Guest blog: Five ways to infuse your branding into your building
By Blake Compton
Rustic and old-fashioned. Sleek and corporate. Timely and traditional. Contemporary and cutting-edge.
Every brand is a little different, no matter what words you use to describe them. That means no two office spaces should be exactly alike either. Whatever qualities and attributes define your company on paper should be echoed in the physical environment in which you work, too.
Want your building to reflect your branding? Follow these five tips:
Own who you are. Flexible layouts, community tables and mixed textures are some of the top office design trends emerging in 2016, according to Fast Company. But, that doesn't mean they work for every space. For example, community tables might make sense for a collaborative or creative company, but not necessarily an independent or individualized one.
Don't force your brand to align with current trends unless those trends underscore your ideals. Similarly, don't be different just for the sake of trying something new. Know the brand elements that define you-everything from your values and vision to your logo, font and colors-and find ways to incorporate them into your office space.
Add at least one custom detail. From accent walls, exposed brick or open ceilings to furniture, signage and wall décor, the options for customizing a space to your liking are endless. Even better, partner with a local maker or artist to turn an idea into a reality.
Align raw materials with your brand identity. Known for taking an innovative approach to a traditional problem or industry? Try balancing sleek metal with reclaimed wood. Want to underscore your commitment to supporting the community? Source materials from locally owned companies or craftsmen.
For instance, Hot Chicken Takeover wanted to incorporate reclaimed pallet wood, and metal into their space, but not in the traditional way other businesses have. The goal was to incorporate materials as they were found, and then customize it by adding branded details. The result was a unique look to pallet wood walls, almost reminding you of a chicken coop and metal detailed highlights as you would see on a farm.
Let there be light. The right lighting can make all the difference when it comes to setting a specific vibe or creating a certain ambiance in your office space.
When it comes to a lighting plan, incorporating a balance is key. At the Crimson Cup Innovation Lab, there's an apparent balance in its industrial-styled overhead lights with specific track lighting to shine on custom wall decals, and pendants with Edison bulbs to provide soft light over tables, bars and social areas. The balance provides the ability to turn lights on or off and achieve a quiet coffee house environment, or have the bright lights required in training environments.
Use your space to highlight what you do. Even the sequence, structure and flow of your office space can help communicate how your company approaches your work. For example, to showcase efficiency, organize your team in an environment that enables cohesive productivity.
Similarly, incorporate your work as part of the design aesthetic of your space. Display the special equipment or products that enable you to do your job, or feature the results you achieve as part of your décor.
Furniture, décor, lighting and organization are just a few of the ways companies can create physical spaces that bring their intangible brand attributes to life. No two businesses should be exactly the same, and neither should their offices.
Need inspiration to see what could showcase your brand's personality? Check out Columbus CEO's stash of Office Space features.
Blake Compton is the CEO of Compton Construction, a creative and collaborative design and build construction company focused on helping emerging businesses design and create environments that bring brand experiences to life.