Los Angeles based Virco is a leading manufacturer and supplier of furniture and equipment for K-12 schools. With a wide product line and thousands of images needed, they’ve turned to KeyShot for all their product visuals. Stan Foster, Art Director at Virco, oversees the graphic content for marketing materials used by Virco’s sales team. Here, we find out more about how they’ve implemented KeyShot and how it has changed their processes to save time and money.
What’s unique about the design process at Virco?
We follow a fairly standard process when developing new products. The first step is creating conceptuals, hand rendered the old fashioned way–pencil to paper. Once the initial design concept is approved, a scale mock-up is usually built. This is used to carry out proof of concept/functionality. Once a design passes this phase, along with other production and cost evaluations, Virco’s Engineering/New Product Development team starts the process of developing the 3D models used to build molds and tooling.
Where in your process is KeyShot used?
Once engineering completes the modeling in Pro/E, Marketing uses the exported STP files to begin developing materials for the sales team. It’s here we use KeyShot to render images for a variety of production ready print material, web imagery and occasional video clips.
What are some projects KeyShot has been used on?
Virco is in the middle of a multi-phase rework of our website where the majority of our product line is seen in a range of options and color combinations. We currently have over 60,000 images on the site rendered in KeyShot over the last year. We have also used KeyShot rendered images on truck graphics, brochures, trade ads, and exhibit banners.
Overall, how has KeyShot helped save time, money and/or improve quality?
The process using KeyShot allows us to do things that, logistically and financially, we simply wouldn’t be able to do using traditional photography. As a company that offers a large variety of color options–a key marketing advantage for Virco–when it comes to product marketing there is a noticeable improvement of image quality over programs that use algorithms to manipulate color.
Starting the process to develop marketing materials while tooling is finalized gives us a jump on putting tools into the hands of our sales team before the product is even launched. It would be hard to put a monetary value on the savings compared to traditional photography which requires efforts from a variety of departments just to get one product shot. Plus, we no longer need to worry about fingerprints, scratches, or delays in production or delivery to the photo studio.
What advice do you have for others interested in doing what you do?
KeyShot has saved us so much time and money that it’s hard to imagine doing things the old way for a large portion of what we do in Marketing. I would compare it to the difference between the old production process of using paste-up boards, waxed on typography, and cutting ruby film for producing printed materials verses today’s digital process for design and production using InDesign or other desktop publishing software.
If you have access to CAD files or have the ability to create files to import into KeyShot, this is a great tool with an easy learning curve. We have several licenses and were able to bring in freelancers with no 3D rendering experience and get them up and running on Keyshot within a few days.
Learn more about Virco and their products at virco.com.