The Design department is where it all starts
All of our products start as ideas in somebody’s head. Through the design process, this idea becomes a physical product in our showroom and in people’s homes. We are very proud to say that the entire design process takes place right here on our site in Ware, Herts. To find out how this all happens, we spoke to James, our Head of Design and Development.
Step 1: The Brief
Before we do anything, we have a brief. This will outline things such as the objectives, pricing, target audience, materials used, costings, timescales and anything else you can think of!
Step 2: Research Sketches and Ideas
At this point, I will look for inspiration, both online and in person. I will look at what is currently popular and what I think will work in the scheme of Wood Bros. We also look back through our archives to see what we have done in the past, so we explore our heritage as well as looking forwards.
Step 3: Initial Sketches
The initial sketches are done by hand. If we are working on living and dining, we will always start with a signature piece such as a sideboard or dining table, which gives us a style pool. A style pool is a collection of features that will be used throughout a collection of furniture; think of Old Charm’s cactus flower carvings and turned legs, for example.
Step 4: Scale Drawings
These are done either on a drafting table by hand or on a computer in 2-D, and are drawn to scale.
Step 5: CAD
CAD stands for Computer Aided Design. Here a 3-D model is built in great detail using a computer program. Everything from the joints and dowel holes to the handles, turnings and carvings are put together here. This also generates “instructions” of how the piece is made which can be given to the prototypers.
Step 6: Ready to Prototype
There can sometimes be as many as 60 parts for one piece of furniture! The prototypers will get to work making the piece/s.
Step 7: Prototype Feedback
The prototypers will feedback any issues they have with making the piece from an engineering point of view. We need to make sure it is cost-effective and economical to make. Sometimes we have to prototype things several times to get it just right.
Step 8: Finished Prototype
The prototype will be signed off here.
Step 9: Pre-production Run
It should be made with the paperwork generated by the CAD and adjusted with the earlier feedback, so that it should all be correct.
Step 10: Issuing
At this point we will issue a product number, specifications and other details for our sales team.
Step 11: Production
After all of this is complete, it will become a production piece and will be found in our showroom, and maybe even in your home!