Finalist 2022

Natralis Product Launch

Nexus Designs / Sally Evans / Myra Murtagh / Georgia Swinbourne

The Natralis™ product launch embraces local Australian manufacturing, authentic brand representation and the playfulness of the imagination.

The Natralis™ product launch embraces local product, brand integrity and playfulness. Armstrong Flooring is Australia’s only manufacturer of commercial vinyl sheet flooring. With authenticity at its heart, we formed focused communications strategies and original creative content to amplify and reposition this humble product to a specifier audience. Under the ‘Play with Colour, Connect with Place’ concept, evocative colour narratives inspired by Australian landscapes ground the Natralis™ product, enrich the visual outcome and honour brand values. Using as much locally made content as possible, from furniture suppliers to paper stocks, the Natralis™ product launch showcases Australian manufacturing, creativity, design and production.

Design Brief:

Our key brief was to explore opportunities for repositioning Armstrong Flooring to the local Australian commercial architectural and design market through the launch of their new Australian made Natralis™ product. As a homogeneous vinyl sheet flooring product used primarily for commercial applications with stringent regulatory needs, specification is often based purely on function. And as Australia’s only manufacturer of commercial vinyl sheet flooring, in business since the 1960s, Armstrong Flooring is uniquely positioned to provide product to such specific industry need. The intended outcome was to retain existing and gain new customers in key project segments such as healthcare, aged care and education. It was most important to Armstrong Flooring that the process and outcomes respect product and brand integrity while being refreshed and exciting. The launch campaign, therefore, was a balancing act between staying true to function while exploring the possibility of creative expression.


This project was developed by:

Design Process

Before exploring the possibilities of the Natralis™ launch, we were asked to provide advice on the development of the Natralis™ product itself, a range inspired by the diversity of Australia’s flora, fauna and natural landscapes. We advised on range breadth, colour tone and product composition, all with the Australian specifier market in mind, culminating in the formation of a cohesive and beautiful range of 22 colours. We simultaneously undertook a comprehensive communications review, designing and facilitating an industry survey to learn and validate specifier experience and expectation around product and brand. This knowledge established core strategic thinking and would go on to inform the Natralis™ launch creative design direction.

We assessed Armstong Flooring’s recent rebrand, executed in the USA, to ascertain and apply to an Australian commercial market, considering brand representation, visual language and tone of voice. A creative photography shoot showcased the Natralis™ product alongside leading Australian furniture and building products, with the imagery being the central visual language in a rollout of printed collateral, sample packs and digital assets.

Design Excellence

The Natralis™ product launch practices design excellence with respect and flair; it is a campaign that understands and embraces local manufacturing, the importance of the imagination in the creative process and the value of authentic brand representation. Campaign strategy and direction was informed by considered research, market insights and specialist advice, while client trust and confidence gave vital freedom to the formation of creative content.

The Natralis™ imagery is distinct in its visual storytelling, embodying Australian colour and connection to landscape while expressing the forms of interior spaces, whether a lively educational experience or calming aged care atmosphere. The product is shown alongside leading Australian furniture and building products, brought to life through the work of photographer Lillie Thompson and stylist Marsha Golemac. Campaign collateral keeps the specifier in mind, both informative and inspiring, with a product range folder, fandeck, sample packs and custom packaging all using Australian and sustainable paper stocks (where possible).

Local printers and manufacturers were engaged, keeping production at home and reflecting the brand values of local industry. The Natralis™ product launch is a showcase of Australian manufacturing, creativity, design and production.

Design Innovation

As a local Australian manufacturer of high-quality and trusted flooring, reinvigorating the Armstrong Flooring brand and products in the creative minds of Australian specifiers was our key challenge. The concept of authenticity is at the heart of the Natralis™ storytelling – staying true to function and values while not forgoing beauty and the wonder of the imagination.

We focussed on amplifying the representation of the Natralis™ product, displaying vinyl as it has never been seen before, refreshing the idea of how this humble product can be used and reigniting creative thinking. Campaign photography explores four deconstructed interior spaces, each evocative of colour, place and emotion. Swathes of vinyl sheets fill each photo, complemented by the playful and varied forms and tones of styled materials, furniture and objects. These a colour-rich narratives that enliven and engage.

Fundamentally, these stories are also true to function and values. Each narrative is inspired by actual interior space within market segments such as healthcare, education or aged care. The vinyl’s scale and varying shapes speak to its application and customisation capabilities while all materials, paint and furniture are appropriate to real-life commercial applications and sourced from Australian brands and manufacturers. Core messaging ‘Play with Colour, Connect with Place’ also speaks to authenticity, linking the beauty of the natural world with the creative process and the built outcome. While it may not be immediately noticeable, these images express real environments for real designers.

Design Impact

As an outcome, the Natralis™ product launch has been a confident and honest initiative in the Australian architectural and design market and a highly successful commercial move. Armstrong Flooring have not shied away from engaging with specifiers directly, asking for feedback, integrating new brand guidelines and investing in creative content they have never produced before. They have retained their values of brand authenticity, connection to landscape, sustainability and local manufacturing, while increasing their production output and growing their customer base.

Campaign creative, communications and collateral all align with these values, staying true to Australian colour and application, being low impact and sustainable solutions and keeping the tone of voice at once pragmatic and playful. Armstrong Flooring have forged new alliances with local specifiers, brands, manufacturers and creatives, improving their standing in the industry and stepping up into new conversations. Our contributions have enabled Armstrong Flooring to stay innovative, informative and imaginative.

Communication Design 2022 Finalists

Keep Running

Monash University XYX Lab / Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

Safe and Equal

Studio Binocular / Safe and Equal

The Pink Book

Trampoline / Henry von Doussa / Clouds of Magellan Press

Rural Women Online

Your Creative Agency / Victorian Women's Trust

Metro Tunnel Creative Program

Cross Yarra Partnership / Rail Projects Victoria / The Place Agency / Global Arts Projects

Great Wrap

A Friend of Mine / Great Wrap

BETA by STH BNK

Davidson Branding / Beulah

Port Melbourne Secondary College Brand Identity

Design IS / Port Melbourne Secondary College

MOST

MASS / Orygen Digital

Crushed But Okay

Today / Alannah and Madeline Foundation / Banalarama

EVERYDAY Australian Design - functional objects from the Ian Wong collection

Ian Wong / Jo Pritchard / Dr Indae Hwang / Shepparton Art Museum / Monash University