Behind every great product is a great designer, or a great design team in this case. Responsible for the vast array of vibrant designs within the Flotex range, is the dedicated and very talented in-house design team. As a dynamic team of four, each designer brings a different set of skills to the table, creating a focused and driven studio where Flotex can flourish.
With careers at Forbo Flooring ranging from two to 21 years, each individual beholds a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience of many a topic, from in depth colour technology to high end graphic design packages.
Heading the team is Jason Holmes, who has been working as Head of Textile Design here at Forbo Flooring for 18 years. Jason studied Textile Design & Design Management at Manchester University and has a strong understanding of the adverse ways that designs and colours work on different surfaces.
Jason is responsible for leading the Flotex team in new directions to maintain creative edge as well as keeping a watchful eye on market trends to see how they will impact on Flotex. Having vast experience of working with Flotex, Jason has grown to really understand what is required in transport environments, particularly in rail: “Flotex is perfect for rail applications for lots of reasons but put simply it gives textile appearance, comfort, acoustics and unrivaled design flexibility with high performance and cleanability in the demanding applications that rail presents.” Jason says. Strongly inspired by travel features, Jason tries to look for the unexpected to influence ideas. “I couldn’t choose just one favourite project but there are certain designers and architects who when you see their name on a project you just know it will be fun, exciting and different. Those are always the best projects because they challenge not only you as a designer but the product selection and its design possibilities.”
The longest-standing member of the team is Suzanne Ross. Having worked in various roles at Forbo Flooring, Suzanne is now a Designer in the Flotex team, specialising in colour technology. Suzanne works closely with the manufacturing team and is responsible for creating specific colour shades, tones and hues for both bespoke designs and standard Flotex ranges. What’s more is Suzanne knows Flotex like the back of her hand, from how its tiny fibres are made, right the way through to how it’s printed – and every step in between. Mother Nature is a main source of inspiration for Suzanne, “I love landscape – Mother Nature knows all of the design tricks” she says, “Researching trends through industry magazines, trade shows and online sources is also key to my creativity.”
Suzanne is also our go-to for in-house design projects, keeping our offices and visitor rooms looking fresh and vibrant. “My favourite project has to be designing the flooring for the visitors centre at our Ripley site. I wanted to showcase the scope of Flotex’s design capabilities and how diverse our existing ranges are. It’s important that our products inspire both customers and staff so the visitors centre offered a real opportunity to do that.”
Sarah Oldfield, Designer & Custom Design Specialist, studied Sustainable Design at the University of Derby. Sarah has worked at Forbo Flooring in the design team for over 10 years now and works directly with customers to produce custom designs, working hard to really understand customers’ requirements to fulfill their projects to maximum potential. Sarah has extensive knowledge on the capabilities of Flotex, enabling her to give our customers the design support and advice they may need. “My favourite projects tend to be the custom design ones that are challenging and a little bit different, which allows me to work with Flotex in new and interesting ways to fit it around the project specification.” says Sarah, “The great thing about working in Flotex Design is that we’re a small team, each with very different specialist fields, allowing us to work both jointly and independently to give our ranges and our customers the best there is in Flotex.”
Newest to the team is Senior Designer, Sophie Beddington. Sophie’s key responsibilities are updating existing and designing new collections for Flotex Vision, our HD digitally printed range. Sophie works cross-functionally with other design teams and departments around Europe to produce fresh and innovative design ranges that work effectively with current interior trends. “The best part about my job is that each and everyday is different depending on what we’re working on.” Sophie says, “The diversity of the work we do is inspiration in itself, but I also like to take in the environment and the people around me to spark new ideas.”
Liaising with our transportation customers is also part of Sophie’s role, where she works closely with them to truly understand what they’re looking for when choosing floor coverings. “What really works for transportation customers is that they have the option to choose something existing that we can tweak accordingly or something totally unique to them. As a team, we like working very closely with our customers to ensure the end product is something they’re really happy with.” Sophie explains. “We have a large range of designs that work very well with our wider portfolio, enabling us to fulfill complete projects in rail carriages and public transport vehicles.” adds Sarah.
The team feel that Flotex can tick every box for most projects. “We have small scale patterns, large scale patterns and not to mention our naturals range. We have bold to muted colours and everything in between – there’s something for everyone, and if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, then we have a custom design service to create just about anything you want.” Sarah concludes.
Written by Chloe Taylor, Marketing – International Key Accounts