About Us - The Story of Absolute
Sam Sprague and Jonathan Blakeney, both honours graduates from two of the UK’s leading design schools, have followed independent and varied career paths in the design industry, frequently working on projects for Art institutions, until they met and worked together for the first time in 1991. Two years later, Absolute was born, a straightforward delivery in Jon’s back bedroom, where it stayed for another year whilst they worked on and developed the business and their own particular design ethos.
The call that started it all...
"We must have done something right as a telephone call from The Tate gallery led to a few early projects culminating in new designs and solutions for the hanging systems that now support every artwork on display in all four galleries. We are proud to say that one of these, the Ryman Hanger, named in honour of the Artist's work that was the first to be hung with it, now sits quietly behind thousands of artworks in a comprehensive list of small galleries and large institutions around the world, including the Royal Academy, the Getty and the Smithsonian.
Always innovating, but our approach remains consistent.
"Our first modest collection of products for museums and galleries was carefully drawn, printed at home and bound by hand to produce the very first catalogue. The initial inspiration for our approach to products for the Absolute brand was drawn from a small Swiss watch catalogue...clean, precise and informative...pretty much at the heart of what has driven our thinking both then and now."
Sam and Jon's passion for design and the belief that form does indeed follow function, is a key element in developing those simple solutions to the numerous challenges in the process of displaying art. The approach is at times counter intuitive..."we work hard to make beautiful products that you don’t see!" That statement is at the heart of their work; the belief that the artwork needs to be the hero of the setting, and all other elements regarded as potential distraction, is the key goal that informs their design philosophy.
Absolute today and into the future.
The journey from that first back bedroom to the multi-national company and modern production and storage facilities of today, has been a delight, rich with opportunities to work with a broad range of clients from national institutions and palaces, to the smallest corner gallery and coffee house, each with something to contribute that has helped develop and shape today’s growing collection.
To all of you, from all of us at Absolute - thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you in the future!
Sam and Jon
Founders and Owners, Absolute Product