22 May The Queen City Diaries:
Welcome to the latest installment of the Queen City Diaries. If you’re new here, you might want to catch up by reading my first two blog posts. They provide an up-close look at SRS’s latest merchandising design project: the new Queen City Home store in Pineville, NC. The posts go into detail about how we do our initial brand and physical facility research, and how we use pencil and paper to sketch out our initial concepts – the first two steps in our “Concept to Completion” process. Today, we move on to the next step: Computer Renderings.
But first, a little backstory. Every project has its challenges, and Queen City wasn’t any different. The building was designed with floor-to-ceiling windows covering the vast majority of the three-sided facade. These huge windows meant less wall space for interior displays. But we also believed the windows created an opportunity for a dramatic presentation for drive-by traffic. Even at 40 mph, a glance at the store should leave a lasting, positive impression. Another challenge was the client’s desire to group products together by brand, instead of the more traditional approach of grouping by product type: refrigerators with refrigerators, stovetops with stovetops, etc. This would require some very clever use of space, sight lines, and traffic flow.
So what about the computers? It’s at this stage of the process where they become an invaluable resource. Being able to generate lifelike 3D, 360-degree images of the project brings those rough ideas and sketches to life. Ideas that made sense on paper might not make the cut in this photorealistic world we live in. And the great advantage is: if it doesn’t work, it’s no sweat to change it.
The collaboration with the client also becomes much easier and more dynamic with the use of computer renderings. Changes and redesigns are simpler and cheaper in the virtual world. Real cabinetry and displays can be expensive and time-consuming to rebuild. Wrong shapes, finishes, and sizes can be a royal pain in the neck. It’s much faster and less costly to fix these problems beforehand on the computer. Our software takes the guesswork out of the design process. What you see is what you get.
People ask us all the time about the software we use to generate the incredibly lifelike images you see here. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a secret. Let’s just say it’s a custom brew of commonly available software suites. Coca-Cola won’t give out their recipe, and neither will we.
Once all of the details of the project have been agreed on and everybody’s on board, it’s time to get our hands dirty and begin building and installing. This is what we’ll be talking about in the next, and final, installment of the Queen City Diaries. Until next time.