A Visual Display of Creative Thinking and Collaboration

A Visual Display of Creative Thinking and Collaboration

A Visual Display of Creative Thinking and Collaboration 1440 428 Chute Gerdeman


Passion, Purpose, and Partnership. Three pillars staunchly rooted at the core of Chute Gerdeman’s (CG) mission, driving and encouraging a culture of growth, knowledge, and creativity. For two employees, that mission helped inspire a new kind of collaboration. With an emphasis on Partnership, Carmen Buffalini, Architectural Designer, and Dylan Rea, Marketing Coordinator, used their expansive knowledge within the design industry to inspire creativity, activate designer interest, collaborate with partners, and excite visitors in a way unparalleled by other agencies today.

What began as an office-merchandising initiative, soon grew into a dynamic showcase of portfolio and capability. These designs inevitably launched a portal of creative communication between designers and vendors; with a keen perspective on every aspect of retail. As a company, we work to find the appropriate partners to match our core values. When the decision was made to collaborate with different vendors and create flexible, seasonally-focused displays, our goal was to devise curated moments with the right vendor, emphasizing a specific message.


Because the retail and restaurant design industries are constantly evolving, uncovering new, innovative ways to integrate what’s fresh, what’s trending, and what’s sustainable into the designs we create is paramount. With an eye on everything cutting-edge, Carmen helps to form and facilitate a number of vendor relationships. Her palpable interest in illustrating a variety of capabilities, services, and materials to her fellow Chuties acts as a catalyst to the compelling and award-winning concepts that are presented to every client.

At Chute, the designers begin every engagement with one question: What if? This process was no different. What if we could elevate our vendor-to-agency relationship into a more engaging presentation of what happens when creative thinking and new-aged capabilities come together? What if a space, integrated with its own set of limitations, could act as the challenge for every vendor with whom we planned to partner with? What if the displays changed seasonally to help present a new idea, a new vendor, and present vendor’s product or services in a way that goes beyond storefront and window display?

The first round of ideation began in October, granting enough time to seek out vendors, run an industry audit of successful displays, and delineate seasons to match. With 2019 right around the corner, there was no better time to display “Another Year of Big Ideas” with the first compelling industry vendor, Christine Taylor Collection (CTC).

CTC specializes in creative services, visual merchandising, and packaging for a number of high-profile clients such as Burberry, Tori Burch, Starbucks, Amazon, and Tiffany & Co. With a focus on brand-right aesthetic and foresight of the implementation needed to execute, Robert Grimmett, Senior Business Development professional, not only acted as the experienced liaison between CTC and CG, but also worked diligently to help translate the vision into a reality in four short weeks.


After a design charrette and discussion of CTC’s capabilities, their vision was ready for execution. We worked to design a display that built awareness, inspiration, and engagement for the months to come. In a space with no electrical access, constrained vestibule area, an inability to secure visual elements to the wall or ceiling, and a season built on resolutions and excitement, the CTC and CG feature had its own set of challenges to overcome.


A foundation of support, communication, and teamwork acted as the cornerstone to the work that followed. Utilizing CTC’s set of capabilities from custom molded balloons to metalwork, glass and acrylic fabrication, dimensional signage fabrication, 3D paper elements, and printed carpet helped to substantiate our design into a physical embodiment of creative thinking.

Because CTC is part of the Bunzl conglomerate, with offices and factories in 29 countries, our concept had the opportunity to become a reality. Their ability to manage and define what we wanted helped bridge the gap between ideation and installation. One-of-a-kind letters covered in glitter project “Another Year of Big Ideas,” which greet employees and guests from the moment the elevator doors open. The sign can be removed, showcasing a black metal frame open to configuration. To the right is a glass pedestal covered by printed wrap, allowing for flexible change out. Below are 3D paper fans specially curated in place to adhere as close to the initial rendering as possible. The stage, however, is the glitter printed carpet which acts a nice balance to the molded balloons. The allocation of outsourcing each element from Christine Taylor Asia to Chicago, Virginia, Canada, and Dallas created a global effort to constructing a unique collaboration between these two major companies.

Upon arrival, each piece had been tested and repackaged to make sure the fixture adhered as closely to the initial design as possible. As the team began unboxing each fixture element, a sense of quality and ease presented itself. The materials CTC used ensured the end product had an appropriate amount of flexibility and strength for upcoming future pursuits. The result, an energetic portrayal of teamwork; the custom display is more than just a hoo-rah to the new year and every idea to follow. Instead, it’s the beginning of featured collaborations for Chute Gerdeman, interested vendors, and industry enthusiasts to be excited about.

Interested in collaborating for our next display?

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501 West Schrock Rd, Suite 201
Westerville, Ohio 43081

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