By Michael Walsh

From hand-washing to face-touching and toilet roll shortages to hand-sanitizer stock pilling, we’ve all been more focused than ever on keeping spaces clean and controlling infection.

At Uniform, hygiene is a subject we’ve thought about quite a lot recently as we’ve helped Ideal Standard launch several products and technologies which boost the levels of hygiene in homes and public spaces.

These innovations, often invisible to the eye, are the latest in a longline of examples of Ideal Standard’s ability to combine design and technology to improve customer experience - and now more crucial than ever - ensure their health. It was, afterall, Ideal Standard who first gave the world the concept of the modern bathroom, through their pioneering work with architect and designer Achille Castiglioni. Today you’ll be hard pushed to find a public washroom across Europe which doesn’t feature a product from their portfolio.

The first of these campaigns was driven by this idea of invisible technology, as we explored the ‘hidden brilliance’ offered by the pioneering ceramic disk cartridge. Talking to an audience of specificers and installers across Europe, the campaign celebrated the 50th anniversary of the ceramic disk cartridges creation in 1969 and told the story of how this tiny piece of tech is the catalyst behind single lever tap, a product now synonymous in homes and hospitals around the world.

The latest version of the cartridge, FirmaFlow, has an even slimmer design and is made with materials that are longer-lasting, resulting in a harder-wearing range of fittings with an improved aesthetic. We brought this idea to life by showcasing the inner beauty of the product through CG renders - and through a playful comparison with the 1969 moon-landing, positioned the invention of the cartridge as a world-changing event.

Continuing to target specifiers and installers, we also worked with Ideal Standard to launch Sphero; a groundbreaking range of smart urinals designed in collaboration with the award-winning Studio Levien. A renewed focus on hygiene and water saving, the partnership gave the urinal a complete overhaul to introduce a radical new form and intelligent smart sensor.

To support this, the campaign focused on the design thinking behind the innovative product; Sphero is crafted from experience, engineered for efficiency, and shaped to stand out. Ultimately, it has intelligence built in.

The art direction ensured the products positioning as a premium, smart offer whilst the language across the campaign was direct and focused on the products key benefits of improving hygiene and saving water for audiences throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Much of this thinking was brought to the forefront in October as Ideal Standard UK hosted Washroom Week at their London Design Center. Bringing together architects and designers to discuss pertinent issues around  commercial washroom design, Washroom Week also featured the launch of a new white paper, authored in partnership with DR SAUL M GOLDEN, ULSTER UNIVERSITY.

The event coincided with Washroom Architecture, a campaign which invited architects and specifiers to look at the Armitage Shanks product portfolio from a fresh perspective.
Positioning the brand as specification partners, the campaign speaks the languages of architects with relevant messaging that demonstrates the brand understands the challenges the face, whilst the art direction looks to inspire them by celebrating the form, style and harmony of the products.

2021 will also see the launch of Intellimix, a product which will revolutionise what consumers expect from basin mixers. Totally touchless, Intellimix provides soap and water from the same unit, optimising water-saving and again, improving hygiene.


Given that 58% of UK and US consumers are washing their hands more frequently than before the pandemic (source: GlobalWebIndex) the touchless washroom is something we can expect to see more of as Covid accelerates societies demand for clean across the board.

We’re proud to partner with Ideal Standard and help them communicate how they lead the way in using design, craft and engineering to pioneer life-changing (and in some cases, life-saving) technology. It turns out, there is more to taps and toilets than you might think.

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