Emerging Brands Spotlight: Bad Dog Designs
Introducing Bad Dog Design - Design firm based in Staffordshire creating original and bespoke Nixie clocks from pieces of vintage equipment and reclaimed objects.
About the company
1) Introduce your company:
Bad Dog Designs is the only commercial UK maker of Nixie clocks. Nixie clocks use something called a ‘Nixie Tube’ to display the time. It is an old 1950’s technology that was the main means for early electronic devices to indicate numerical information. As soon as the Light Emitting Diode (LED) was developed in the early 1970’s the Nixie tube disappeared. The Nixie tube is a glass cylinder containing the digits from 0-9 stacked on top inside. The air is removed and replaced with Neon gas, and then applying an electrical charge to the relevant digit, causes it to glow orange.The majority of the Clock are made from reclaimed or reused bits of vintage equipment or period antique items to give a genuine retro look.
2) Talk us through your latest product/s?:
The latest product would be the ‘Bombe’ clock, this is a 1:1 replica of the machine constructed by Alan Turing during WWII to decipher the German Enigma machine messages. Made with the help of the rebuild team at Bletchley Park who kindly loaned copies of the original engineering drawings. However the majority of my work is commissioned, but a selection of current commissioned pieces will be on the stand.
3) What goals would you like to achieve for your company in the future?:
One of my goals is to see a BDD Nixie clock in a London Gallery or retail outlet! I have been working steadily over the last 3 years to bring the company to a position where I can exhibit, my other goals would be to be able to continue to do so.
About 100% Design
4) Why did you choose to exhibit at 100% Design?:
100% Design is just the right environment where I feel I can let the clocks loose to the industry! The perfect mix of visitors and trade and also the ‘Emerging Brands’ section is just where I am at the moment.
About the industry
5) A recent ‘Dezeen’ Article has highlighted the fact that the vast majority of designers are under 40 - Do you feel that design lacks maturity?:
No, not at all. With the advent of social media and the internet, it is very easy for someone at a young age with a talent to get seen and noticed. If the individual has the ability and the ideas – that should be encouraged. The hard part is their ability to enter the industry and get accepted. The Industry seems to favour established designers, which is sometimes a bit of a brick wall for the younger designer.
6) In contemporary society an online presence is key in order to grow your design firm – How do you utilize the internet to increase your customer base?:
I find the internet and social media have worked very well for me. My work produces some very visually interesting items, which get shared and viewed on line many times, simply because it is something that the majority have not seen before. I work hard at social media, but find what I get back reflects the effort put in. I find Twitter more responsive for my work, in terms of openings and opportunities, and Facebook better for interaction with people.
About the individual
7) What made you want to become a designer?:
I think I have always been a designer at heart, I have a creative streak and always made things. It is only in later life that I’ve had the opportunity to run with it, once children have grown up, and managed to put the foundations in place to allow me to pursue a career path as a Designer.
8) Establishing networks is important for an emerging design firm – How did you go about growing yours?:
I would say social media is very important to my business, along with reputation and word of mouth. This is my first trade show for Bad Dog Designs, I have existed in the online world for a long time, and I’ve decided now is the time to show what we do in the real world face to face! I’m hoping that I will make more contacts and get the idea of a Nixie clock to many more people.