Hanging in our office, is a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright: “Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the ‘atmosphere’ of things they live in and with.”
This philosophy drives the corporate culture at Coyle Studios. Each employee has a unique sense of humor, style, motivation, etc. Our company is made up of our collective uniqueness and is reflected throughout the studio on our walls. When we work with corporate clients on custom framing projects, we ask them about their corporate culture and frequently take a tour of their space.
Because it’s easy to slap a 2” white mat and a thin black frame on a piece of art and say, “Done. Put a nail in the wall.” It’s harder to evaluate your art, your space, and your brand to come to a creative framing solution.
Think about last year’s #AMAMingle networking event at Planit. When you walk into Planit, there is no mistaking their corporate culture. On their walls, you’ll see their branded colors, quotes, funky art, and things that inspire them. It is a modern, open environment that makes you envision collaboration, innovation, and creativity. (They also have some of the coolest bathroom art we’ve seen in a while).
An office should reflect the company that inhabits it. If your space does not effectively convey you or your company to others, you can easily improve that by making a change in your art. Here are a few tips:
Think about your story and values.
Choose art that is meaningful and expresses your values. We had a client that wanted their walls to tell the history of their company. They were a non-profit that handled corneal tissue donations to help reverse corneal blindness, and they had albums of newspaper articles, donor photos, and letters throughout their 50+ years of business. The marketing team wanted the most compelling articles framed for their lobby, pictorial donor photos framed for their conference room, and recipient photos framed for their hallway. Their walls told their story in a way that words could not – you could see the impactful work they accomplished. Visitors were inspired to help. A floral canvas print from a box store would never have the same effect.
Embrace your accomplishments.
Diplomas, awards, articles about a company or employee – these are all strong additions to your walls. We’ve seen clients frame promotional items, successful campaigns, or group photos from an annual sales event. Framing an object with significance (i.e. a hammer, wooden spoon, gavel, stethoscope, presidential pen or conductor’s baton) will speak volumes. It is important to include employee and company achievements to not only impress clients, but to help employees feel valued and part of the team.
Can’t find what you want? Go custom.
Don’t settle for something because you feel you need to fill a space. One client wanted to surround himself with iconic images from the two places he’s lived – Maryland and Canada. He chose a few original Coyle fine art Maryland photographs and an aerial of Toronto to be framed for his office. Another client commissioned a local Baltimore artist to create a series of prints of one of their downtown locations to be framed for their corporate offices in Annapolis. If you want a piece of art that doesn’t exist, create it.
Be better than the black frame.
Most people choose a thin, black frame because they perceive it to be inexpensive and safe. While it is a safe option, it is not always the most cost effective option. There are so many cool frames out there for the same or even better price point as a black frame. We’ve seen clients embrace champagne, silver, weathered metal, color, and rustic wood frames for their corporate art because it works better in their space or accurately reflects their style. If you choose a black frame, choose it because it works – not because you’re afraid.
Think about alternative options.
Not everything needs to be framed. Yes, the framer is telling you this. One of our clients wanted to have original Baltimore fine art photos in their lobby, but they didn’t want it framed. They wanted 7’x3’ metal prints of the art, and the end result is phenomenal. Metal prints are a lightweight alternative framing solution that can work in even the most traditional office. If metal isn’t your thing, there are print options on wood, acrylic, and bamboo. We’ve worked on projects for clients who have loved these unique display options and enjoy having multiple choices.
Choosing art for an office doesn’t have to be hard or generic. Cultivating a brand is more than following a style guide in graphics or choosing the right photos for your social pages. Branding should extend to all of the spaces a company inhabits – physically and digitally. Take your offices to the next level, and surround yourself with pieces that inspire you and reflect your corporate culture.
Coyle Studios is a proud AMA Baltimore sponsor. To learn more about Coyle Studios, visit their website. Photo credit: Coyle Studios.