Dan Black's Design Blog: October 2016 - Black and Blum

dan black, design, black and blum, birthday

Hi everyone,

Another blog update here to give you a glimpse of life at black+blum. Well for starters, where did September go? This year seems to be flying by!

loop maison, black and blum, design, dan black

It was my birthday at the start of October (I'm 42 in case you wondered) and we also celebrated another milestone… Our loop candelabra reached it's ten year anniversary. This design is one of our most iconic and still continues to be one of our bet sellers.

The history of loop is quite funny, as it shows how much in life is due to chance. Just before designing loop, we had launched our Venti fan...

venti fan, black and blum, design

This was a massive investment as there were lots of tooling and it was an expensive fan. It basically meant we had no money left to invest in new tooling and needed to come up with a simple design that was still beautiful.

As most designers know, there is nothing like a tight brief to get the creative juices flowing. We decided to design a candelabra in wire and used soldering coils and copper rod to prototype different shapes. After countless models, we perfected the shape and the challenge then was finding someone who could make it for us. There were certainly plenty of wire factories who tried, but couldn't replicate the shape.

loop maison, fibonacci curve, black and blum, design, candle holder

The design was inspired by the Fibonacci curve: a continually changing radius that is seen throughout nature. It contains the golden section and is said to look balanced to the human eye. This ever changing radius gave the design intrigue, as it had a form factor that looked different from every angle and was not something the eye could observe and automatically understand. It also made it a bugger to make!

We were so lucky that we found a highly skilled wire bending factory who made jigs that allowed them to hand bend the wire to the same shape again and again. It is a lovely process to watch the straight piece of wire go through five different jigs and come out in its finished form.

dan black, black and blum, grand designs, award

We launched loop in 2006 and it was an immediate success. It won quite a few design awards, including Grand Designs (that's me above, up on stage collecting the award from Kevin McCloud). It was the first design we sold to the Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMA NY), John Lewis and Design Torget and is still being sold by all of them still today.

It featured on television shows like Eastenders and on the set of This Morning breakfast show. It continues to sell all over the world and delight people, individually or interlinked.

loop candelabra, black and blum, design, dan black

I think the success is due to minimal timeless design and this allows it to look great in both modern and traditional interiors. It has become a design classic and we hope it will continue for another ten years.

I'd like to be able to tell you how many loops we have sold over the last ten years, but we have a competition on Facebook at the moment where if you guess the number (or come closest to it), you can win two loops. You'll probably be amazed by the number.

loop candelbra, loop maison

That's enough about Loop for one blog, but look forward to checking in again in a few weeks with news of two exciting new designs we are launching just in time for Christmas.

dan black

Dan Black
Dan Black


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