Each year as we publish our Directory & Source Guide, there is an accompanying feeling of closure in knowing this is the last issue in our annual cycle. Typically, once the issue is in print, we're on to the new year and looking at what's on the horizon. This 2007 Directory & Source Guide, however, is different than anything we've published in the past, and I find myself brimming with anticipation as to how it will be received among you, our readers, and how you will use the Directory in the coming year.
The changes we've made to the Directory are numerous, and they begin with the cover. Unlike any previous issue we've published, the cover for this Directory features snapshots of various products that you will find in the issue and in the marketplace. But these aren't just any products that grace this month's cover. They are a small sampling of the 80 products our editorial staff selected this year for our first ever Editors' Choice Product Picks.
We solicited hundreds of manufacturers to submit their latest and greatest products for inclusion in this special section. Based on a number of criteria, including life-cycle, maintenance, environmental footprint and aesthetics, to name a few, our editorial staff hand-selected these products from among the hundreds of submissions we received and they are featured in full-color spreads throughout the front portion of this issue.
Another new feature to this year's Directory is a quick reference Product Matrix following each of the Editors' Choice product categories. These tables will help you easily match suppliers with their various product offerings. For example, if you are looking for the latest in flooring products, go to the Flooring Matrix and find the specific type of flooring you are interested in across the top of the page—then follow the column down to find all the vendors who offer the product in question. Once you have identified one or more manufacturers you are interested in, you can find their company contact information in the Who's Who in Interior Design Suppliers section.
The impetus for all these changes began earlier this year with a survey we conducted of our readers. We asked what you wanted most from I&S, and overwhelmingly, new product information and trends came out at the top of everyone's list. This issue is the result of our findings, and we hope you find it as valuable and user-friendly as we designed it to be.
What hasn't changed is the fact that you will find thousands of leading suppliers of design industry products and services in this Directory. We've organized them both alphabetically and by the product or service offering in order to eliminate the hassles and dead-ends that can accompany the process of finding new suppliers.Also unchanged from last year's Directory is our listing of Green Products. In keeping with the spirit of sustainability and conservation, rather than printing a separate directory for green products, we've made the identification process easier by including suppliers of green products within the pages of this directory—easily identifiable by the *G* next to their name. Whether searching by product category, vendor name or within a Product Matrix, the *G* is an indicator that the manufacturer is a proponent of sustainable design and related products.
As 2007 approaches, the outlook for the commercial design industry is very healthy. According to the American Institute of Architects, sustained demand for nonresidential projects should continue to offset the lagging housing market's effect on the overall economy, and future growth in construction activity will come primarily from the commercial/industrial and institutional markets. We hope your firm enjoys tremendous success in the coming year, and that as your need for new product information and design inspiration emerges, Interiors & Sources will be the first place you turn.