Choosing the best theme for your space is not a clear-cut decision. It should and will include multiple variables and variations from your starting point. Should you re-brand entirely, or update/refresh your existing look? Should you move towards an industrial or contemporary theme? Minimalist or tech? Neutral or organic? Should you mix different styles or keep the feel consistent? How much branding is “too much” in the office? With so many options and ideas to consider, the process can definitely feel overwhelming. There is, however, the right answer for your company, and arriving at it involves taking an in-depth look at your company values, history, and growth.
What Do You Value?
Understanding your company’s values is the best place to start when determining what your theme should be. Your theme is the first impression, telling prospective employees and clients what your industry is, who your target audience is, and what you provide to your end user. You can also look into how to match your mission statement to design concepts. If your company values innovation, go with a more futuristic design; if sustainability is more your style, put in a green wall. This is also when you decide how much of your logo and branding standards you wish to have present throughout your space. Working the lines or colors of your logo into your space is a great way to add continuity and make your space unique to you. Way-finding, glass inserts, and flooring features are all great ways to subtly have your logo present in your space, without having signage everywhere that screams “This is our Company!”
Roots Before Branches
Where you are going as a company is important, but it is also important to be proud of where you came from. Using aspects of your early days in your theme is a great way to show the longevity of your company; it also shows both staff and users that you have a history worth noting. Key pieces of information, quotes, photographs, or physical pieces of the past are great things to spread around your office and incorporate into your theme. If you have re-branded over the years or completely changed industries, carry some of that over! Show your company’s movement through time in your space, either literally or subtly in your design theme. Whether with accent pieces or by incorporating colors and materials into the overall theme, paying homage to your early days is a great way to stand out in your industry.
So, you know your core values as a company, you are able to track your progress from your early days and now it is time to look to the future! How will you expand your business? What will your users look like in the future? What will your employees look like? You will be hiring people of different generations, with different goals and dreams than your first few employees. Your end users will also change, potentially in demographics as well as industry. Prepare your business to accept a feasible amount of variation between then and now and keep your theme something that will age well; avoid fads that can’t be reworked easily as the design trends change and grow, use furniture that can be re-worked with growth or restructuring, and hold onto those core values that built the foundation of the corporate entity you are today.