From Pixels to Paint: Creating SMG’s Co-Working Space


Creating and implementing a digital brand presence is hard enough. But when you get the task to bring to life said brand within a physical space, you really have to start thinking outside the box.

That is precisely what our experts in our Communication & Engagement, and Strategy & Branding team had to do – and did! Together with Büro4 – a Zurich-based corporate design agency -, we figured out ways to showcase the essence of SMG in our new co-working space.

Welcome to the Brand

As our co-working space spans across several – almost identical – floors we took a thoughful approach to ensure that our brand spirit was felt and orientation was made simple. We started by giving each floor its own narrative, to ensure that our brand’s spirit was recognisable while maintaining authenticity.

  • The 13th floor is a Digital Hub, resonating with futuristic elements.
  • The pioneering realm of online marketplaces is on the 14th floor.
  • The 15th floor, affectionately known as the domain of « Explorers », was born during  the merger era.
  • The 16th floor acts as our welcome desk and communal areas with high ceilings and open spaces to allow for light, air and the possibility of organising larger events.

Amidst the cookie-cutter design of the building, differentiation was scarce. The generic layout made it challenging to navigate, with floors and rooms appearing nearly identical. This is why visual differentiation was paramount, with colors like Sky, Lime, and Peach assigned to distinct floors. These hues harmonize across floor numbers, desk tags, meeting room signs, and wayfinding iconography.

Delight is in the Details

Venturing into the world of signage, we quickly realized that this seemingly simple aspect was intricate and multifaceted. And honestly, that deserves a separate article. The labyrinthine questions of where to position which signs presented a complex challenge. One that necessitated the expertise of Büro4 to navigate. As the office space unfolded, the need for precision became paramount. We meticulously determined sign placement, requiring a discerning eye and strategic insight.

Signs seamlessly integrated with our brand guidelines turned every corner, transforming doors, meeting rooms, and common areas into storytelling canvases. To accomplish this, our in-house designer adroitly adapted icons, ensuring cohesiveness and relevance. In the building’s heart, elevator numbers precisely placed highlight the importance of detail, even in minor features, at the core. What’s more, the flow of iconography continued beyond the doors and rooms, finding residence on drawers, kitchen cabinets, and walls around the office space. The language of icons took precedence, ensuring that everyone could effortlessly comprehend the location of every essential nook.

Precision and functionality went hand in hand when it came to desk labeling. Each desk has a distinctive number accompanied by a QR code, streamlining our registration system. However, these seemingly utilitarian elements bear a lively touch – each label was colored in the vibrant hue of the respective floor, harmonizing practicality with aesthetics. In essence, our office space became a symphony of iconographic communication, where every element played its part in weaving a narrative that transcended language barriers.

And not to be overlooked, the captivating « Welcome Walls » painted in these shades serve as a true “welcome to the brand” upon stepping into the various floor spaces.

Welcome Walls

The Welcome Walls are a relatively small area to bring across the concept of the whole floor, whilst also staying in line with the brand guidelines. 

Each floor’s essence in our co-working space is uniquely articulated through inventive design elements. On the Pioneer floor, meeting room names inspire illustrated portraits by our in-house graphic designer. Meanwhile, the Digital floor unveils a tapestry composed of recycled technical gadgets and wires, arranged around a pixel-screen showing the SMG logo. The realm of Explorers welcomes you with an array of artifacts an adventurer might treasure. They were collected from secondhand shops and donations, all unified with the wooden SMG logo.

Campaign walls decorated with old and new campaign posters hang in communal spaces. This is an ode to the journey that brought us here. In essence, these branded spaces harmonize the digital with the tangible, while underscoring the creativity and vision that SMG embodies.

These are all larger areas within the space that catch your eye as soon as you step into the offices. However, it’s attention to detail that really brings together the space and evokes a feeling of cohesiveness.

From Screen to Seen

In conclusion, transforming our digital brand into a physical co-working space required a significant shift in mindset. With the help of Büro4, we combined creativity and precision to capture SMG’s essence.

Upon entering, each floor reflects its unique purpose through distinctive flooring and vibrant Welcome Walls that embody our brand’s spirit. The attention to these details has created a harmonious and inviting environment that amplifies SMG’s essence throughout the space.

Derniers articles

It seems we can't find what you're looking for.

Photos de la Direction avec et sans couleur de fond en fichier ZIP

Logo à télécharger dans toutes les versions