You can call us crazy hippies if you want to, but here at designdough, we believe in the power of hand-building and curating your creative space, and allowing it to evolve with your team. Inspirations and trends constantly change and so staying ahead of the game and current in the creative industries takes some real doing. One of the best ways we’ve found of doing this is using our studio as a real-life representation of not only our brand, but also our personal style and design aspirations. Constantly being surrounded by stunning interior choices and thoughtfully selected décor makes striving for the best for our clients’ brands all the more easy.
GreeneryWe love having plants within our studio to add some natural inspiration to the mix. Succulents and palms do well indoors and through their production of oxygen and absorption of carbon dioxide, provide multiple health benefits as well as feelings of wellbeing. Just don’t forget to water them – Alice is our resident plant-mama and makes sure they are all regularly fed and watered!
VignettesWe’re aware that this could sound like THE MOST pretentious thing we’ve ever said, but let us introduce you to the ‘vignette’. No, it’s not just an instagram editing tool and it doesn’t just apply to photography – a vignette is a small but visually pleasing collection of items that tells a story. A fantastic tool for visually representing a brand. For example, vignettes in our studio are formed from our favourite design books, functional vintage objects such as fans and lamps, and the odd uber kitsch souvenir from the team’s travels around the globe. These small gatherings of objects subconsciously give our current and prospective clients who visit our studio an insight into our team and brand personalities.
StorageWe’re sure you’ve heard the term ‘a tidy desk = a tidy mind’ and we couldn’t agree with this statement more…although we do struggle with it sometimes, usually as the week creeps on and our to-do lists build, it’s so easy to find yourself sat next to a mountain of paper work or clutter. We aim to completely clear our desks at the end of the day to ensure that we start back in the morning with fresh minds. This is also the same for the studio space in general – piles of papers, cardboard boxes, corporate file folders and ring binders aren’t the most inspiring things to look at, so we always aim to clear our working space of these things to ensure that our sight lines are always met with something beautiful or thought-provoking. Storing these items behind doors or in attractive paper or fabric boxes, can really lift the mood in a creative space and allow new ideas and creative thinking to prosper.
LightingWe’re fortunate enough to be housed in Mount Stuart House, which boasts large sash windows and a generous amount of natural light that lends itself perfectly to a creative studio. However, we still battle against glare from the archetypal fluorescent strip lights on our ceilings, so have tried to combat this by installing our own warm overhead lighting and hanging Edison bulbs. Combined with the natural light from the windows, even on a gloomy day, the glow from the bulbs softens the harsh fluorescence and lends to a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s also not uncommon for us to turn all the lights off when it turns dark, bar our Edison bulbs, to cozify our after hours working.
Old and NewSome may argue that design nowadays is recycled and regurgitated, and to a certain degree we agree; it’s hard to be original when ‘everything has been done before’. This is why we surround ourselves with a mixture of old and new design examples to mix and interplay with one another in order to tell new stories and create new outcomes.
Internal Signage and MessagingLet’s be honest, writing on walls is fun, and as long as they’re your walls to write on, it’s also very legal. So we like to do it. Lots. Our boardroom wall is plastered with our brand values and ethos as a constant reminder, and our mission and vision are dotted around the studio because, let’s face it, how often are you really going to get your brand strategy and guidelines out for a refresh on what the hell you’re doing and why? If you do that everyday, then you’re better people than us, so we like to be a bit more obvious with it. Vinyl, paint, prints, projection, mural walls or chalkboards, whatever medium you choose, make sure you surround yourself with your message everyday.
ZoningIt’s so easy for your desk to become your one-stop-shop for everything you do at work; beyond using our macs, we’ve been known to eat, drink, draw, read, cut and stick, and even floss our teeth…this is why it’s become more and more important for us to set zones in our studio for drawing, inspiration, reading and eating so that our computers aren’t the be all and end all of our creative process. Breaks are important, and the key to inspiring new ideas and thinking is to be able to step out of your ‘work bubble’ and into a new environment that positively promotes a specific action.
With all of that in mind, we’ve got some changes to be making to our space, so stay tuned to see what we’ve got up our sleeves…