STUDIO VISIT | CERNO

Cerno Founders Nick Sheridan, Dan Wacholder, and Bret Englander, 2015

Cerno Founders Nick Sheridan, Dan Wacholder, and Bret Englander, 2015

LED Lighting Design and Manufacturing, Irvine, CA

"Cerno is a family, friendship and homage to our pasts. Twenty-five years ago we were kids growing up in Laguna Beach, California. Our Values are inevitably a product of our heritage. Laguna Beach’s creative culture and its natural environment played a significant role in shaping the professional and aesthetic ideals that guide Cerno today."

Q: It seems like the three founders of Cerno have done a really great job of dividing and conquering the various parts of owning, operating and scaling a design business.  How does this compare to how things were when you started the company? 

A: At the beginning each of us were wearing a lot of hats and we were all spending a lot of long hours in the shop and office. Today the dynamic between the 3 of us has not changed much, however we try to focus more in our areas of expertise, rather than throwing everything we have at the next deadline. 

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Q: Cerno has a very distinct design and material language.Was this something that was ever discussed specifically or has it evolved more organically over time? 

A: I think that our aesthetic definitely has evolved; to continue innovating you must be willing to evolve. As the company matures, we are maturing too and I think that Nick’s latest designs that we introduced at ICFF are his best yet.  

"Cerno means to resolve in latin, and we believe that our vertically integrated process allows us to make sure everything is fully resolved."

Q: The facility that Cerno operates out of in Irvine appears to be totally vertically integrated. What made you decide to set things up this way?

A: There are so many reasons why it’s extremely important for us to design and manufacture all of our products under one roof. It promotes a cohesive design and production process where you remove most of the opportunities for products to deviate from the designer’s original vision. Cerno means to resolve in latin and we believe that our vertically integrated process allows us to make sure everything is fully resolved. It’s also real special to have the designer and architect developing all the product in parallel and in constant communication. 


Q: Your business was founded around an early adoption of LED technology. Now, as LED’s are becoming much more widely accepted are there any new technologies that Cerno is looking towards in the future? 

A: Yeah, when we started the LED industry was very much the Wild West. Today it is more civilized with less unknowns. We are always paying attention to the latest and greatest new technologies, but for now we are going to stick with LEDs. 

Q: What are your plans at Cerno for the upcoming year and what are you most excited about? 

A: We are really excited to get all the new product out in the marketplace and start on the next generation that we will launch next spring. 

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