To Brand Or Not To Brand? That Is The Question!10-02-2021
To brand or not to brand an office space is a question that pops up in nearly all initial design meetings. If you decide to brand, how much is too much? Is there enough to make it effective? What products can I brand?
Luckily, the Design team at Office Profile know a thing or two about designing office spaces, and want to share their thoughts on this common conundrum…
In a nutshell, the ‘brand’ of a company comes down to the identity or personality a company applies to their products or service. This represents how people know the business and how they perceive the reputation of your company. When used correctly, branding can work well within office design but there are different factors to consider when deciding how much, or little, to brand a workplace.
1.Branding your office can provide a sense of inclusion and belief in a company and their values.
If you are a larger company, it can be difficult to encourage staff inclusion in a bigger office space. This is where branding like business signage and wall murals can be effective in not only keeping a cohesive design but reminding staff of the company’s values. For example, at Colosseum Dental, colourful manifestations were incorporated into the design to represent the company’s brand values surrounding dentistry.
2. Brand/Industry based design can be accentuated in furnishings, carpets, walls, and fixtures.
Another way to brand an office space is to accentuate corporate colours or industry values through furnishings, carpets, and walls. Identifying key colours from a logo to feature within the office design adds continuity through an office space and is a subtle way of branding a space.
For our project with AAR, the client wanted to accentuate their industry of aviation within their design theme. As you enter the office, the reception has a stunning moss feature wall, logo manifestation on the wall and a smart sofa in the company’s corporate colour scheme. The rest of the office accentuates the industry design through creative design features. For example, our team created a ‘runway’ corridor, by a clever use of flooring in different shades of grey and the meeting rooms are fitted with plane wing-shaped light fittings which are a subtle nod to the overall design scheme.
3. A branded office looks professional if your office is client-facing.
If your office has frequent client meetings, reception signage is a good idea to incorporate within your office design because it provides clear brand identity as a person enters the office. Sometimes accent branding in your reception area is enough for an office, especially if your office is small or your branding is bold. At Specac, a statement reception wall was fitted to provide an eye-catching entrance for both staff and clients and created a distinction between the reception and the rest of the office.
Not To Brand
This is not to say to not brand an office at all, but you can risk overbranding an office space if you decide that every room and feature must include the company logo or corporate colours.
1.Stick to a selective non-branded colour palette.
You can achieve an inviting office space by expanding from your corporate colour palette. This gives your office design more scope for a creative look whilst still looking professional. A popular trend in office design are colourful meeting booths as they steer away from a corporate look and encourage collaboration.
2. You want your office to reflect yours and your staff’s personal needs.
You can still deliver an efficient workspace design through furniture and decoration that does not have to be branded. Some departments, like Sales or Marketing, might prefer to be surrounded with company branding, however the Accounts department might prefer a neutral area for concentration. Having different colours for different zones considers how you want your staff to feel in the space. For our project with Spirent, the office was branded to emulate a luxurious club lounge with a focus on texture and opulence, particularly in the kitchen and lounge areas.
3. Leave the kitchen/breakout zone as a neutral space.
When staff are on their break, they want their environment to reflect this. It can be a good idea to distinguish spaces like the kitchen area and make it a neutral space. It helps staff mentally switch off from their work and encourage them to take a break from their desk, resulting in better productivity.
Bit of both?
Our project with MetDesk is a perfect example of a balanced office space as it includes a mix of both branded and non-branded elements. Their client-driven front-end of the office encapsulates their corporate logo on a bold blue wall and we designed a custom carpet to mirror their colourful logo. Their colours are further accentuated in seat furnishings, cushions, and wallpaper for an overall stunning impact. A unique weather forecast map wall graphic is in the boardroom and cloud effect wallpaper and frosted weather map glass partitioning continues throughout the workspace.
However, MetDesk’s teapoint/breakout area has a completely different look-and-feel. The unbranded teapoint reflects the heritage of the building as it accentuates the old bar features. This gives staff a place to escape to and encourages them away from their desks for their lunchbreak. This is particularly important as it is a 24hr running office. The space is still vibrant and functional despite not being branded making it an effective breakout area.
Overall, the main consideration when designing your office space is your business’s core values and how you want your brand to be perceived. Balance is key when designing spaces so do not think your office has to be branded everywhere to give your office an identity. Equally, if branding your office is important then make sure you are portraying the right identity for you.
At Office Profile, we are experts at office design, office fit-out and office refurbishment and can optimise your workspace through creative and efficient designs. We utilise a combination of colours and materials as we want to ensure our clients are delighted with the result.
Need help designing your office space? Speak to our team today!