gram and product photos stored in them. Also, Cumulus enables them to automatically convert the assets to meet desired specifications of their retail vendors.

When simplehuman upgraded to Cumulus 9, they elected to have their digital assets hosted in the cloud by Canto, taking the burden and cost of in-house IT infrastructure out of the picture.

During the upgrade, Canto Professional Services came onsite and customized simplehuman’s Cumulus Sites interface and the log-in page. Canto redesigned their login page, so it reflects their branding, and simplified their Cumulus Sites interface by developing a customized branded landing page. These simple additions to Cumulus, allowed its users a more friendly experience and helped to locate the assets.

“When we first decided to deploy Cumulus, I knew we were going to have our digital assets organized better and searching for them was going to be easier. But what I didn’t realize was the additional features and functionality you can do. I didn’t expect we could integrate Cumulus into our design workflows or be able to keep track of the various versions,” said Mikako Ito, Art Director at simplehuman.

Results and Benefits

With Cumulus at the core of simplehuman’s asset library, their Sales, Customer Service and Product development teams are now able to search for digital assets on their own without a specific gatekeeper of these assets. Their self-service approach no longer relies on the Graphics team to hand over assets.

Cumulus has helped “simplehumans” (simplehuman employees) work more efficiently by empowering everyone to visually search, locate and distribute product images, videos and graphics on their own. The graphics department is no longer the gatekeeper of their digital assets, but instead, they can focus on their primary responsibility of being creative.