Tapped by the modern lighting studio, Niche, designer Sarah Brown developed a catalog to complement the brand’s hand-blown collections.
When Sarah Brown took an in-house design position at Niche in late 2017, she didn’t realize that her first project would be as ground-breaking for the company as it turned out to be. “Niche never really had an official catalog,” Sarah said. “When I joined the team our CEO and creative director, Jeremy Pyles, asked me to take it on. I was surprised to learn it had been 14 years in the making.”
Sarah explains that, for the project, she used the lighting as her inspiration. “It was important to me that the catalog was as elegant and thoughtfully designed as the lights it showcased.”
A Bright Start
Based in Beacon, New York, a community of artists and professionals at the heart of the Hudson Valley, Niche came into the clean forms and luminous colorways of its lighting collection somewhat by accident in 2003. “After hunting for modern pendants to light the front of his homewares store in New York City’s East Village,” she said, “Jeremy teamed up with a glassblower.”
Soon after their signature piece, the Stamen pendant, was hung, it became the shop’s best selling item. A new business was born.
Letting The Products Shine
“Clients had relied on our website and tear sheets for years,” Sarah said. “We wanted to change that, elevate our brand, and put our full collection at their fingertips. So, I laid out each pendant page in a way that made the catalog not just beautiful, but useful,” Sarah continued. “There’s detailed information on each pendant that covers everything from dimensions to colors, as well as background on what inspired its creation.”
Working At Light Speed
“The challenge wasn’t just about developing a design that reflected the brand—its originality, its beauty, and its sophistication,” Sarah said. “It was also about managing the timeline—four months from concept to photo shoot to finish.”
“We hit the ground running,” Sarah recalled. “We choose a simple but sophisticated design. For the cover, we approached Lian Ng, a San Francisco graphic artist who’s known for his cool designs based on mathematical algorithms. Then we focused on the photo shoot.”
The shoot was a huge undertaking. Sarah’s intent was to create lighting images that radiated luxury and left the viewer with a sense of awe. “Getting everything shot and positioned in the catalog the way we wanted took some juggling,” she said. “But, I kept remembering Jeremy’s words, ‘If you have a good idea and believe in it and work hard, you can make anything happen.’”
Simply Brilliant Results
Smooth, uncoated stock gave the piece an organic quality that complemented the soft glow of the Niche lighting collection. Perfect binding elevated the catalog’s sense of quality and permanence.
With the catalog complete, it’s clear. The graceful shapes and elegant details of Niche’s collection have not only redefined the look of hand-blown lighting, but also the look of traditional lighting catalogs.