Last year I was asked to design a display stand for by a design management company that I do a lot of work for. The stand was to be placed in the reception of a company that produces fire safety products such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Their associated companies also produce fire safety products for industrial uses such as oil rigs. I was the given dimensions of the space that had been allocated for the stand and was told that in the middle of the space their was a section/square column which housed pipes etc.

The brief was to design a stand that on one side would allow smoke detectors and fire extinguishers to be displayed, and the other to feature the industrial, heavy products along with a laptop showing how the system worked. A couple of photographs were supplied for the backdrop on the industrial side, the domestic side would use graphics I had previously created when I designed the fire extinguisher boxes.

My first step was to produce some very rough sketches which I emailed over to my client, who is very design savvy so I could talk them through. Below are a couple of the sketches he asked me to pursue further.


My next step was to draw out a plan view to scale of the elements in illustrator which I could then use in Strata 3D.


In the plan you can see the areas I am trying to create based on the sketch above left. Taking these shapes into Strata I extruded the column and the curved wall and manipulated the shapes in Strata 3D to try and achieve the shapes I was looking for. I also created a shape in illustrator to extrude to make a floor. This was then textured in Strata 3D too. The laptop was a free model I downloaded from the Strata Cafe website


After texturing the two models were lit and I rendered them for my client to present to his client. Although Strata 3D is not one of the big 3D design packages it is very “Mac” like with a small learning curve. Although I don’t use it to its full potential, the basics I know is enough for me to create a reasonable representation of what I am looking for that would be incredibly difficult for me to do otherwise.



The lower visual was chosen and after several “tweaks” and picture changes my client gave the visual to an exhibition company to build it. I have requested a photograph of the stand but as yet have not received one.