By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
Italian-based Artelegno S.n.c. specializes in the production of wooden kitchen accessories, centering on knife blocks and cutting boards. The wood used in their products is harvested in sustainably managed forests and the company’s environmentally responsible production process reduces waste and sawdust is recycled for biofuel.
Their marketing strategy has concentrated on European markets with a steady growth in sales. However, successful appearances at two recent International Home + Housewares Shows in Chicago opened new opportunities and Artelegno established a U.S. company to develop the U.S. market.
We are speaking with Paolo Fazzini, Partner.
Mr. Fazzini, where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
Inspiration can be found in everyday life by looking at multiple and different objects, shapes, landscapes and landmarks if you look with an analytical and creative mentality. We listen to the suggestions that all our surrounds constantly give us.
Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
We admire modern designs with clean and essential lines, where every detail is thought out with aesthetics and functionality in mind.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step — to product development?
We believe that in order to decide to go ahead with a design idea it is necessary to develop a prototype sample. The goal is to verify, even at an early stage, all possible production issues. At the same time the prototype facilitates the analysis of its aesthetics, functionality and price—the fundamental criteria. The balance determines the decision whether or not to go ahead with production.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
Our drive in designing new products is to create objects with clean lines. Details are meant to make the product more appealing, but also must be functional and capable of blending into different environments and lifestyles.
How do you see design’s importance in our industry as it moves forward?
We believe that in a highly competitive market in which consumers face a vast number of choices, close attention to the design of a product can be one of the best tools to boost sales.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our products are entirely designed, developed and produced in Italy.
How does Discover Design help to expand your brand?
For a company like ours, Discover Design is a great opportunity to display our products to buyers who come to the Show looking for something special to enhance the shopping experience for their customers and the general public.
What advice can you offer to designers working in the home goods field?
When you design objects for the home keep in mind that your product should fit well into as many different home styles as possible in order to ensure its widest success. This does not mean that design should not be daring, but it should not be too eccentric.
Thank you, Mr. Fazzini, for giving us a glimpse of Artelegno’s design approach in new product development. Your success demonstrates how international exhibitors benefit from meeting the global housewares market in Chicago. We look forward to seeing your presentation of your latest products in your booth S3971 in Discover Design.