Vancouver, B.C. (June 14, 2005) – As part of the renowned Canadian designer’s growth in the U.S. furniture market, Subplot Design Inc. has created a high-end furniture catalogue for Martha Sturdy Inc. The catalogues were specifically created for Martha Sturdy’s collection in the prestigious Baker Furniture group of showrooms and stores, but will also be featured in all North American and European retailers that carry the designer’s furniture.


Originally specializing in resin and metal jewellery in the early 1980’s, Martha Sturdy has expanded her collection over time to include home accessories, wall art, sculpture and into a full furniture collection, including resin, steel and brass pieces. Sturdy’s flagship retail store in Vancouver, B.C. is the only location dedicated exclusively to her products; all other products are carried by independent and retail chains including Bergdorf Goodman, Donna Karan and B&B Italia in New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, and beyond.


“Creating a furniture catalogue for Martha Sturdy was a fine balance of marketing communication and artistic integrity”, says Subplot Design partner and lead designer, Matthew Clark. “Martha Sturdy – the person and the brand – stands for distinct values: integrity, purity of design, strength, and hand-crafting. The catalogue needed to work on a functional level to depict and itemize the entire collection, and yet be photographed and designed in a way that did not obscure or complicate the individual pieces.”


This balance begins directly on the cover. The frosted, translucent poly echoes the resin material that Sturdy is known for, accenting it elegantly with solid brass screws and a clear foil, de-bossed signature of the artist. The effect is both strong and ethereal. The 24-page catalogue is paced deliberately to lead the viewer through the entire collection in situ, without overwhelming them with crowded vistas. Working with Vancouver photographer, Raeff Miles, the photographs alternate between in-situ rooms and macro detail shots, revealing the beauty and craftsmanship of each piece. Copywriting is at a bare minimum, and the design is restrained and sparing, allowing the work to speak for itself. The final spread itemizes every piece in the collection with detailed specifications, measurements and illustrations.


“Given the impracticality of carrying every item in the furniture collection in their stores, retailers are looking for a catalogue to complement the items that they do have on the floor”, continues Clark. “This catalogue acts as both an itemized product catalogue, and also allows the viewer to get a strong sense of the essence and beauty of the collection. And it does so in a way that stays fundamentally true to the products and to Martha Sturdy herself”.


“This is exactly the kind of catalogue I was looking for”, adds Martha Sturdy. “I sometimes find it difficult to embrace marketing pieces, as they tend to obscure my work or present them in a way that I am not comfortable with. Subplot took great care to understand my products and my philosophy, and worked very hard to get the design and materials to be just right”.


Baker Furniture was thrilled by the catalogue, and it has allowed the sales associates to sell items not featured on the floor. Clients have even been ordering directly from the catalogue: a testament to its completeness in representing the line. A postcard campaign also developed by Subplot Design Inc. has allowed Martha Sturdy to send “teaser” mailings to sales leads without having to send out the full brochure; reserving it for key leading clientele.


About Martha Sturdy

Drawing on a background in sculpture, Martha Sturdy creates home accessories and furniture that is artistic and functional. Working in casting resin, leather, steel and brass, Martha expresses her vision for minimalism with maximum impact. Made in her Vancouver studio, each piece in Sturdy’s Wall Sculptures, home, and accessory collections is created as one-of-a-kind artwork. Individually assembled, polished and finished by hand, each piece is unique. Martha’s work has been featured in national and international magazines. Her works are sold in the world’s top stores and galleries throughout Europe, Asia and North America.


About Subplot Design Inc.

Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.