Submit Designs to Manufacturers (B&B Italia)

I am a furniture designer and I am trying to get a few of my designs produced by various manufacturers.

  1. Does anyone have any experience with the process to follow?
  2. How important is it to get your designs copyrighted or patented before you send them to reputable manufacturers?
  • To clarify, when I say manufacturer I am referring to a furniture company such as B&B Italia that will use their own factory.

here we don’t worry about that.when i bring my cad documents to them, they will give me a lot of suggestions referring to manufactering issue.and i will learn a lot.
They produce that product for nobody except you,with no doubt.That’s a factory’s basic ethics.
Contact me if you are interested in produce your amazing produce in large scale(and by low cost).
zhou3xin(@) .by the way,here’s China.

Welcome to Core
we’ve all heard the stories of someone in your position being told “no thanks, we have something very similar already in development”.
So yes, you need to protect your intellectual property. Good patents are expensive to create, and defend. If you don’t have the rescources to hire lawyers be very carefull who you show to…

I’ll suggest a path that we use with success. Worrying about intellectual property at this stage of the game will most likely hamstring your efforts. The amount of time and resources it takes someone or a company to rip you off is incredible.

As the Chinese fellow pointed out, manufactures are everywhere and eager to quote and help you out.

Not seeing your designs I’ll only assume they are baller. I can’t tell if you think getting B&B involved will bring you mass distribution or a job? I can say with 99% certainty that the designers with B&B didn’t get there by submitting their designs. They all were approached or approached B&B after a bunch of time in the saddle.

Louis CK just said in an interview with NPR fresh air that part of the reason he went direct to his audience with his new stand up was that he NEVER sees a dime from the producers of his specials. Louis CK didn’t own the customers yet he was producing the content. Crazy right?! Everyone knows CK, why does he need Comedy Central?! He doesn’t anymore with the web. You should be going directly to your customers, interacting with them and building a business for them. The feedback loop with businesses online is amazing now.

So unless you have a good reason to want to own less and work the same I would suggest taking control of your process. That means coming up with the designs, contacting manufactures, making samples, arranging production, lining up distributors or setting up sales channels.

If your worried about raising capital for the first production run or the samples I’d suggest hitting the pavement now or putting up a wordpress site with a buy now button with your concepts. Pre-selling your products online is a great way to gauge your audience before you invest heavily. Find a business partner if all you want is to focus on design. Do free design work for a customer you’d like to acquire - maybe they will recognize your talent and help to get you off the ground.

Good luck!

Thanks for all the responses, they were very helpful.