Play with Color, Connect with Place

Nexus Designs, a Melbourne-based design studio, clinched a prestigious Design 2024 Gold Award for their exceptional work on the “Natralis™ Product Launch” for Armstrong Flooring Australia. For the project, Nexus Designs embarked on a creative journey that redefined vinyl flooring for the Australian architectural and design market. Their story explores their innovative approach, resulting in a 22-color Natralis™ range inspired by Australia’s natural beauty. The mantra “Play with Color, Connect with Place” encapsulates their ability to balance functionality and aesthetics while celebrating Australian manufacturing and design.

By: Sally Evans

Innovating and investing in local production since the 1960s, Armstrong Flooring is Australia’s only manufacturer of commercial vinyl sheet flooring. When Nexus Designs was approached for the launch of its Natralis™ range, the brief was to explore opportunities for repositioning Armstrong Flooring to the local Australian architectural and design market.

Vinyl flooring is primarily used for commercial applications with stringent regulatory needs such as health care and education; specification is therefore often based entirely on function. The challenge with launching Natralis was to maintain the integrity of the product while exploring new creative expressions in these spaces; at once respecting function while showcasing vinyl flooring in a fresh light.

Prior to the conceptual design for the campaign collateral Nexus Designs consulted on the development of the Natralis™ range itself. A product color palette inspired by the diversity of Australia’s flora, fauna, and natural landscapes was created and Nexus Designs advised on range breadth, color families, and product naming, all with the Australian specifier market in mind.

The result was a cohesive and beautiful range of 22 colors, captured in a campaign titled Play with Colour, Connect with Place, that explored four deconstructed interior spaces, each evoking color, place, and emotion. Swathes of vinyl in dialogue with commercial furniture and building products created visually expressive scenes that were accurate to industry specifications and spoke to the unique needs and natural environment of the local industry.

The imagery is distinct in its visual storytelling, embodying Australian color and connection to landscape while expressing the forms of interior spaces, whether a lively educational experience or a calming aged care atmosphere.

Rolled out across printed collateral, sample packs, and digital assets using as much locally made content as possible, from furniture suppliers to paper stocks, the Natralis™ product launch showcases Australian manufacturing, creativity, design, and production.

This concept of authenticity is at the heart of the Natralis™ storytelling—staying true to function and values while not forgoing beauty and the wonder of the imagination.

Nexus Designs is a Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary design studio. Established for over 50 years, Nexus Designs delivers enduring and authentic designs through an integrated service offering spanning product development, color and trend analysis, interior design, graphic design, and communications.

From transformational luxury interior design projects to identifying gaps and solutions in the building and product market, Nexus Designs has developed an expansive portfolio of clients across an array of sectors including commercial, building product manufacturing, residential, government, and education.

BlueScope steel COLORBOND®, CSR Limited, PGH Bricks, Armstrong Flooring, Haymes Paint, and OmniDecor are among the company’s stable of long-term product design and visual communications clients, a testament to its proactive approach to achieving value-adding design solutions, while also addressing innovation, impact, and responsibility through the design journey.

With a new era of growth and leadership well underway, and clients throughout Australia, Asia, the US, and Europe, Nexus Designs continues to transcend categories and convention to elevate product design, visual communications, and interiors and influence the lives and homes of contemporary Australia.

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Author: Graphis