Looking for office space design ideas? Have you ever considered branding your work environment? While it may be a new concept to some, branding your office space allows you to create an experience for your clients and your employees. It can also improve productivity and as well as overall morale.
Branding extends beyond just your logo and your website. It’s a visual representation of who you are, what you do, and how you solve your client’s problems. It’s the feeling that people get when they interact with you or with your brand. The best way to describe it? It’s the entire experience that someone has with your company.
Meet Laura Wallace, the CEO & Creative Director of Worx & Co. She’s a branding and mindset coach for creative businesswomen ready to take their power back and expand their business. Her company offers numerous design and marketing services for clients, including one that we found unique – office branding.
Take a look below at our interview with Laura as she reveals some of her favorite branding projects, where she goes for inspiration, and why you should consider branding your office space.
Why is branding space or office something that companies should be doing?
Businesses invest a lot of time and money to create a brand, develop a marketing strategy, run ads, and promote their services. But an area that’s often overlooked is where you’re actually performing the services that you’re advertising.
Branding a space, whether it’s an office building, retail space, restaurant, brewery, or event, is a huge opportunity to create an experience not only for your customers but also for your staff.
I like to think of a branded environment like a 360-degree experience, the last piece to create a whole…
The goal here is to create a seamless experience so that when your customer sets foot in your office, it feels like the website they were just on, which felt like the social media they were researching, which felt like the phone conversation they had with your receptionist. Every interaction they have with your brand should look, sound, and feel the same. This creates loyalty, trust, increases revenue, and creates a higher rate of return.
From an internal standpoint, a branded environment creates unification. Core values, internal sayings, and imagery that represents who the company is and what everyone is working towards – it creates a sense of belonging and pride. A great looking and functioning space increases workflow, morale, efficiency, and lowers turnover. People want to work in a space that they feel great in!
Whether it’s a one-room office or a warehouse, there are enormous opportunities to create a branded environment.
When you start on a new project for designing an office space, where do you start? Walk us through the process.
Creating a branded environment requires a lot of communication. We are often an addition to the design team for larger projects, including architects, interior designers, and construction managers. As the brand partner, we’re able to oversee the visual elements ensuring that the space reflects the brand that we’ve built.
Our first step is to talk. Dream. Think. If there were no limits, what would you do? In this phase, we’re not worried about the HOW. We’re thinking about the WHAT IF??
From there, we conduct a three-dimensional walkthrough, which allows us to gather measurements and mockup the designs on the walls for our clients to see. This is a really important step because it takes what’s in our head and shows it to the client in real-time.
The design process is where the magic happens. By this point, we’ve already discussed wants, needs, necessities, and directional/functionality needs. Once the design is approved, we gather quotes from our production partners and source the materials, ensure paint swatches match, and test any materials that may need to be tested.
Last but not least… install day! This is where it all comes to life, and it’s often hard to see the difference between the original mockup to the finished product.
The timeframe is always a big question, and the answer to that is it depends on the size of the space and type of materials needed. But on average, we like to allow 10-14 weeks for a typical environment design and install.
Where do you go for inspiration?
Where everyone else goes… Pinterest, lol. However, I’m a sucker for architecture and interior design, so every store, restaurant, or event space we go to, I’m always absorbing the physical experience. A great space feels effortless – from the flow of the room to the smallest details in the checkout line – there’s always a chance to enhance the brand experience.
What type of budget is reasonable for a client to set aside for something like this?
I wish I could give a straight answer to this… but it really depends on a few things:
- Size of space – how many square feet are we working with?
- Coverage – how much of the space is being branded?
- Material – what materials are we working with?
Branding a space can be done in multiple phases, and I always recommend starting out with the essentials. These could be things like logo placement, room labeling, directional signage, and guest experience signage.
If a company is working with a limited budget, what areas can they get the most bang for their buck?
Paint and vinyl can take you a long way. I’m always amazed at how a few coats of paint in branded colors and some vinyl stickers on the wall can transform a space – and it’s incredibly cost-effective. If we’re talking about furniture, places like IKEA and Wayfair have modern and functional furniture that doesn’t break the bank.
Are there any big no-no’s when it comes to office design?
To begin an office design project, you’ll need an established brand. If there isn’t a designated look, feel, color palette, font, and graphic elements already decided, it will be very challenging, and often disjointed, to create a total brand experience.
I also recommend keeping functionality in mind. Just because something looks pretty doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to perform the best for you, your team, or your customers. Stay hyper-focused on the brand experience and choose materials to align with that.
I imagine that not having a cluttered desk is probably step one of having an attractive office space. Do you have favorite go-to items that help with organization?
You can ask anyone that’s ever worked with me – an organized desk is a must. Organization boosts productivity and reduces stress – not to mention it just looks and feels a whole lot better. I’m a huge fan of Poppin. They have a series of organizational office supplies that come in solid colors – 12 to be exact – that are clean, modern, and extremely functional.
All of the desks in our space use the white and teal accessories. Having each desk set up the same using the same organizing tools keeps the office uniform and functional.
What are your favorite brands to shop with for office decor?
I’m always on the hunt for amazing office décor, but I have a few go-to’s when I need to add to or spruce up the office:
- IKEA – my go-to for desks and organizational cabinets. They’re inexpensive, clean, and mostly easy to put together
- Wayfair – this is where I get all of my accent pieces. It’s a great place to find things like colored bar stools, plant décor, wall hangings, and unique accent furniture.
- Target – great for textiles – throw pillows, blankets, curtains, etc.
- At Home – I can’t be trusted here. Ha! This store has the most amazing “filler” pieces – plants, frames, vases, textiles, and seasonal items. While it’s not an office-specific store, it has great accent pieces and a huge selection across the board.
What is your favorite office space branding project you’ve done?
I think every new project becomes my new favorite! We just finished a brewery in Maryland that really embodies a truly branded experience. This is a success story about friends who started a brewery together and built out their first space together. Their customer base has grown, and the need to increase their production sparked the conversation to expand the taproom as well as the production area.
This is a really multi-faceted area. In the images, you’ll see a full wall wrap behind the bar, dimensional lettering, vinyl, and paint. There are several areas where vinyl was applied to cinderblock, transforming the entire feel of the space. My personal favorite in this installation is the large CUSHWA logo wall – we painted the blocking matte black and built a structure on top of it to create a pattern using a high gloss black paint. This gave it a monochromatic contrast that is so subtle, yet so intriguing. Our team partnered with AP Corp for the production and install, and the end product is absolutely stunning.
What are some small things that people can do to spruce up their home office space?
We’re living in a time where home office life is more prominent than ever. The most important thing about working from home is creating a space that’s not only functional but inspiring.
First, start with creating a flow – look at the placement of your computer compared to the physical paperwork you may need to access regularly. If you make it easy to use, you’ll use it.
Second, clear the clutter – keep home, home, and keep work with work. In other words, no toys on the desk and no work files on the couch. Having a clearly defined work area helps to train your brain that it’s time to focus.
Lastly – have fun with it. You may not always have complete control of your workspace in a physical location, but at home, it’s yours. Get a funky office chair with a bold print. Hang up some photos of your family. Add a lamp for ambient lighting or late night sessions. For home office décor, you can find some amazing, low-cost items at places like At Home, Target, Home Goods, and TJ Maxx.
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Follow Laura Wallace + The Gutsy Podcast Online at:
- Website: lauraaura.com
- Podcast: thegutsypodcast.com
- Facebook: @thatlauraaura
- Instagram: @thatlauraaura
- Twitter: @thatlauraaura
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com