Over the years, the practice has accumulated a library of material samples which are used to illustrate proposed interior design aesthetics to clients. When presenting, we found that samples varied in size and volume, and didn’t sit as a cohesive palette which communicated how they would work together. During times when the samples were stored, it was difficult to find spaces suited to every shape and size and as a result we frequently mislaid samples.
Our Interior Design and Modelshop departments worked together to find a solution which could be easily replicated for future projects, and addressed both presenting to clients and storing samples for later reference.
We devised a prototype sample tray formed from 18mm ply with a melamine coating and exposed edging. Each tray measures 740 x 350mm and has a 9mm white base to give the samples a blank canvas. A lipped profile allows the trays to stack and interlock, and also act as drawers which slot into our existing office storage system. Each tray has an engraved project title which sits proud of the drawer front, for easy identification. Our in-house Modelshop create each drawer individually and then cut samples to size to fill the space entirely. In this way the samples sit as a complete set, and do not get confused with other projects. The end result is a clear and cohesive visual display of materials, which is of a standard to present to clients.
Once a choice of interior finishes is established in our sample trays, we aim to create a more portable version of the palette for our clients. To this end we began the process of designing a bespoke set of project boxes, bound as a crafted portfolio which could be branded for different projects. These needed to display a full set of interior samples as well as a computer generated image of the proposed scheme, and a key to materials.
After establishing a base design – which comprised a series of four individual sample boxes contained within a holding box – we approached a specialist bookbinder in Clerkenwell to create the finished product. Working closely with the team at Wyvern Bindery, renowned for their quality craftsmanship using traditional skills, we evolved the design and tested methods of printing and branding on the finished boxes. We also needed to ensure that the boxes were sturdy enough to take the weight of samples which included stone, metal and glass.
The final design comprises a clamshell holding box constructed from a double thickness of board with a bookbinders linen finish (Fantasia 2260) and a custom made dark gold debossed branding detail. The inside of the box is lined with watercolour paper and secured with a magnetic closer. This box contains four individual sample boxes which hold a full set of samples cut to size. On the inside drop back lid of each sample box is a printed A3 sheet which illustrates the space in which the samples are to be used, and a key to the materials enclosed.
Each element displays branding particular to the project, giving the client a bespoke and crafted set of information which can be used in marketing and communicating the finishes to potential buyers.
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