© Nicholas Schmidt Studio, 2024


catalog:three was developed to create a modern glimpse into the world of traditional rugs. We partnered with the Torabi family, who boasts over three generations of experience in rug sourcing from around the world, to create an atmosphere for contemporary consumers that does not sacrifice historical methods of woven production. With an immense inventory of unique hand-made floor coverings ranging from geometric flatweaves, modern gabbehs, and gently-worn traditional tribal rugs, catalog:three was able to source various styles befitting each unique client while still concentrating on the most important aspects; quality and authenticity.

The visual foundation of the brand laid on ideas of simplicity and tactility. Central to our aesthetic concept was the imagery evoked by the adhesive labels often affixed to limited edition prints and design objects. The graphic combination of sans-serif typefaces and hand-written notations provides a visual harmony between the comprehensibility of modernity and the humanity of craft. Together, the elements formed a cohesive and complementary visual language.

It was important to maintain a certain attitude of clarity and neutrality with the branding to give space for the iconographic nature of the rugs. The antique rug marketplace is a whirlwind of visual stimuli, with vibrant hues and intricate designs competing for attention. It's a captivating yet overwhelming experience, where the eye is constantly drawn to tangible history and craftsmanship. In contrast, we wanted to provide a gallery-like interpretation, removed from any mimetic representations of bazaars, and directing the focus to the rugs themselves.
    The understructure of the visual identity came from the typography. Karl Gerstner’s Gerstner-Programm provided a solid foundation for any ulterior visual aspects. The ubiquitous nature of Swiss typography lends itself to universal effectiveness amid a myriad of cultural influences. In practice, we stuck to one font size and weight across all uses; Gerstner-Programm Light. Inspired by the standardization of rug sizes (3x5, 5x8, 8x10, and so forth), a traditional grid structure imparts hierarchy and clarity to the detailed specifications related to each rug.
    Working with photographer Aidan Matthews, we were able to develop a strong photographic representation for the brand. The goal of the photographic strategy was to communicate feelings of home and comfort. Through the quarterly campaigns, catalog:three was able to show the various applications of their rugs and the substantial impact a floor covering can have on one’s living or working environment.

Since catalog:three’s launch in the Spring of 2022, the community has grown to include a variety of artists, photographers, and designers. The implementation of a temporary installation program has further involved the consumer and allowed them to engage with the product through hands-on experience. This approach has allowed catalog:three to deepen their community connections and vary their functions to include a trade program and bespoke selections.

© Nicholas Schmidt Studio, 2024