Four quarters design Studio - Case Study

Scalable SketchUp Rendering on the Cloud

Alice Taylor is the Founder of Four quarters design Studio based in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. In addition to the natural delights of the area, such as Table Mountain and a fantastic coastline, in 2014 Cape Town was designated the World Design Capital by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (a designation which changes every 2 years).


Note to self: Take a ride on the cable car when visiting Cape Town

Four quarters design Studio designs and builds custom exhibition stands for all major exhibition venues in South Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Alice, together with her business partner Tanielle, are hands on business owners. Alice, being the Creative Director, takes great pride in the design and creation of high quality, visually stimulating stands that exceed her clients’ expectations. Whether large complicated structures, or small compact stands, Alice and Tanielle, together with their efficient and energetic team, deliver a personalized hassle-free experience for their clients from conceptualization through to build.

How did you get involved in exhibition stand design and build?
The company was founded in 2011 as a small, intimate boutique agency focusing on turnkey service and exceptional service. It has grown into a medium sized innovative agency, that being owner managed has enabled it to retain its high level of service and uniqueness.

What has been the most challenging design Four quarters design Studio has worked on?
All designs are an exciting challenge because you have to fit a variety of marketing applications onto a relatively small space and ensure that there is a great workflow and that your stand design sticks out amongst all its competitors. The recent stand we did for Orange (French telecommunications company) was a memorable challenge. With Orange, they wanted to launch into Africa. Their corporate colours are black and orange, which is not a usual combination. There were also a number of business units to take into account and consider with different design elements and features of mini displays within one large stand display. It was a double story stand and apart from the different business units, there were 4 meeting rooms, 2 smaller technical rooms, a bar/hospitality areas as well as smaller lounge areas.

How long have you been designing with SketchUp?
When the company started we used to outsource our design work, but as a new startup business this was proving costly. So, I took up the challenge of teaching myself SketchUp. I also tried many different render programs and found IRender nXt in combination with SketchUp to be the most user friendly.

You have used our IRender nXt SketchUp renderer for over 6 years now, and started using the Cloud Service shortly after we made it available. What prompted you to use the Cloud Service?
I read about IRender nXt Cloud Service in one of the Render Plus Software newsletters and thought, seeing as the business had grown, it would be a great time saver the company could use and afford.

How has the Cloud Service benefitted your business?
It has definitely added value to our business in terms of the amount of designs we can turnaround simultaneously. It is also great to use when travelling as everything is cloud based.

Now that you’ve been using the Service for a while, have you come across any unexpected benefits that you hadn’t initially thought about?
We are now able to run a complete set of new renders before build, once the client has provided us with the final artwork and graphics, which was not always possible to timeframes before having to go to site and receiving final artwork. There is also a consistency in the colour output of the renders, as before I used to split large projects between my desktop and my laptop.

Cloud rendering has made the design process far more agile and time efficient. In the past when I was rendering and designing simultaneously it slowed down some of the features in SketchUp; with the cloud rendering that problem has been solved. The online support is great and questions have been answered very quickly, so it has been an exciting new skill to learn.

Can you share several of your favourite renderings from a project that you rendered using the Cloud Service?
The stand for Orange was my first big project that I did using the cloud service. I had, and still have, lots to learn, but I was happy with the way it turned out in the timeframe I had been given by them. I had lots of updates and changes from their marketing department with regards to layouts and graphics, and the Cloud renders allowed me to do it in a much quicker time period than usual.

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Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Alice. We wish you continued success and look forward to you sharing more of the renderings you generate using the IRender nXt Cloud Rendering Service!

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