Looks SHOULD Be Deceiving

Let’s begin by getting a few things out of the way:

  • The main purpose of any display fixture is to display a product.
  • The goal of any display fixture is to showcase the product and to attract the customer.
  • The display fixture needs to create a look or feel in order to evoke emotion from the customer so they understand what the product represents (be it a moment in time, an aesthetic, etc.)

However, when designing a custom display fixture, it is important to understand cost from a few different angles. That is, the cost of the product in relation to the cost of the actual display. There are thousands of ways to design, engineer, and produce a display fixture to get the “look” and “feel” you desire without breaking the bank. It just takes a bit of research, determination, and of course, creativity.

Here’s one example; a client wanted us to design and fabricate display tables to hold and present a collection of homeware that is period-specific (think mid-century modern design). With that, we began researching styles and iconic details specific, which brought us to the famous tapered wood leg. That tapered wood leg, an iconic and timeless design brought me back to my childhood, specifically my grandparent’s house, still in the 80s and 90s rocked mid-century modern furniture that they originally purchased back in the 50s. Thinking back, had we kept that furniture today, our place would have been bangin’!

Anyhow, producing a solid wood tapered leg for any table can be costly and environmental-friendly. Therefore we looked for other alternatives in order to maintain the look we wanted, at a more reasonable price, which is when we fell on tapered metal tubing. Being in the furniture industry for more than 40 years, styles have come and gone, one of which were mid-century modern designs mixed in with more contemporary materials and finishes, as we saw back at the beginning of the to mid-90s.

With that idea in mind, I remembered that we had once produced a machine that would taper metal and or aluminum tubes that would be used for a variety of products. Once we got the all sorted tooling and brushed the dust off that old machine, we now had to think of creating a wood grain effect that would be period specific (which in this case was Natural Teak with a Matte Oiled Stain). In order to do so, we reached out to some of our vendors who specialize in sublimation. The result was astounding! We got the look and feel we wanted at a fraction of the cost! Also, producing the legs out of metal allowed us to weld sleeves and other connectors that make these easier to produce can be shipped KD, and more importantly, easier and lighter to assemble.

Therefore, my original statement stands. In design, looks should always be deceiving but the purpose is what counts most.

– Enzo

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