Knotty Ash | Technical furniture designed for businesses
3D render of Knotty Ash Aura broadcasting furniture used by media and security companies
Knotty Ash Woodworking logo

Knotty Ash Woodworking is well renowned for manufacturing innovative, elite-quality technical furniture for 24/7 operations. Their client list boasts CNN, NBC News and Airbus. Their range has become the hallmark of elite craftsmanship as an indispensable, must-have fixture in the transport, security, emergency services and media industries.

Knotty Ash came to us with the ambition of growing their market share through a new product range to incorporate enhanced functionality and a more modern design. We knew we had a great opportunity to be impactful by capturing the customers’ expectation and re-imagining the product. So, we couldn’t wait to start working with Knotty Ash to achieve their goals.

The challenge: Gaining market share in a thriving market

Knotty Ash recognised the need for an innovative touch to reinvigorate the functionality and styling of their signature desks; the Aura (broadcasting desk) and the Edge (control room desk).

They knew they needed a product development firm that specialised in innovation to help them grow their market share. They chose Simple Design Works knowing that we’d eagerly embrace the challenge of breathing new life into their product line to help reinforce their position as industry leaders.

We were excited to work with their team to improve their in-house manufacturing capabilities whilst helping improve their visual appeal and align their desks with the evolving preferences of their ideal customers.

Concept sketch development by SImple Design Works of the control room desk furniture for Knotty Edge

The differentiator: Efficient manufacture meets premium styling and improved user experience

With a stellar reputation for quality, our focus for Knotty Ash was on modernising their styling, enhancing the product’s functionality and longevity, and improving user experience with minimal impact on in-house production.

3D render by the industrial design team at Simple Design Works of control room technical desks with height adjustable screens

Efficient industrial design and manufacture

Our first step was to immerse ourselves in Knotty Ash’s manufacturing process.

Before exploring materials, concepts or designs, our team visited Knotty Ash’s factory to understand their in-house engineering capabilities, their available machinery and labour, and their manufacturing process.

With a deep understanding of their processes, we created several different concepts and stylings, based on their established manufacture methods, and the initial guidelines they produced for us in the creative brief.

Together we co-created a suite of compelling video and photographic assets to showcase the refined desk products from all conceivable angles and in all available finishes.

Client validation was sought through two methods – by presenting the designs in digital format to existing clients and showcasing physical products at an international industry show.

Gathering real-time feedback is always valuable but as a business, you want to receive financial returns from product development efforts. Knotty Ash reported that the very positive responses translated into orders from European clients as well as Sky TV.

3D render of two control room desks manufactured in the UK by Knotty

Premium styling and improved user experience

Our approach to modern design principles added a new dimension of functionality and elegance to an already exceptional product line. The revamped Edge and Aura designs boast:

  • Enhanced modularity.
  • Increased ergonomic comfort.
  • Interchangeable desktop equipment pods.
  • Integrated LED lighting into the end leg.
  • Integrated cable management pods, USB charging, and rack mount facilities.

For the ultimate personalised experience, we introduced light and dark editions. And for those customers who crave a ‘wow’ factor, there’s even an option for under-desk mood lighting.

Control room furniture manufactured at Knotty in the UK

The result: As sales increase, manufacture costs reduce

The response from Knotty Ash’s customers has been incredible. The fresh styling has resonated with both their loyal customer base and new markets, leading to a remarkable surge in order numbers and sales.

High-profile broadcasting giants like Sky TV and the BBC have also taken notice of the new designs.

Modernising the designs has also made the products easier to manufacture meaning that as sales increase, manufacturing costs will decline making Knotty Ash’s future even brighter.

The Knotty Ash project is a testament to the power of innovation where a combination of modern design, user experience enhancements, and streamlined production processes has reinvigorated an existing product range and propelled it to new heights.

Broadcast desk and control room desk shown at international event by Knotty (furniture specialists)

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