Vitamin's mission is to create surprising designs that are out of the ordinary, but in a way that stands the test of time. "One of the key things with all of the pieces you might see scattered about the studio is that we do try to be different, but in a subtle way that you can live with," explains Vitamin co-founder Andy Vernall.
The designers ensure this longevity by living with prototypes of the pieces in their own environment every day. "We've always got various potential products around the studio," he says. "That's part of our process - we live with the designs that we're creating and understand what really comes to the surface over time."
Taking the time to get it right
As an independent brand designing everything in-house, the team at Vitamin is free to take this time evolving each new idea. They carefully consider every detail and only launch a new product when it feels completely right, so they can be sure it will have lasting value. "By living with it for a while we're able to create that longevity and make sure it's something people will want in their homes for a long time," Andy says.
The studio works closely with manufacturers around the world, preferring to base production in the UK where viable. "What we've begun to do is work with manufacturers that really understand the crafting of objects and materials and finishes," says Andy, recounting how the studio's early projects were developed with a view to reenergising the British potteries in Stoke-on-Trent.
Building a passionate team
Andy founded the brand together with brother Chris Vernall in 2005. Both brought extensive and varied product design experience to the business, having worked in the field of computer games, consumer electronics, high-end furniture and motorcycle design. They still run a highly successful consultancy that generates designs for international consumer brands; meanwhile the Vitamin brand represents a pure creative outlet. "For us, it is all about the design, it is about the products, it is about creating objects that people want and when they get them they feel like they're happy to have owned them," enthuses Andy.
Today, the company is an energetic and close-knit team, many of them young designers who joined Vitamin straight from university and were nurtured by the company as they took their first steps in the industry. Every design is generated and developed by the whole team. "This is a small family business and we've taken time over getting the right people involved, building knowledge and passion into what we do," Andy concludes. "It's about having the best designers creating the best stuff we possibly can."
We've taken time over getting the right people involved, building knowledge and passion into what we do