Designer making an exhibition of himself

Peter Dixon and Leon Howe (right) mark the launch of Octalok thanks to help from The Business Factory. Picture by Michelle Mercer.
Peter Dixon and Leon Howe (right) mark the launch of Octalok thanks to help from The Business Factory. Picture by Michelle Mercer.
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A graphic designer is making an exhibition of himself thanks to help from a business group.

Peter Dixon, who has designed exhibitions on behalf of clients for more than 25 years, was asked to create a WWI exhibition for a local group, but faced a tight budget.

He considered alternative solutions to traditional display panels, devising the Octalock which slots between and connects two or more boards.

Peter discovered that there was nothing similar on the market, approaching The Business Factory’s Ideas to Market team to get help on his design, which is now patent pending.

Peter said: “Creating exhibition stands can be so cost prohibitive, often pretty temporary structures costs firms thousands of pounds. Octalock removes the need for expensive frames making displays far more accessible.

“Working to a tight budget I had spent a great deal of time researching the market to see what cost effective solutions were available and was surprised to discover what little was available.

“When I created the simple cardboard prototype, I began to think that there may be a business idea but didn’t really know where to start.”

He added: “I met Leon at The Business Factory who helped me to consider how the product could be manufactured and what materials could be used to maximise impact but keep production costs low.

“The team also helped me to develop a patent application and I now have a patent pending on the design and use which will prevent others from producing anything similar for the same use.”

The exhibition has run for six weeks at North Shields Library, been moved to Sage Gateshead for an event and is now on show at North Tyneside Council’s Cobalt headquarters, proving the durability of the system.

Coun Frank Lott, cabinet member with responsibility for business support, added: “We are committed to supporting and encouraging enterprise across the borough and recognise that no two businesses are the same and each new business requires individual support.

“It is important that we can help start-ups to tackle difficult issues such as patent law and intellectual property to ensure that the foundations of their business are rock solid from the outset.”