I have spent quite a lot of time recently, thinking about the future. Maybe because I have had a few life changing events happen, maybe because Spring is on the way or maybe because I went to see a very inspiring talk by a futurist, whose job it is to tell companies how they can ensure the future of their businesses. Whatever the reason, it has got me thinking about how the world of murals will change over the coming years.
Now murals are as old as man itself, but that doesn’t mean they are old fashioned. On the contrary, if you think about the kinds of places that have lots of murals and street art, it tends to be young, vibrant places. The same with companies who employ murals in their interiors, you think immediately of the Googles, Facebooks and Hootsuites of the world. Murals have definitely moved with the times.
One of the things the futurist said was that due to massive shifts in the way things are made, particularly with the advent of 3D printing, bespoke will become the norm. There is already a company out there who can take photographs of your feet, turn them into a pattern and then 3D print a pair of shoes of any design that fit perfectly, (you have no idea how excited that makes me!) . Instead of going into a shop and picking the nearest thing to what you like in the best fit you can find, you will have exactly what you want and it will fit you perfectly.
Now this sounds great, and is it great, but it presents a problem for the retailer, people are not used to bespoke and I know that, because I have spent 12 years selling a bespoke product. If I had a £1 for every time someone asked to see a catalogue, I could go on a very exotic holiday. The vast majority of people don’t really know what they want until they see it. Or at least something close, then they can then fine tune it. But visualising something from scratch is very difficult. That is where sites such as Pinterest will come in. Instead of looking for a particular product, we will look for ideas and then find a company that can take those ideas, understand our needs and make those ideas a reality, to our particular specification.
You won’t have to spend ages with a fabric sample in your handbag trawling through pattern books to find a wall paper that matches, you will just find someone like me, and I will design something and paint it for you in exactly the colours that match your scheme. We are just not used to working that way…yet!
One of the first projects for me of 2017 was my own sitting room; a room that has long been overdue a makeover. Unlike last time, I didn’t even bother trying to find a wall paper for my feature wall, instead I sat and thought about what I wanted the room to feel like when I entered it, I then thought about what I (and the rest of my family of course) like and the colours that we need to incorporate as we are not quite changing everything. I then designed something that ticked all my boxes, ie. looks subtle; not the first thing you notice when you walk in; leads the eye into the room; has a relaxed, free, nature like feel to it and came up with this.
Now everyone’s colour scheme, likes, what relaxes then will be different, and what we can do is to ensure that every clients boxes are ticked. That is my job. People will have to learn how to give a good brief and our next blog will be on exactly that.
We will all have to adjust as technology changes are world, but learning to find what we like and how to convey to someone what that is, give a good brief you might say, is going to be increasingly important. And people like me, who are used to working to the most complicated of briefs, will continue to rise to the challenge.
Now what kind of shoes do I want?