January Furniture Show: Get All Your Assets in Line

The January Furniture show is one of the UK’s biggest and most well known furniture trade show in the calendar. It boasts five halls from homewares to lighting, and everything in between. The 2020 show will run from Sunday 19th to Wednesday 22nd January.

 

Getting ready for JFS can take a lot of time, thought and preparation. Trust us, we know! But not only do we creaate photorealistic CGI images of furniture products and room sets We also specialise in design.

 

Our team come from a variety of backgrounds, and we have a handful of talented designers who love nothing better than to dissect the success of a brochure design. We are becoming something of a one-stop shop at Orbital. Initially, clienst come to us when they realise they can’t spot the difference betwen our imagery, and their long -winded photoshoots. But, when they realise we offer websites and print design too, it is hard not to resist hvaing your images framed into marketing assets by the same agency. You’d be amazed by the efficiency.

 

The January Furniture Show is the place to launch. New ranges, new brands or new looks. Making sure your marketing assets are updated is crucial. With buyers wandering past hundreds of stands, you want to make sure that yours is what they remember when they go to make orders, and keep on ordering from.

 

If you are wondering how to show off a large number of products in an eye-catching, on brand  and sales inducing hand out. Call on Orbital’s Unreal Creatives. We would love to create a mock-up for your brand, so you can see the results for yourself.

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Opening Our Doors for Long Point 2019

“Long Point returns for its autumn outing from 23rd-25th September. The biannual show, which takes advantage of the historic UK Centre of Quality Upholstery Manufacture, Long Eaton, is a valuable opportunity for buyers looking to catch up with some of the biggest brands in UK furniture.

Due to the large number of upholstery manufacturers with permanent showrooms in the area, Long Point enables buyers to visit over 25 exhibitors in their own spaces, offering both inspiration and intimacy.”

And Orbital are no different! We house some great exhibitors including Staud, Hugo Park and a couple of little extra exciting pieces that we currently have on show in the studio.

We like to welcome all visitors to The Exchange. Not only is it perfect to scope out exhibitors, but you can also have a sneak peek at our design and CGI wizardry in full force. Pop in for a coffee, some biscuits, a chat and a nose around.

Most visitors will have already spotted our handiwork in the form of The Long Eaton Guild’s brand new website, courtesy of yours truly. And there is a great little story behind it, make sure to read the full story of The Long Eaton Guild Donating to St Michael’s Hospice in memory of Matt O’Flynn.

At The Exchange, we will also be hosting the announcement of the winners of this year’s prize. So make sure you enter to win an overnight stay for two at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond le Manoir aux Quat’saisons Michelin starred hotel and restaurant in Oxfordshire. Here’s the Trade Secret: you can enter as many times as you like, just pop your business card in the entry box at every stand you visit! We won’t tell anyone if you don’t…

We love being immersed in the UK furniture manufacturing industry. With over 50 furniture manufacturers in this small town of Long Eaton, the historic Long Point show is an honour to be a part of. We hope to se a few of your faces at The Exchange next week!

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Long Eaton Guild Donate to Hospice in Memory of Matt O'Flynn

At Orbital, we have had a close relationship with the Long Eaton Guild since the beginning. Not only being based in the heart of the UK Centre of Upholstery, and recently redesigning Iain James’ website (who is a core member of the Guild), but we have a little more history than that.

Our agency used to be a widely varied digital design agency, and it was in summer 2017 that we realigned our business to focus on the interiors industry. This was in no small part, down to a strong friendship turned business venture when Matt joined Rob Walker at Orbital. After many years of close friendship and business partnerships, decided to team up to create the vision that we have in the Studio today. From launching a new hub of the industry, to being at the forefront of the field after developing brand new technology to digitally recreate fabric. They built a studio, and a team from the ground up, and a bloody good one at that.

Matt sat as the chairman of the Long Eaton Guild from 2007 to 2018, being completely immersed in the furniture industry from a young age. A pioneer in the industry, there aren’t many people in the industry that haven’t heard of Matt O’Flynn. He was the man of many hats (both figuratively and literally) Sadly, Matt was diagnosed with Cancer just as Orbital moved into the new studio.

Earlier this year, Matt lost his battle with cancer after a stay in St Michael’s Hospice in East Sussex. The Hospice gave incredible care, and always made sure there was an atmosphere of laughter and warmth, making not only Matt’s time more comfortable, but that of his family too.

When the Guild approached Orbital in order to create a new website to house both details of the Guild, and the famed bi-annual Longpoint, there was only one condition. We would happily create a new, user-friendly website, as long as it was created in dedication to Matt, and that the price of the project was waived, and donated to St Michael’s Hospice instead. Andrew Mitchell and Iain James of the Guild couldn’t think of anything better, and so the project began.The Long Eaton Guild now have a new site to encourage visitors to Long Point, and in turn have generously donated a sum of £500 to a hospice that is doing so much for so many.

The hospice has responded to the donation with huge amounts of gratitude to both the Guild and Orbital, highlighting how many more people they can now help with these funds.

“Thank you so much for your overwhelmingly generous donation given in memory of Mr Matt O’Flynn. What an incredible gift which will enable the hospice to continue to support many more people. As you know, our services are provided free, and we are reliant on the kindness of people like you who give so generously in order for others to benefit from the support we offer. On behalf of the team at St Michael’s Hospice, thank you. Your generosity is heart-warming.”

 

See the brand new Long Eaton Guild Website here: http://www.longeatonguild.co.uk/

Donate to St Michael’s Hospice here:  http://stmichaelshospice.com/

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IKEA uses CGI to recreate Stranger Things

So, by now you’ve all seen the magic we can create with realistic room sets. But to show the illusion behind CGI replacing photography in interiors, IKEA has taken it one step further. And we love it.

It’s just a still from Stranger things, right? Wrong! Just like the series itself, everything is not quite as it seems. The retail giant has used its own products in 3D visualisation to recreate the famed living room interior – alphabet and fairy lights included. But if we’re honest, we would have taken it one step further and made the set as if it was upside down, just saying…

But it doesn’t stop there. They have also recreated The Simpsons’ living room, and Monica’s apartment from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. It’s a clever little ploy. I mean, we’re not convinces that there will be a queue of customers ready to buy a clay orange sofa and paint their walls in pastel pink in homage to Homer and Marge, but it definitely makes you look twice.

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A Shiny New Website For Iain James Furniture

If you have been following our social media (we know you have. We like you.), then you may have seen that we have just completed a brand spanking new website for our neighbour, who needs no introduction, Iain James Furniture.

Iain James originally had a rather small website for the amount of amazing traditional cabinetry that they offer. The problem was that they weren’t showing off their products in the most user-friendly manner, and they weren’t ranking highly on Google. So, they called in the big guns.

Our web geniuses revamped the whole website. We created a whole new look for each page and added all the necessary information that any visitor would need to give Iain James a visit to buy a stunning piece. Each product was renamed to a more customer friendly version to make sure each range was memorable to the all-important end-user. We made the site easy to navigate, and gave it added bonuses like the History page, which we thought was vital for such an iconic manufacturer. We then made sure the site was fully adaptable for any device.

Nestled within this new, modern, user-friendly site was keywords. Lots of keywords. Heavily researched keywords, aligning with Iain James’ exact target audience habits and competitors. This means that the site will only go up and up in Google’s ranking system and will drive more and more traffic to each page.

We are proud of our work and, so it seems, is Iain James. They made sure to spread the word online with these lovely comments:

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The Exchange: How the ‘Hub of the Furniture Industry’ is being realised

The Exchange isn’t just our studio space. It is a hub for the furniture industry. Which is exactly what was in mind during its creation. Based in the heart of the UK centre of Upholstery, the vision of the great, late, Matt O’Flynn, was to create a centre where industry professionals were constantly wandering the converted lace mills, opposite the infamous Harrington Mills. Easily accessible for furniture makers and suppliers across the UK. And we saw the latest example of this vision last week.

 

The Exchange was host to Sofa Workshop's annual sales meeting, with manufacturers visiting our studio throughout the week to deliver potential pieces to be shown in the Sofa Workshop showrooms across the UK. Staying for a coffee and a chat as always.

 

The Sofa Workshop team were here throughout the day, wandering through the dressed sofas, chairs, chaises and footstools made by some of the best UK manufacturers. Discussing the potential throughout the afternoon, only stopping for the (probably too large as usual) lunch served at midday.

 

There was method to the meeting, Sofa Workshop, as one of our largest clients, wanted their new pieces to be photographed and measured, ready for our Unreal Creatives to get them recreated in 3D as soon as the new ranges were decided upon. Having CGI fully integrated into their strategy means huge time and costs saved when it comes to new product launches. And, if we do say so ourselves, we are a great choice of agency…

 

We invite every new client to the studio to see how we work before taking on their project if possible. Learning how each other works and how we can integrate both working methods is the best way to develop a smooth process. We also just like having a natter over a coffee with new faces.

 

Edit: as I finish writing this post (with Rock the Casbah playing over the studio speakers), another client is leaving from his first visit to the studio, which lasted longer than he expected, mostly because the coffee is so good, and the doorbell rings again. Another hour, another visitor. An ode to the hub that The Exchange was built to be. Fabrics in and out, furniture deliveries and collections, business meetings and friendly visits. It’s a warm feeling to see this special vision come to life.

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Why IKEA is Thriving in the “Retail Graveyard”

This Swedish powerhouse really needs no introduction, with genius branding and advertising, they know exactly who they are, and so does the rest of the world. It was the brainchild of 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad in 1943 but has been named on Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brand list in May 2019. So how is this flat-pack furniture brand still ruling the retail industry and staying so relevant? The secret is staying ahead of the market in not only trends, but technology. Every furniture seller should be taking a leaf out of their infamous catalogue to share some of the success. And here’s how.

 

In April 2018, the retail giant realised that it was facing a problem: it hadn’t been keeping up with the digital world and this sparked a shift in their business development strategy. Although IKEA has been ahead of other furniture companies, technology had been globally advancing, leaving many retailers behind. They started by investing in “personalisation at scale” allowing it to send precisely-targeted communications to people based on what they are doing online. “When people buy a bed, they actually spend two weeks researching online. There is a lot of information that we gather so that we can actually be relevant to the person wanting to buy a bed in those two weeks”. -  Barbara Martin Coppola, IKEA’s Chief Digital Officer, talking to CNBC.

 

The key to this strategy shift was the incorporation of CGI on a large scale. The Swedish furniture company has been aggressively ramping up its use of computer generated imagery in their catalogues, starting in 2006 with their first CGI photo of a Bertil pinewood chair. By 2012, the Wall Street Journel reported that 25% of their products were computer generated. And with its rapid globalisation, with products reaching multiple cultures CGI and 3D rendering is invaluable.

 

The newest addition to IKEA’s futureproof strategy is the Place app. Allowing customers to place IKEA furniture into their own home, digitally, before purchase. It automatically scales products – based on room dimensions – with 98 per cent accuracy. Customers can see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on furnishings.

 

The secret to IKEA’s success? Always being one step ahead. Especially in technology. With retail ever struggling, a business strategy that constantly stays ahead of technology and is digitally driven will drive sales and success. And what is the first step to the forefront? 3D rendering and digital marketing. It all started with the humble furniture visualisation. Once a company’s products are rendered, it opens a world of possibilities that are then ready-made.

 

To talk about how your products can be digitalised, get in touch with us today.

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Orbital Acquires Contracts For Duresta, Cotswold Co and Style Library

Adding to what has already been a fantastic year, Orbital Vision has acquired contracts for three of the biggest furniture and fabrics companies in the UK; Duresta, The Cotswold Co. and Style Library.

 

Duresta is a highly successful and infamous brand, who has been crafting upholstered furniture in Long Eaton since 1938. Part of Sofa Brands International, Duresta followed quickly on from their sister company, Collins and Hayes after seeing the impact of the team’s 3D rendering skills on their sales and opportunities . The marketing team at Duresta quickly built a great working relationship with the graphics team in our office which made their decision to create an account with us easy. We are pretty fun, what can we say.

 

In the last week, two more accounts have chosen to work alongside Orbital to transform their digital footprint, the first of which is The Cotswold Co. Known for their quintessential English cottage style selection of furniture and home accessories, they have tasked us with recreating their timeless, rural classics in 3D. Thy couldn’t say no after visiting our stand at The January Furniture Show and seeing no difference between our renders and real photoshoots, realising the potential time and costs savings they were about to enter into with our team working alongside them. Along with the fun of playing with our virtual reality headset at the show.

 

The second account win over the last week was Style Library. For the Scion brand, Orbital will be recreating legacy photoshoots along with digitally creating their huge selection of fabrics wrapping a number of different products to make their website more accessible, and is sure to roll onto other digital opportunities. Orbital were one of three agency options for Style Library, but after a visit to our home at The Exchange, along with seeing the standard of rendering and success Orbital achieved with Linwood, there was no question of the right team for the job. (The fact that we offer a killer lunch may have also been a helping hand).

 

We can’t wait to get our teeth stuck into the new challenges and projects that these accounts will bring to our desks, and feel very excited about growing our relationships with well-established brands in the industry.

 

*All photography credits to Duresta, Cotswold Co. and Style Library

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