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Furniture designers produce designs for items of furniture and other related products. Designs may be for mass production, in small batches, or as one-offs, and designers may just be involved in this aspect of the work, or may be designer/makers, producing items from their own designs.
Designers may first carry out research and look at other products to help them develop their own ideas. They will need to consider how the item will look and how practical or functional it will be, taking into consideration areas such as the cost and availability of materials, the manufacturing process, the needs of the client or intended end-user, and safety implications. They may work to a brief agreed with a client or, in the case of manufacturing companies, may originate new designs or improve existing ones.
Designers prepare sketches of their initial ideas, by hand or with the aid of computer software, often in liaison with other professionals such as production managers, marketing staff and design engineers.
Designers will develop their ideas using models, prototypes and computer-aided design (CAD). They may prepare their own more detailed designs for themselves or manufacturing specialists to work from, or in larger companies these may be worked up in detail by specialised draughtsmen/women.
Self-employment will include involvement in marketing, financial and business activities.
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