Color, Culture & Branding in Workplace Design

In a roundup of 2017 workplace trends, Forbes indicates millennials tend to leave after two years at an organization. As millennials – and soon Gen Z – workers become a larger percentage of today’s workforce, organizations now have a greater need to create better employee experiences that incentivize younger workers to stay. Office design is certainly part of this equation: in this month’s news aggregate, we explore the ways in which color, culture and branding are influencing modern workplace design.


From innovative tech startups to large corporations, the role of color is making a splash in office design. Interior Design rounds up 7 amazing tech offices, including Autodesk’s bright yellow, inviting interiors and CloudDC’s cohesive and streamlined blue and white color scheme. Office Snapshots shows how Coca Cola’s Toronto HQ incorporates bright pops of red throughout the office to reflect the organization’s branding. Even the new Children’s Hospital of Michigan was designed with color in mind to promote playfulness and foster an “intentional experience” for families and guests of the space.

Incorporating green spaces and nature-themed elements offers another color-related trend: Outdoor Magazine discusses why adding greenery and plants to office design can help workers feel rejuvenated and connected to the outdoors. The influence of a workplace color scheme should not be overlooked when it comes to worker wellbeing. Newswire suggests involving employees with workspace-related decisions—including the color of the environment—can lead to higher engagement and productivity.


The workplace as a thoughtful reflection of company branding can enhance worker ties to the office and foster a cohesive sense of place identity for employees.

On Office Magazine discusses the ways in which Airbnb mixes local culture with the brand’s ethos to bring its “Belong Anywhere” mentality to its diverse offices around the world. Work Design Magazine shows how travel agency Liberty Travel stays relevant in an era of online booking by designing an office that unites and reflects the company’s vision, brand and values.

Progressive organizations are also incorporating employees in the design process of these new brand-specific workplaces. Gensler OnWork discusses how companies are integrating participatory art in their spaces to foster creative expression among employees, evoke the spirit of the brand and encourage workers to become more invested in their workspace by involving them in the design process.


As employers seek to express their unique ethos, workplace design is becoming an increasingly important way of communicating organizational culture – which can be key in attracting talent and fostering a meaningful environment for current employees.

Metropolis Magazine explores how one office uses a staircase to promote social interaction and provide an informal space for casual meetings, while GenslerOnWork discusses the deepening ties between tech companies and their local communities. Adobe, for example, partnered with a local artist to create their “A” emblem out of locally-sourced fruit crates at their San Jose HQ.

The question “How might you design delight into your work?” may not be often considered in office design, but the modern workplace is changing that status quo. The question embodies a new pursuit of creating spaces that employees actually look forward to spending time in through thoughtful application of color, branding and culture.

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