Photographing Roku®

This has to be one the simplest design projects, yet most challenging photographic briefs we have been presented as an agency. The brief was to create a sales brochure for a chair which is offered in a range of colours and finishes. “But… we only have one product sample in one fabric, in one colour”. Naturally our response was “no problem!”. We honestly believe that it is possible to create pages and pages of engaging literature using an array of imagery for any single product if you are creative. Abstract crops, slick lighting and a skilful photo manipulation is all you need to complete such a task.

The product

Roku® is a durable, rotationally moulded chair and matching table collection with contemporary styling designed for multi-environment use including challenging behaviour – bedroom, lounge, reception, dining, high security and outdoor. It was created for Teal Furniture Ltd by London based product designer Ben Grafton and adds to extensive list of groundbreaking, award winning healthcare seating designs.

‘Roku’, the Japanese numeral for ‘six’ refers to its feature set, from the six sided hexagonal shape to the six applicable environments – bedroom, lounge, reception, dining, high security and outdoor.

The shoot

Our sample chair was a fully upholstered version using a Panaz Aston Magenta which provided a good tonal range for colour manipulation, allowing us to post-produce a catalogue of coloured product images and abstract crops.

A series of sketched visuals were created for the main product shots and as a guide for art direction on-set. The sketches were created based around a series of hand drawn visuals which had been created for the brochure layout. This was very much a creative shoot where angles were also to be explored on the day.

The product was shot firstly on a slightly diffused, reflective white surface giving us the cleaner images for catalogues, brochures and web. We then shot the chair using a variety of angles giving us plenty of library options.

The second part of the shoot involved using a neutral, mid toned backdrop to reduce light bounce. The product was then shot using a variety of angles and crops similar to those on the reflective surface and provided a library of images which could then be colourised to a range of finishes.

The result

The image library provided us stock for the initial brochure, catalogues, advertising and web. Abstract, colourised crops became the backgrounds for Roku®’s fluid brand identity.

Since the success of the product launch additional samples have been produced and photographed using mixed fabrics and non upholstered plastics for outdoor use. View some of our Roku® work examples here.