This is an opinion piece by DGB
The door hardware sector is a battlefield right now. A battle which has been years in the making, thanks to the ever irritating problem of pitting. That universal problem for all installers and fabricators taking more than just the shine off a door purchase.
Speaking of which, this is my own door handle and letter plate:
The most recent entrant into the door hardware market is Brisant Secure, with their Sweet door hardware collection. Click here to check out their reliably slick website.
Sweet door hardware consist of a letter plate, door handles, door knocker, numerals, escutcheons and of course the LockLock door handle. The range of hardware is made in the same way as the LockLock door handle, which you may already know sailed past 8000 hours in the salt-spray booth, obliterating anything that went before it, and the standard 240 hour test.
It’s the double meaning of the name of the range itself however which seems to have got the marketing departments around the hardware community stepping up a gear. “Sweet” as a name is a nice way to describe a quality product offering. But it’s main meaning is a spin on “suite”, a clear advertisement of the matching nature of each product within the range.
It does beg the question, what is truly suited?
Many hardware companies out there advertise their products as suited, or matching, in some ways. When you look at the ranges, then yes, in some cases there are matching traits, but it tends only to be in colour. Chrome for example. A hardware company can have a range of door products that come in the same colour, which is useful to the installer. No doubting that.
But the problem for me comes when you look at the actual design of the individual products. A door handle won’t be designed with the same aesthetic characteristics as the letter plate or the door knocker. They might all come in the same colour, but the design of each individual product is very different. If we are going to talk about suited sets of hardware in it’s purest form, then this is not it. I don’t believe you can actually call it suited.
Colour cannot be the only defining factor when calling a range of products suited. For me, you also have to combine the design of each individual product, what they’re manufactured from and the way they are manufactured. If a range of door hardware is based around the single same design aesthetic, manufactured in the same way, and all available in the same colour, then I believe that to be the true definition of a suited range.
At the moment, the only range of door hardware that ticks the colour, design and manufacturing boxes all at the same time is Sweet. If you look at all their products, there is a clear, single design theme that runs throughout. I have samples of each in the office and the manufacturing methods are indeed the same. They have five colours to choose from, all the same, no matter what product you choose from the range. This for me is a truly suited range.
Semantics is a very big deal in modern society these days. You only need to look at social media and how over-analysed almost every aspect of daily life is. So from the perspective of manufacturers, going forward clarity has to be provided as to the level of suiting within their ranges. For example, if a company has a range of door hardware products, but it’s only the colour that is genuinely the same across the board, that could be marketed as colour-matched. It would be disingenuous to call it fully suited.
If there is a range of hardware out there that is all manufactured using the same methods, then that could quite easily be called match-manufactured.
But unless a range of door hardware products meets all those criteria, then I don’t see how it can be marketed as a fully suited set. At this moment in time, only Sweet from Brisant ticks those boxes.
Brisant are often at the forefront of door innovation. LockLock, Ultion and now Sweet. The first to operate an open and honest pricing policy according to currency fluctuations. It’s also worth noting that within the Sweet range, there is a two star handle in LockLock which also matches the rest of the products within the range across all three suited stipulations. I’m not aware of any other offering withing the door hardware market right now. As is often the case, when one business breaks the mould, the rest follow. So I fully expect that in the coming years we will see more hardware manufacturers bringing to market ranges that are genuinely suited.
The benefits to the installer are strong. No worries about having to colour match if their fabricator currently sources door parts from different suppliers. The ability for an installer to be able to tell a home owner that their door handles, letter plate, numerals, door knocker etc will all look the same and be made in the same way. Which home owner would say no to that?
What are your thoughts? Does colour constitute a fully suited hardware set? Should the physical design of the products be the main deciding factor? All thoughts and feedback welcome via the comments section below.
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