| Dec 14, 2011 |
Hearst and DFA campaign pushes for wider access to design
By Staff

The Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) presented a course of action or widening access to design in showrooms to welcome all visitors, at a meeting this week hosted by Kate Kelly Smith, SVP Publishing Director, Hearst Design Group.

The DFA unveiled new consumer marketing campaign ad creative, which will replace the ‘Why a Designer?’ ads. The new ad headlines reads: “Love [House Beautiful / Elle Decor / Veranda]? Want to live in these pages? Decorative Furnishings Association invites you to FindGreatDesign.com for easy access to the Interior Design Community."

FindGreatDesign.com will help consumers become familiar with the design process. It will answer questions including ‘What does a designer do? And ‘How does the relationship work?’ Individual showrooms will display a checklist showing their level of ‘openness' to consumers.

The board also unveiled a new logo design which is visually unique to each brand—the letter “A” changes its pattern to wood grain, fabric pattern, paint color, according to the brand, and also changes seasonally. The tag line being tested is “Live Beautifully.”

“We wanted something that felt authoritative, is about design, is modern and beautiful, and speaks to the design community,” said DFA Executive Director Steve Nobel. "We had great help on this design from Badger&Winters Group."

The audiences for this campaign include the design community, the affluent market, and the DFA constituents. The applications include entryway signage, countercards and checklists for member showrooms. “The idea is to build a community but also create standardization for DFA members,” said Cary Kravet, DFA President.

“In the past, we tried to make decisions to move the industry forward but we would end up fighting each other,” said Andrea Rubelli of Donghia. “Traditionally our industry has been allergic to technology, but it’s coming into our world fast and it’s affecting our clientele. It will boost a change in our market, which has [heretofore] been static.  It’s the perfect time to be making change.”

“The needle has tilted in the past six months. We’ve gone from slow aquiescence to broad acceptance and support,” said Nobel. 

“We need to spread the message that to have a beautiful home, you have to use our product and use a designer. But the key is to make that process easier for people. It’s like food. Anyone can buy the ingredients but not anyone can put them together,” said Rubelli.

“It’s great to see the media and members excited about promoting the DFA. Their positions have been stressed in the past few years, and maybe this is the silver lining bringing everything together,” said Dan Cahoon of Jerry Pair.

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