Office spaces have come a long way since the days of gray cubicles and breaks by the water cooler. The importance of office design to employee productivity and happiness is now widely embraced long running corporations, tech giants, and small businesses alike.
But beyond ergonomics, office design is also a significant opportunity for branding. Not only does a well designed office space convey a brand’s professionalism, but it is also a powerful way to reinforce a company’s goals and identity.
Of course, incorporating branding into an inspiring office design scheme takes more thought than simply plastering the walls with your company logo and colors. A well designed and expertly branded workspace strikes a balance between company imagery, aesthetics, sensory engagement, and functionality. Here are some suggestions for how to achieve this:
Buy what you’re selling
The most iconic brands of our time definitely didn’t achieve that status simply by looking good. At the end of the day, a great brand is one that lives its professed values with unwavering commitment.
Brand integrity takes place on a range of organizational levels, and your office space is certainly one of them. Designing your values into your workplace is a powerful way to demonstrate your company’s adherence to its principles.
Does your business aim to promote openness in discussion and the flow of information? Then perhaps frosted glass meeting rooms and an open floor plan would encourage collaboration and workplace transparency.
Is environmental sustainability central to your mission? Then your office should undoubtedly be outfitted for energy efficiency and incorporate recycled materials into its design.
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Your story through murals
Since ancient history, when presented with a vast blank canvas, humans have used murals as an enduring means of storytelling. From elaborate paintings in cathedrals to modern graffiti, murals not only fill empty space with beautiful artwork but are also a way to illustrate identity.
It’s no surprise then that murals are supremely popular in office designs. For one thing, office murals are super functional. They don’t block traffic, outlets, or light, and they don’t take up space where people could otherwise be. But more than that, they give you a ton of room to artfully depict your brand narrative. Wall murals are so versatile that many of the biggest technology brands of our time commission artists to paint murals in their company offices.
Does your company have deep roots in a certain locality? A cityscape can be a great tribute to your hometown.
Is your brand built upon the ideas of its founder or a historical figure? Typographic quotes can reinforce your company mission.
Is innovation what defines your brand? Illustrate your bold vision of the future by showcasing a painted mural.
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Your logo shapes in prominent places
Your company logo is the single most important piece of imagery for your brand, but that doesn’t mean it should appear everywhere in your office design. Use of the logo in too many places in your office interior is not only overkill, but it can weaken the effect of your brand.
A subtle way to achieve visual unity is to break your logo into its most basic geometric shapes and incorporate those into your office space. Polygons are super versatile in architecture and design. Work them into textile patterns for furniture or carpeting, or use the as surface areas for walls and desks.
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Display your work like art
Your products and services are the heart and soul of your brand, so why not let them speak for it? Displaying a series of prints that showcase your work will simultaneously brand your office space and celebrate your achievements.
If your company sells consumer goods, then hanging a selection of product photos or design blue prints is a great decorative branding solution. Consulting firms and non-profits can showcase their work through photographs of projects in which they’ve been involved.
But not every company’s product or services translate well to photographs. Health professions, for example, may not be the most photogenic when it comes to the day-to-day realities of the practice. But with some creativity, prints can still be used for branding and decoration. A chiropractic office, for example, could display artistic anatomical drawings for a similar effect.
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About the Author
Joe Robison is the Marketing Director of Coastal Creative, a reprographics company in San Diego, CA, where he and his team work on all sorts of projects from vehicle wraps, to wall murals, to canvas photo printing. You can read his thoughts about SEO and Digital Marketing on his blog.