When it comes to commercial spaces, branding and graphics is a polarising topic. Some clients love it; they’re on board with maximum interior brand activation, and integration of graphic elements in the design, while other clients prefer a softer approach. Whatever your stance, it’s important to get the right fit.
Morphos has been involved in the commercial fit-out industry for over 14 years, and in this time we’ve seen an increasing emphasis on interior graphics and branding. The overall design aesthetic and expectations of commercial spaces has changed significantly too, and continues to do so. To better understand how branding and graphics should be incorporated into your space, we’ve put together some key guidelines. It’s our role, after all, to make your space the perfect fit for your business.
The use of graphics in our fit-out for CBSi helped evoke a sense of playfulness, and the use of company colours in furniture & décor carried that same feeling throughout the space.
Make an impression – client facing areas
One of the most important areas in the workplace to get the graphics and branding right is the point of arrival; your front of house, or reception area. Usually utilising the company logo, this is your opportunity to introduce your brand and tell your visitors a little bit about who you are. The size of your logo, the style in which it’s applied and how the textures and finishes work together contribute to this. A custom neon sign, for example, hints at a more casual start-up/entrepreneurial style business, whereas a solid, traditional logo brings associative feelings of permanence and stability.
A simple contrast of colours works well to separate common areas from work stations, and the bright yellow floor tiles are used to accentuate the path through the space – Morphos fit-out for Leapfrog Investments
Take a look at larger businesses. Graphics and branding are an integral element in the thought process behind the design of the space. Their use goes beyond the aesthetic, and plays a role in wayfinding. Wayfinding is the process of defining path and place as it applies to three-dimensional spaces. UTS recently adopted a system of creative signposts with interactive maps across the campus. This unique method of wayfinding allows students to interact with their environment, and helps in establishing direction within the space, through colour and design. On a smaller scale, graphics help tell a person, yes, you have arrived where you intended to go (i.e., corporate signage), a necessary tool for connecting people to place.
Clever design on display. Our designers used the ARITA company logo to inspire this stunning feature screen and carried the geometric design across all the glass frosting in the office
Whether it’s a collaborative zone or a quiet room, the use of graphics can indicate to your team the purpose for that space, often utilising elements of the company’s branding. Collaborative zones may incorporate company colours and more strongly. Bold, bright and intense colours cue people using the space that this is an area for interaction, a bit more noise, maybe even a passionate debate. Contrastingly, quiet zones may have a softer interpretation of the company’s branding. Acoustic treatments such as wall panelling serve dual purposes of insulating the space from sound transference but also extend the business’ presence, creating an opportunity for privacy while following along with any graphic theme. Meeting areas which serve dual roles of internal meetings or client-facing meetings may incorporate graphics which suggest company values. A potential employee gets a feel for the company culture in these areas, so it’s important to create the impression you want. On a basic level, graphics that differentiate between meeting rooms, either by name or graphic film treatment, help streamline the logistics of a space.
Our fit-out for Simon + Schuster involved a plethora of graphical design elements, tying together the playful nature of the business. This graffiti-styled wall worked to explicitly promote the company values.
Establish company culture
It’s no surprise that a positive company culture is a vital to a successful business. The use of visual aids to reinforce these values, and build a sense of community within the workplace, can lie in the detail of graphics and branding throughout the space. The integration of company colours, placed strategically throughout the space is the first level of branding often found in an office. The design of the space, with communal areas that allow employees to interact with one another aids this, giving opportunity to develop a stronger sense of community within the workplace. Branding also works to establish a company culture through defining the space. Clever design maintains consistency while creating spaces that feel unique. This is the case with many multi-site companies, where the design needs to connect spaces across the world. Through integration of company branding, colour palettes and styling, each office maintains a connection to one another, while at the same time these elements can be used differently to make each space feel unique.
The use of branding and graphics in the design of a space has become a vital aspect of the workplace design process. With the increasing importance of brand and office culture, we are seeing a growing number of clients looking to enhance their office space by utilising strong graphic elements, and adopting company branding in as many ways as they can.
Are you interested in seeing how YOUR workplace can make better use of graphics and branding opportunities? Get in touch with the Morphos team to find out!