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Wide-format Graphics: Digitally printed office decor

Photos courtesy Motive Media

By Holly Douglass
There are countless studies that suggest the atmosphere in an office greatly affects the productivity of its workers. One component of creating a positive atmosphere is how the space looks. Many people say they would prefer to work in offices with tasteful and engaging design and decor. This presents an immense opportunity for graphics companies, which can work with their existing and new corporate clients to transform office spaces in visually appealing ways.

Contributing to workplace culture
The thought process for this type of graphics project needs to begin by considering how a given space might be made more appealing without becoming too distracting for its occupants. This requires a balancing act between infusing some style while still appeasing everyone who works in the space.

‘Workplace culture’ is now widely recognized as being just as important as more traditional aspects of business, such as customer service. Happy employees tend to perform more effectively and exhibit a better attitude. Further, as the ‘personality’ of an organization, workplace culture helps attract good employees in the first place and retain them longer.

While workplace culture is largely defined by a company’s leadership, values and management practices, it is also informed by the physical appearance of the working environment. Digitally printed graphics and cut letters are a cost-efficient way to transform this appearance with a range of colour, depth and imagery options. Whether the company’s focus is adding light and colour to a drab space or branding an area with logos and inspiring quotes, graphic films are an effective way to make it happen.

Motive Media, a large-format graphics provider, recently moved from Mississauga, Ont., to a much larger facility in nearby Bolton, Ont. As the first tenant in a new building, the company was able to really make its mark with respect to interior design for the space.

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At the beginning, all of the walls were painted a simple white. Next, the team designed the entire look and feel of the space. Finally, the concepts were brought to life by printing and installing graphic films on a broad variety of surfaces. This allowed the space to attain a fresh look at a very economical price point.

Graphic films can bring light and colour to an otherwise drab office space.

Decorating surfaces
Any surface, after all, can be wrapped with graphics, as long as the right material is being used. For sign and graphics companies planning to alter other organizations’ spaces, it is important to meet with those clients and first determine what they are trying to accomplish from a practical standpoint. In some cases, for example, colourful graphics are added to glass walls for the purpose of increasing privacy. Then the salesperson and graphic designer can walk through the space and make recommendations that both (a) keep the needs of the client in mind and (b) are based on the layout of cubicles, walls and other architectural features of the space.

The following are a few simple examples of how an office space can be decorated with wide-
format graphics:

Walls
Walls may be the most obvious place to start. They are certainly among the easiest.

White walls can quickly be updated by printing and adhering graphic panels or even just die-cut lettering. Beyond commercial-style imagery, a favourite go-to is a brick print, which can provide the illusion of an exposed brick wall. That said, most clients are not seeking realism so much as inspiration.

Canvas artwork
Another way to add imagery and texture to a wall is canvas artwork. Many wide-format inkjet presses have the ability to print onto fabric-like materials, including canvas. And it is inexpensive to buy a frame and stretch the resulting graphic over it as in-house service.

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Some companies will implement this type of application featuring their logo in their lobby, but there are also other possibilities to display digitally printed art throughout their offices.

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