Digital Product Libraries = The Way of the Future according to Rex Rogosch

Episode #211 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Are physical product libraries dying out? Are they even necessary? Are digital product libraries becoming the way of the future? Rex Rogosch—Darla Powell Interiors’ very own Creative Director—shares where he thinks the space is moving. If you need some tips and tricks to start building your own digital product library, don’t miss this episode of Wingnut Social! 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [2:00] How to maximize video on Facebook
  • [9:50] Rex Rogosch is back on the podcast!
  • [11:48] Building a product library digitally
  • [15:15] Is it more important for some designers?
  • [17:04] How do you get inspired?
  • [18:33] Your projects are your library
  • [19:47] Trade shows + markets
  • [27:10] How to organize your library
  • [32:22] The What Up Wingnut Round!
  • [35:39] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Rex Rogosch

Resources & People Mentioned

Physical product libraries are dying out

When Rex worked commercially or in large firms, they had hundreds of square feet dedicated to product libraries. They were always working to keep the space up-to-date, clean, and organized. Rex would use the library for inspiration and direction or to make last-minute sample switches. But most of his work was already online ordering new samples. 

How do you work as a designer? How do you find inspiration? You have to find your own comfort zone. Are you comfortable moving into a digital platform? Or do you have to feel and touch everything? Rex grew up sourcing digitally and he’s comfortable with digital catalogs.

If you want or need a physical library, make it more about your favorite things and what inspires you. Personalize it with your go-to items and then use digital sample libraries and material banks. Hold on to the samples until the project is done and then offload them. 

Now, instead of relying on a product library, Rex gets inspiration from talking to the clients and seeing their inspiration photos. Do they have blue in every picture? Limestone in every photo? He takes those notes and builds upon them. Someone else may have images or photos you’ve never seen or interacted with. 

How to organize a digital—or physical—library

Rex notes that your digital library lives in each project that you have saved. He doesn’t necessarily recommend archiving photos because you’ll end up with another library. If Rex ever has to refer to a product, he can go pull it from a project. With a quick google search, finding stuff digitally is pretty quick. 

If you still want a physical library, it needs to stay organized. How large is the library? Can you have specific sections for tile, glass, fabrics, etc? Then you subset it from there. For example, Rex organizes fabric first by vendor. Then he organizes by color. Why? Because a color scheme is one of the first things designers know after a consultation. 

Sometimes designers get complacent with the vendors that they work with. Suddenly all of your designs look the same. Organizing by color instead of vendor is one way to vary who you work with.

Expert Tip: If you have a good rep, they will come update your library and clear out outdated products. They don’t want to do it, but they will to get back in front of their customers. 

For more of the conversation around digital libraries, listen to the whole episode! It’s packed with useful strategies and tips. 

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