The debate of ‘nature vs. nurture’- an argument regarding how much your environment influences you, and in the case of your profession, the extent of “where you work” effects “how you work”. I believe strongly in the latter – my attention span very much correlated to the vibrancy of my surroundings. Open plan, lots of light, comfortable seats and I am there. When it comes to a company’s headquarters the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover” fails to hold true, arguably a business ethos should transfer to its office walls, the magazines in reception and even its lifts (Engine‘s office carry out an annual lift decorating competition). No where is this more true than in communications, where my steps and interviews in the industry have taught me how much is to be learnt when you first enter those shiny glass doors. They say that an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’, I think his/her business is very much their kingdom.
As such, I love Chris Gray and LOVE‘s work for Umbro HQ back in 2009, where they injected some blank walls and cream carpets with a dash of football culture. Even more challengingly they managed to make this classy – not a mud splatter or XL football shirt in sight. Under the art direction of creative director Rory Sutherland, Umbro Manchester Headquarters looks fit for some pen and paper, and impressing to those lucky enough to be let through its gates.
My favourite thing? The sign on the toilets.