Australian designed and manufactured flooring range wins gold at top US design awards

Nexus Designs has received a Gold Award in the Print Promotions category at the 2024 Graphis Design Awards, for their work on the Natralis™ product launch for Armstrong Flooring.

Held annually since 1944, the prestigious New York-based Graphis Design Awards honour and celebrate creative excellence from around the globe in design, advertising, photography, illustration and art.

Australia’s only manufacturer of commercial vinyl sheet flooring, Armstrong Flooring’s Natralis™ range features 22 new colours, inspired by the diversity of Australia’s flora, fauna and natural landscapes.

Nexus Designs, a Melbourne-based multidisciplinary design studio, applied their creative expertise to develop and promote the range, helping Armstrong Flooring broaden their appeal to product specifiers across Australia’s commercial architectural and design market – in particular the healthcare, aged care and education sectors.

On winning Gold, Nexus Director, Sally Evans who led the collaborative partnership, said it was a significant achievement, and testament to the studio’s international standing.

“There were over 700 submissions from hundreds of design studios across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania and that our creative strategy for a campaign to promote vinyl sheet flooring won Gold demonstrates the power and impact of creative innovation and design in the product manufacturing sector.”

Evans says the success of their collaboration with Armstrong Flooring is a result of the studio’s holistic and strategic approach to design.

“The respect for our expertise and absolute trust in our creative direction made for a very dynamic relationship. Armstrong Flooring embraced our multidisciplinary skill-set and engaged with us from the initial stages of product and industry review right through to visual communication and brand strategy. It allowed us the freedom to push this project out of its comfort zone and create a solution that celebrates local products, champions brand integrity and embraces playfulness,” Evans said.

Nexus Designs’ creative solution centres around a campaign titled ‘Play with Colour, Connect with Place’. Across the promotional materials, colour narratives inspired by Australian landscapes ground the product, enrich the visual outcome and honour the brand’s values. Photographed as deconstructed interiors, each of the scenes features swathes of vinyl in playful and varied forms, in dialogue with complementary materials and furniture. These colour-rich narratives enliven and engage, creating visually expressive scenes that are accurate to industry specification.

Healthcare and education are major sectors where vinyl flooring is an essential product, and where it is often used in vast quantities. Whilst its safety and durability features are non negotiable, Sally and her team knew there was an opportunity to innovate.

Evans says, “Why should a material that is such a big part of the success of these spaces not be given just as much attention as other, perhaps more glamorous, products? We saw the benefit of raising the bar on presentation of the Natralis™ range, giving the industry a colour range that would expand their scope. Our promotional collateral celebrates the potential of this range to be a longstanding part of Armstrong Flooring’s palette.”

With extensive experience in and knowledge of both the design and construction industries Evans believes this has been key to realising the now award-winning result.

“We know the construction and product specifier industry inside-out, how they think, what they’re looking for and what they’ve seen before. As a practicing interior design studio we understand the expectations on the product itself, how designers choose or are influenced by colour and finish and how refreshing it is when a supplier delivers marketing that is equal parts truthful, innovative and unexpected.”

As part of their creative strategy, Nexus Designs identified local manufacturers whose products feed into the commercial design sector. This resulted in complementary products and furnishings from local suppliers featuring in the hero imagery of the Armstrong Flooring Natralis™ promotional materials. With suppliers involved including Stylecraft, Haymes Paint, CSR Cemintel & Himmel, Rakumba Lighting, Coco Flip, SBW Australia, RJ Living & Helen Kontouris – this product has been designed both with and for the industry.

This is the first update to Armstrong Flooring’s product range since 2018, and the first time in many years the company has invested in a creative-led product launch. Since the product launch in May 2022, the company has reported a very enthusiastic response to the new range, with a high number of new business enquiries, including from education and government sector clients from right across the country.

More information about the Armstrong Flooring Natralis™ range:

Currently showcased on the Graphis Design website, the campaign will also be published in the highly regarded Graphis Design 2024 Awards book.

Sally Evans
Director, Nexus Designs

More from Nexus Designs and Armstrong Flooring …

About Nexus Designs

For more than 50 years, Nexus Designs has delivered distinctive, enduring, and personal outcomes at the forefront of Australian design. Founded as a multi-disciplinary studio, Nexus Designs transcends categories and convention to elevate interiors, product design and visual communications and influence the lives and homes of contemporary Australia.

About Armstrong Flooring

Armstrong Flooring have been a leader in resilient flooring in Australia for over 50 years, and are proudly Australia’s only manufacturer of commercial sheet vinyl flooring. Their locally manufactured and imported collections of Commercial and Residential flooring bridge the gap between design and functionality, and are adopted by the industry’s leading architects, designers, and homeowners to create exceptional spaces.

About Graphis Inc.

Graphis is committed to presenting and promoting the work of exceptional talent in Design, Advertising, Photography and Art/Illustration. In addition to the Platinum, Gold, and Silver winners, Graphis also embraces rising talent, all of whom have an equal Archive presentation. It publishes hardcover Annuals, where the Platinum and Gold winners receive full-page exposure, and Silver and Merit Winners are also visually presented. Up to 500 entries from each competition are included in the online archive for future reference. Today, the Graphis tradition continues, presenting award-winning work from 1944 to the present in digital and print.

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