Behind Corston: The Design Process

In this first article of the Behind Corston series, our designers talk through the process of turning great ideas into even better products.

Arrow Down
Design is at the heart of everything we do at Corston, and our brand is all about turning great ideas into even better products. Our company started with three people and in just three years of trading has grown into a thriving business with a product department of sixteen hard working industrial designers and development engineers.

We like to see young talent flourish into well rounded creative engineers who make amazing products from start to finish. This is why we look for ambitious graduates who are fully qualified, passionate about design and ready to start their professional career - and we teach everything else on the job.

You may be surprised to learn that our product designers do much more than design. A lot of the time is spent managing their projects, negotiating costs, sourcing materials, generating reports, getting stock from A to B, quality testing and more. There’s a lot to do when you’re turning an idea into a great product that resonates with customers.
The Importance of Creative Freedom
The Corston way is to give designers complete control over their own projects. The inspiration for their ideas come from solving customer problems. Everything we create is to ease the stress of home renovations - the look of a product is actually very simple.

Our designers focus much more on purpose and quality, rather than being driven by ten minute trends. This means every product must work perfectly, so there’s a lot of testing and refinement during development.

The design team works closely with machine operators, machinists and finishers in the Corston workshop. The close relationship allows them to design components that are efficient to make, but also have an inherent beauty to them. The huge advantage of Corston designing, making, and selling products gives a lot of control over every aspect of the process. This depth of care and attention is what makes working at Corston unusual.

Product Director, David Gray said: “The budget and scope for projects can differ massively, sometimes we like making simple things, or alternatively enjoy multi-year projects designing complex systems of products. The challenge is very varied and unpredictable.”

The process of perfecting a product doesn’t stop once it’s launched - we’re always exploring how quality can be further improved and working to make sure any teething problems are resolved. This is where our customer services department comes in. If the team notice we’re getting a lot of similar feedback, they’ll pass it onto the product team to take onboard.

Anja Assejev, Product and Supply Chain Supervisor said: “When we make improvements to a product, we need to make sure we’re constantly restocking the latest model and keeping our databases up to date from a stock and supply chain perspective.”
Launching Products in an Established Market
Handles, switches and sockets are already in everyone’s homes – in fact the door knob has been around since the 1800s. As a young, fast growing company it’s our challenge to create new and innovative ideas in an already saturated market, while ensuring our products stay relatable and familiar.

Corston stands out because our products work well in any style interior – traditional or modern. We’ve spent months researching and perfecting our four solid brass finishes so our products look just as at home in a contemporary new build as a listed Georgian townhouse.

We believe the small details like switches and sockets, hardware and lighting make the whole picture, but they aren’t designed to be the centrepiece. Getting that balance right is so important in a crowded market as it’s what makes us stand out.

Product Design and Development Engineer, Ross Titherington added: “We take a lot of care to ensure our products look impressive, but not loud. We want them to be admired when noticed, but not overpowering.”

Leading every part of the product journey is a very fulfilling process. Our designers enjoy being given control over their entire projects and being responsible for all stages of the process. Everyone here at Corston would agree, there’s no better feeling than seeing a product go from the drawing board to being enjoyed in customers’ homes.