Curator Clip Picture Frame

Local, Innovative & Sustainable

Industry:

Signage | Displays | Framing

Scope:

Concept | Prototype | IP | Production | Wholesale | Retail | Brand | Full Marketing Collateral

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A Success Story

"I really do like this product. It’s a clever design that solves a number of the common problems related to framing and hanging prints (mainly cost and damage to your walls)"

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James Partridge

James Partridge Photography

Melbourne Design Market
Meeting customers directly through markets and Trade Shows provided a fast way to iterate the design around their needs and feedback.

By focusing on the user and shadow testing throughout the development phase, The Curator Company launched an innovative new framing system all ready for a receptive market.

Testing the product and acting on feedback, we worked through many design iterations & prototypes before successfully launching in 2013.

Two years later we have developed a solid brand identity and sold thousands of Curator® Clip frames throughout Australia, SE Asia and New Zealand. 

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Research & Design Requirements

Researching the market by participating in various events and trade shows throughout Australia, we got to talk and meet with our customers directly. Gathering over two years of qualitative & quantitative research, we built the market snapshot and buyer persona’s we now use when developing content around the Curator® Clip.

Our competitor analysis revealed a framing & displays industry split into two major segments. The mass produced and the bespoke.

Rather than directly compete with the major incumbent players we chose to build within an overlapping niche.

Building the brand around this niche we took the key benefits from both segments. The new product was light, affordable and standardised (from the mass produced segment) and built from high quality materials utilising high end design (from the bespoke).

By meeting and talking with our customers and then defining our market position we were able to build a creative brief with which we would use to build, support and define the Curator® Clip.

"The Curator® Clip is innovative, easy to use & create a sculptural look to the reception areas. A brilliant and innovative product – Thanks Huw for a great solution."

GeoffCoverdale
Geoff Coverdale

Balance by Design – Melbourne

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Building a visual brand identity which sat between the bespoke and mass produced required a more contemporary appeal. Rather than drawing on historical references of framing which would be more suited to bespoke framing or the generic helvetica solution of mass produced framing we felt a more contemporary typeface with a slightly fashionable treatment would best carve out the space where the Curator® Clip would sit.  

We needed to rapidly iterate our designs without spending on costly tool production and for this we chose to use short run computer aided manufacturing.

Through our relationship with a maker studio in Melbourne we chose to CNC sheets of bamboo plywood (which was sustainably sourced and joined with non-toxic glues).

This gave us the ability to test the market using small production runs. Testing which sizes were popular and for what uses. Making iterative design changes approximately every 100 frame production run.

Researching the materials used for covering & protecting the artwork or signage we found the cheaper end of the market used a thinner unstable acrylic/PVC while the bespoke end of framing favoured glass while the bespoke end of commercial displays favoured acrylic.

To offer a high quality solution while still providing a light standardised frame we chose a gallery grade acrylic. The Plexiglas® was light, provided excellent protection from the elements and an opacity/clarity better than glass. Our analysis of Glass versus Plexiglas can be found here.

"They were very quick and easy to put up but most of all I love the minimalist look and the fact that I can change photos without having to take them off the wall."

Julia
Giulia Fantini

Vinyl Design – Sydney

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Future Direction

Like other industries the framing & displays industry has changed due to the disruption brought about by digital and mobile technology. The mass produced commercial displays market has become more competitive as there is little product differentiation and a proliferation of online marketplaces & drop shipping have put pressure on already tight margins.

Retailers such as Ikea still dominate the mass produced framing market due to their ability to manufacture and distribute at extremely high volumes.

Disruption within the industry has seen the recent introduction of new players who are utilising the new digital channels & tools to enhance the customer’s experience, adding value by making the purchasing and support process easier and more enjoyable – a much better user experience through a ‘service oriented architecture’.

By listening to our customers, working on the various touch points and monitoring reaction using A/B testing and analytics, we continually strive to make the process of engaging with the Curator® Clip as frictionless as possible.