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Can environmental graphics trigger pride and motivation amongst staff in the workplace?

Marc Jenkins

Marc Jenkins is head of graphic design for the London studio and has had a design and creative career that spans over thirty years. Passionate about the built environment, he leads the wayfinding and graphic design team and finds the intersection between architecture and graphic design a natural fit for his design interests. Contact him at marc.jenkins@bdp.com

We are living in a time when companies like Airbnb and Google are led by creatives, and not just business and management graduates. Businesses are paying to attract and retain employees who are smart, imaginative and creative. All well and good, but once this talent is employed, how do you keep the creative juices flowing and help employees feel more connected to their company’s culture? Beyond wellness programmes, catered food & beverage, and other benefits, companies are creating enriching experiences with employees as soon as they physically step into the workplace through—¬amongst other things—environmental graphics.

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Yes, environmental graphics are one way to make a good workplace great, by introducing inspiration, meaning and purpose into the workspace. To be successful, designs must be specific, often telling a unique story about what makes a business tick. Design concepts often have underlying themes usually derived from mission or value statements and location. And it's this last theme that we have explored for our client, PwC.

While wanting the graphics to enrich the interior spaces, the client was also keen to promote a sense of place in each of their UK offices. To this end we employed illustration, typography, and a vivid colour palette to create bold, yet playful graphics. These came together to reveal a less formal and relaxed side to the company. They have been most successful and have created Instagram moments for employees to share their stories.

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Jason Adams, PwC design manager, notes, “The purpose of PwC’s environmental graphics programme is to create a welcoming atmosphere for clients and inspire employees about their location.” Environmental graphics really can trigger pride and motivation amongst staff. And as Jason says, "Indirectly it can lead to higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and greater staff retention."

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Environmental graphics are a way to engage employees on a level that can be easy to overlook. Done well however, they can inform and inspire employees about their company’s values and culture within the workplace environment.