Category Archives: Design

The Significance of Colour

When we are approached by a client to ask for help in making their workspace more productive, what often comes way down on the list are the colours required – and yet colour and professional branding are intrinsically, and importantly, linked.

It is estimated that up to 90% of initial judgments made about a product can be based on colour alone. Colour influences how consumers view the ‘personality’ of a brand, and the relationship between brand and colour hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the colour being the right ‘fit’ for the particular brand.

Far from being an “oh, and what colour should we have?” add on at the end of any discussion about an office refurbishment, ensuring you have the right colour to reflect your brand and your company culture is a vital aspect of commercial property design.

The Significance of Colour for Commercial Design

RED: Linked with the emotions of desire red is associated with danger, passion, excitement and energy. Being a bold, energetic and lively colour symbolising strength, confidence and power, it needs to be used carefully. Too much red can bring about feelings of anger and frustration, so a splash here and there would be wiser than four bright red walls.

ORANGE: Not the first colour most people would think of, and a divisive option given that most people either hate it or love it. If your brand is a more traditional, serious type then orange is probably not best suited to your needs but being associated with fun and vibrancy it is great for youthful, energetic brands. (See our blog post about the Orange Offices).

YELLOW: The colour of sunshine and smiles, yellow is seen as the optimistic, cheerful, and playful colour. Associated with practical thinking and creating new inspiration, yellow can play a useful part in motivating staff. On the flip side, yellow can cause anxiety, agitation and confrontation particularly in people who are already stressed and therefore needs to be treated in a similar way to red. (See our blog post on Yellow Offices.)

BLUE: The colour most linked to the professions, blue is not unsurprisingly the favourite choice for companies wanting to convey reliability, trustworthiness and communication combined with expressing authority and solid professionalism. With a vast range in hues from the palest light blue through to solid dark, blue can be used to convey calm and tranquillity through to corporate and dependable.

GREEN: In a similar vein to orange, green can be a polarising colour in terms of its associated meanings. Green is often linked with nature and the environment, but also with finance and wealth. The trick here is to choose your shade of green wisely; the brighter, lighter greens indicate growth, vitality and renewal, whereas the darker, richer greens represent prestige, wealth and abundance.

PINK: Who would work in a pink office? We posed this question ourselves back in May 2017 and the responses we got were overridingly positive (see our blog post about Pink Offices). Stereotypically associated with all things feminine, pink is also linked with youthfulness and fun. It has the advantage of working very well with a wide range of other colours, so you can combine it with your blue office for example to reduce the overall effect of austerity.

If you are looking for a new fit out for your offices or commercial property, make sure that you think about the colour scheme as well – if you are limited by what you can change, there are always the options of adding colour through office furniture, partitions and other workplace accessories. If 90% of people make an instant decision on who you are as a company by the colour scheme you have chosen, then the significance of colour in commercial design is huge.

The ABC of Design | Pt 4

As August draws to a close so we visit our final section of the ABC of commercial interiors. Needless to say, we were a little worried about addressing the X, Y and Z but we've managed it! Yes, 20six different aspects of commercial interior design all the way from A through to Z.

Week Four - S to Z

S: S is for Sustainability: We've mentioned how important green office design is, and there are more companies taking sustainability into account either with new planning and design or with revamping current office set-ups. It makes sense for environmental reasons, for employee's health and wellbeing, and for long-term financial benefits. (Find out more about making your work space more sustainable )

T: T is for Trends: From treadmill desks to standing desks, from open plan offices to contemplative pods, from slides, running tracks, Yoga rooms and more, there is always something claiming to be the latest trend in office design. Quiet apart from the physical trends, we are pleased to see that more employers are recognising the need to base their commercial interiors around the needs of their staff.

U: U is for Unique: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to commercial interiors. Your business is unique, your branding, your corporate colours, your culture, and therefore all of your work place designs need to be as unique as you. Having your office fit-out match your company branding gives clients a coherent, understandable message about who you are and what you do.

V: V is for Vision: It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your office interiors – same old desks, same old chairs, same old people. Sometimes you need someone who can step outside of your world and provide you with the necessary vision to create a truly inspirational working space.

W: W is for Windows: Being diurnal creatures, we all need daylight. Several studies have concluded that especially in northern countries in winter, a lot of people don’t get enough Vitamin D, the best source of which comes from sunlight. Natural light is also linked to enhanced productivity for your staff. Whilst natural light is beneficial, windows can have the downside of allowing too much sunlight into an office so design needs to include the option of screening bright lights.

X: X is for Xerox, and Xero: Tentative links we hear you cry! Believe us, we struggled with linking X to the office. Both our chosen X's symbolise everything else that needs to be taken into account when you are designing, furnishing, and fitting out your offices. The need to incorporate the technology and the everyday essential pieces of office equipment that will enable you to do your job.

Y: Y is for Yale (other security systems are also available): Security has to be included in any commercial interior plans, as your offices need to be secure. The rise in smart security options gives you the ability to have door entry systems, alarms, cameras, and more all managed by your smart phone enabling you to have piece of mind even when you're not physically in the office.

Z: Z is for Zenith! The zenith of office design is the time when your design is most successful for you, your staff, your company as a whole and your customers; and if you’ve followed our blogs and implemented all of our advice then your office Zenith hath occurred.

The A B C Of Design | Pt 3

Racing through the summer, we're already on part three of our intrepid adventure to get through the ABC of commercial interiors. As August slips through our hands, we've moved forward to the letters M through to R:

Week Three - M to R

M: M is for Modular: Here at 20six we specialise in supplying a wide range of business sectors with office furniture that fits their exact requirements. Modular pieces have several advantages, including improving the flexibility of your office space, decreasing the overall cost of office furniture pieces, and providing additional space whilst increasing productivity.

N: N is for Noise: Have you ever received a call from someone who is obviously in a large room full of other people also making telephone calls? It's difficult enough as the end user not to be distracted by all of the other noise in the background, but imagine trying to work in that environment? Even in large, open plan offices there are solutions that can be implemented such as insulation and panelling.

O: O is for Open Plan: There has long been talk in the design world that the open plan office has had its day, backed up by scientific studies telling us that it "kills productivity". From what we're hearing, design gurus Apple have gone against the grain and the new Apple Park has a large open floor plan with long tables for programmers, engineers, and other employees to work at. The result? Apple staff are saying that they may well quit rather than have to work in an open plan office. Perhaps this heralds the demise of the open plan space....

P: P is for Productivity. There is such a thing as the "science of the workplace" and it has come about to ensure that all aspects of work place design produce a satisfactory result for all involved within the business. One of the key aspects is that office design plays an integral part in workers productivity. Far from just being an aesthetic nicety, or a budget capped exercise, getting your office environment right for all who use it will help to increase your businesses profits by making your workforce more productive.

Q: Q is for Quiet. Amongst the recent studies carried out in both the US and the UK, employees have unanimously said that they need quite areas in which to retreat to improve their working days. In one such study, more than half of employees cited poor office acoustic design as reducing their satisfaction at work. And another found that the second most important aspect of office design that employees craved were private, quiet areas to work.

R: R is for Relocation: As your business grows and expands it may be time to think about relocating - here at 20six we've recently had to move offices ourselves. Our own company was bursting at the seams in our previous office space, and we needed more from our work space including separate meeting rooms and office furniture storage options. It's now over a year since we looked into the cost of office spaces across the UK, but this has to be one of the factors you take into consideration if you are considering relocating.

Coming next week, our final instalment! Office Design ideas from S to Z…..

The A B C Of Design | Pt 2

We're on week two of our personal challenge to cover 20six different aspects of commercial interior design and the office is buzzing with ideas. Moving on now to letters G through to L:

Week Two - G to L

G: G is for Growth, something all businesses hope to achieve. The only problem with being successful and growing your business is that you can outgrow your work space. This leaves you with the dilemma or whether to make better use of the space that you currently inhabit or face the upheaval of relocating. If you are thinking of moving offices it is well worth your while talking to a company who specialises in office relocations from the outset to make your transition as pain free as possible.

H: H is for Hive. We introduced you to this innovative and award-winning modular furniture system way back in March 2016 - and we still love it. This is a truly flexible piece of office furniture that adapts to your bespoke needs. Check out our previous blog post on Hive to see how it could solve a whole host of space issues in your office.

J: J is for Jaded a state a great many offices are in. Let's face it, for most business owners getting on with the work that generates the sales has to be your top priority and checking to see how your office looks is way down the check list. If you've neglected your working environment and it has become somewhat jaded it has repecussions beyond just the look. If you’re not happy letting clients see your office, your office design is letting you down.

K: K is for Kitchens. The office kitchen area is often a rather grim space full of semi-clean mugs, strange unidentified organisms thriving in the little fridge, and a sponge that could quite possible get up and walk off on its own. Larger organisations have recognised the importance of getting the office kitchen up to spec and making it a place we would want to spend time in, to mingle with fellow employees we may not come across in our usual working day, and to provide healthy, nutritional sustenance to increase employees health and wellbeing.

L: L is for Lighting. Getting the balance of light right in your offices has a considerable impact on your staff's health and productivity. In addition to the affect upon the well-being of your employees, your office lighting levels will have an impact upon the impression that your work space has to any visiting clients, and plays a contributory factor on your electricity bills. We dedicated a blog post to getting your office lighting levels spot on which will give you more information.

Coming next week: Office Design ideas from M to R…..