WHY COMPANIES ARE EMBRACING ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHICS

Does your home consist of plain white walls devoid of decoration? Chances are, as soon as you moved into your it, you went to work choosing paint colors, artwork and other design elements that reflect your personal style. Maybe you hung posters or prints with motivational quotes to directly influence your outlook each day. Whatever decor you chose, you’re probably aware of the impact your personal environment has on you and your guests.

Bike room wall graphics on cinder block

While we tend to pay careful attention to the environment we create in our homes, we may fail to give the same attention to our workplaces, despite the fact that we spend almost just as many, if not more, waking hours there. Employees do often decorate their desks, but what about shared spaces like lounges, hallways, stairwells, conference rooms and more?

A study by Cass Business School found that 64 percent of male respondents and 73 percent of female respondents agreed that their working day is affected by the design of their workplace. Younger workers, millennials in particular, are even more passionate about their work environment than previous generations. The fact is, companies do all of their employees and themselves a great service when they pay attention to visually enhancing their spaces, not just in terms of traditional decor but

also through well-intentioned graphic design.

WHAT ARE ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHICS?

This is where environmental graphics come in. Environmental graphics go by several names. They’re sometimes called supergraphics, experiential graphic design or shortened to EGD for environmental graphic design. Whatever you call it, environmental graphics are displays that enhance the environment where they appear. They can take the form of signage, banners, wall murals, elevator wraps, window graphics and more and can appear on doors, windows, walls, floors or ceilings. They can be flat, such as floor graphics, or three-dimensional, such as acrylic graphics. Whatever form they take, environmental graphics have some important benefits.

EGD is a rising trend in the corporate world. It started primarily with cutting-edge technology companies, but today, companies of all kinds are embracing the trend. Far from a passing fad, this movement has resulted from an increased understanding of the significant impact the aesthetic aspect of environments has on people. Let’s look at seven important reasons to add environmental graphics to your business.

1. PROVIDE NAVIGATIONAL SIGNAGE FOR WAYFINDING

One way environmental graphics are used that you might be more familiar with is in wayfinding signage. Navigational signs can be found out in public, around the outside of buildings and inside buildings. They help to indicate location.

Imagine you’re at an airport trying to figure out where your gate is. You’ll likely see signs on the walls, hanging from the ceilings and maybe even on the floors indicating which direction you need to go and sometimes how far. Once you get there, you should see a sign indicating that you’ve arrived and can finally plop down into a chair and await boarding. You may even see a sign letting you know that there’s a charging station across the aisle.

Though your office building may not be as big as an airport, you still probably have some signage to help with wayfinding. For instance, you may have signs that indicate a direction to the bathrooms, elevators, stairs and exits. These signs could be simple, framed pieces of paper with black text, but environmental graphic design can bring them to life.

Imagine stepping out of an elevator and seeing a large, colorful number three directly in front of you on the wall. Maybe the number is composed of company photos or words that describe the valuable work done on the third floor. A sign like this is eye-catching, and it allows you to immediately feel a sense of place.

2. EDUCATE EMPLOYEES ABOUT COMPANY HISTORY

While wayfinding fulfills an immediate practical need, environmental graphics don’t stop there. Another one of the reasons to add environmental graphics to your business is to help inform your employees of your company’s rich history. Whether your company is 150 or five years old, you have a story to tell, and it can be told in a visually stimulating way through environmental graphics.

One way to tell a tale is through a timeline. Graphic timelines give a chronological history of your company by marking major milestones through text and often images too. Your timeline can cover an accent wall in a lobby or lounge or can stretch the length of a long hallway. Here are some things that could appear in one of these timelines:

  • The company’s founding
  • Important inventions, patents or innovations
  • Milestones in company size, reach or revenue
  • Changes in leadership or new partnerships
  • Location openings or changes
  • Developments in branding, such as new slogans and logos

Even if your company’s roots and early days seem light years away from today, its history is an essential aspect of your current brand identity and ethos. Promoting awareness of your business’s history is an important way of building company culture and allowing employees to feel like a part of something bigger — perhaps even something that has impacted history.

If your company is all about innovation, it will be inspiring to see how far you’ve come. These businesses sometimes choose to display their history as a timeline that moves upward as well as forward to indicate this spirit of progress.

3. INSTILL YOUR COMPANY MISSION AND VALUES

Another part of building company culture is instilling your company’s mission and values in all who interact with it. Your company’s purpose and core beliefs are spelled out in your mission statement and values, so these elements should be central fixtures in your workplace. But too often, these messages are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. Polls from various companies continually indicate that most employees are unaware of their company’s mission and values, which is a real problem because it leaves employees feeling disconnected rather than engaged in an important purpose and culture.

The 2018 “State of the American Workplace” report by Gallup found that one of the necessary elements for employees to be highly productive is “communication about their organization’s mission and purpose.” So, how can we communicate this information? Your company’s mission and values should be lived out in the work you do each day, so employees should already be implicitly aware of the purpose and principles that guide the work they do. However, it’s essential that you communicate these messages explicitly as well.

Having your mission and values on your website isn’t enough. Environmental graphic design is a great way to keep your company’s guiding messages at the forefront. Think of your mission statement enlarged to cover a wall. Imagine every window in a conference room displaying one of your business’s core values. There are endless possibilities for displaying this information with environmental graphics.

You don’t even need to limit yourself to only your mission statement and list of values. Why not also prominently display an inspirational quote from the founder of the company or the current CEO? The options are endless.

4. FOSTER A SENSE OF COMMUNITY

A positive workplace culture isn’t just about company mission and values.

Word wall graphics at the YMCA inspires employees and guests

The day-to-day experience employees have is largely dependent on the relationships they hold with other employees. It may surprise you, but environmental graphics can play a role

here too. Unfortunately, in one extensive study, only 58 percent of respondents believed their workplace environment contributed to a sense of community. Of these respondents, 84 percent reported feeling that it was an enjoyable environment to work in, indicating a significant correlation between an environment that fosters community and a pleasant environment.

A Harvard University study focused on art in the workplace and revealed employees’ beliefs about the way art impacts their overall experience. Two of these reasons are that art promotes social interactions and facilitates personal connection-making. How does this process work? Think about your high school or college. You likely saw your school’s colors and mascot displayed in many different places. These visual elements reinforce school pride and a sense of shared community.

The same is true in a workplace. You can increase brand identity with graphics. You may not have a mascot, but you probably have a logo. You likely also have colors and design elements associated with your brand. Boldly displaying these visuals around the workplace environment — a strategy known as environmental branding — causes employees to feel they can rally around a shared identity.

Of course, employees are all individuals and should be celebrated for their diversity, but coming together over a shared identity that unites us is important too. It’s what community is all about.

5. PROMOTE PRODUCTIVITY AND POSITIVITY

It turns out that when employees are in a more aesthetically pleasing work environment, they’re more productive. One study found that workers in spaces that were enriched with art or greenery were, on average, 17 percent more productive than those in lean spaces. This reason alone should be enough to prioritize the aesthetics of employees’ working environments.

When employees’ minds are stimulated by vibrant visuals, they’re more likely to feel inspired. Artists aren’t the only people whose work requires creativity. No matter what field your business is in, your staff members must think critically to come up with creative innovations and solutions every day. The design choices you make can give you control over the vibe the workplace promotes.

For example, colors are known to have certain effects on people’s thoughts and attitudes. In some cases, this effect can be negative. A University of Texas study found that offices that are gray, beige and white tend to cause employees to feel sad or depressed. This reaction was especially prevalent in women.

Bringing more color into a work environment can help promote different types of positivity and motivation. Let’s look at a few examples of the effects colors can have:

  • Red: This color is known to increase heart rate. It’s associated with feelings of urgency, passion and aggression.
  • Yellow: Yellow is a stimulating color commonly associated with happiness, freshness and energy. It’s also thought to promote creativity.
  • Blue: This low-wavelength color is associated with calmness, peace and trust. It tends to promote focus as well.
  • Green: Green is also a low-wavelength color, making it calming. It’s associated with nature and, in the West, financial prosperity.

6. REDUCE STRESS AND IMPROVE HEALTH

Promoting productivity and positivity will also have a positive effect on employees’ health. Businesses today understand just how important the health and well-being of their employees are. This importance is not only tied to a concern for employees but also associated with a business’s success. A company’s bottom line is very clearly affected by the health of its employees.

Part of the way well-being is promoted with environmental graphic design is through the positivity it breeds, as we’ve seen. As positive feelings are promoted, negative feelings like stress go down. In a survey of 800 employees across various companies, 78 percent agreed that art in the workplace reduces stress. This effect is significant because stress can take a real toll on employees’ health and should, therefore, be actively prevented.

Stress isn’t the only aspect of employee health that can be affected by environmental graphic design either. If you want to encourage better workplace health habits, you can do so through environmental graphics. For example, you could use an eye-catching graphic display to promote a wellness program you have going on. You can also visually enhance the stairwell — a space that tends to be completely blank and boring — in order to motivate able employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

7. PRESENT A CLEAR BRAND IMAGE TO CONSUMERS

So far, we’ve focused on the benefits of environmental graphics for employees, but what about consumers? After all, if your workplace also serves as a storefront or office where consumers can visit your business, we should consider them too. Just as you want to present your company’s brand identity, values and positivity to employees, you want to share these features with consumers. Let visitors know what you’re all about.

When a potential client or customer walks up to your building or through your door, they should immediately have a positive impression of the work you do. This need may seem like a tall order, but people are visual creatures, so we’re naturally inclined to be captivated by graphic displays and allow them to leave an impression on us. This fact doesn’t mean you need to bombard consumers with overwhelming displays. Through clean, simple, engaging text and visuals, you can create a positive impression and communicate volumes about all that your company has to offer.

TRUST SPEEDPRO TO DELIVER AMAZING ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHICS

If you’re ready to begin enhancing your company’s office space or storefront with environmental graphics, SpeedPro Northern Virginia can help bring your vision to life. We specialize in a variety of printed products, including large-format graphics. We’re dedicated to excellence in all that we do.

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2016/05/01/the-impact-of-art-in-the-workplace/#267bd44d65a3

https://news.gallup.com/reports/199961/7.aspx?utm_source=SOAW&utm_campaign=StateofAmericanWorkplace&utm_medium=2013SOAWreport

https://workdesign.com/2017/03/community-spirit-workplace/embed/#?secret=FX5rUIGC9J

http://www.pz.harvard.edu/resources/art-works-at-work-the-impact-of-workplace-art

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229586737_Work_week_productivity_visual_complexity_and_individual_environmental_sensitivity_in_three_offices_of_different_color_interiors

https://inside.6q.io/employee-health-wellbeing-matters/

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Trade Show Mania!

You’ve secured a trade show space, but how do you make those potential clients stop and notice you? People aren’t drawn to a dull booth that looks the same as all the others. By infusing your booth with your brand and implementing creative trade show booth ideas, you’ll turn your display into a beacon that draws crowds.

1. INFUSE YOUR BRAND

Strong branding is important in your marketing strategy. Help your potential customers learn about your product or service at a glance.

Branding your trade show display goes beyond your logo and colors. Is your company playful and lighthearted, or serious and professional? Do you focus on being eco-friendly? Is it important that you give back to your community?

For example, DoubleClick’s clean and simple design allows conversations to be the focal point. In addition to their modern trade show booth design, they add eye-catching bikes along with a QR code, allowing potential customers to connect on a technical level and keep the conversation moving online.

2. CREATE A PHOTO OP

In a world dominated by the “selfie,” a photo booth or similar photo op at your stand can pull in major traffic. The photo helps break the ice.

Incorporating a perfect backdrop for photos turns your booth into an interactive experience and a source of entertainment. Make a selfie frame that uses your company’s logo and branding colors.

3. INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA

Use your social media accounts to attract people to your booth. Start long before the day of the event to build excitement. Use various hashtags to make your social media posts easy to find. Make sure you see if the trade show you’ll be going to has a standard hashtag, and create a unique tag for your booth as well.

For younger audiences, consider using SnapChat or putting together a geo-filter that includes the conference title and your logo. Geo-filters are low-cost Snapchat frames that can be completely unique to your brand, and are powerful in attracting selfie-takers to your booth.

Have your social media account information printed on your banners so trade show attendees can easily find and follow you.

4. INVITE THEM IN


The layout of your booth can affect how inviting it seems. A long table running along the front of the booth keeps people at a distance; you stay on one side of the table while your potential clients stay on the other. This physical separation can sometimes create an emotional distance as well.

A personalized point of purchase display is an easy way to present information without cutting off traffic flow. Incorporate shelves with adjustable height options on the display if you have products, pamphlets, freebies or other items for people to see. Another functional option is an integrated tablet stand or kiosk. This gives you a functional base during the trade show.

5. THINK BIG


Going big makes your booth visible long before attendees reach your aisle. Incorporate components that stretch high above your booth to create a beacon for your business.

Incorporate banners suspended from a high ceiling. Suspending large display pieces over your booth requires some logistical considerations, so make sure the trade show organizers can accommodate these types of displays.

Add a custom flag to the front of your display to generate interest in your booth. Position the flag to stick out from your booth, if possible, to make your display more noticeable. A tall flag that stretches vertically draws attention from afar, and can be particularly useful for people trying to find your booth through a crowd.

Take full advantage of your trade show space from the ceiling to the floor. At SpeedPro  Imaging Northern Virginia, we can create attention-grabbing floor graphics for your trade show booth.

5 Tips for Solid Event Branding

We know…events can be stressful! Whether you’re an attendee or the host, finding the right way to make your business stand out at an event can be difficult. To help you plan, SpeedPro NOVAhas come up with some simple tips to make your company’s event branding a hit with the attendees.

Tip 1: Find Your Event Niche
Get to know your customers and find out what events they attend. This will help you decide where to invest your meetings budget and what kind of events to host.

Tip 2: Put Your Logo on EVERYTHING
Your logo is typically your first touch point with customers. Utilize that with your events by making your logo and branding part of the interior decor (step and repeats, statement walls, sponsor backdrops, retractable banners, displays, meter boards and tablecloths).

Tip 3: Use Social Media to Promote
While social media can be a great way to connect with friends, it’s also an amazing way to connect your event with attendees and others who have similar interests.  Don’t forget to develop a great #hashtag.

Tip 4: Use Merchandising to Your Advantage
Have products to give away with your branding on it, something to remind them of the event. Products like notebooks, pens, and cups are an easy relatively cheap way to do this; or if you have a larger budget perhaps t-shirts or hats.

Tip 5: Be Consistent
Don’t confuse customers and attendees with branding that’s too busy or messages that are too wordy.  Branding should be strong and shared across all materials and platforms. Consistent branding ties an event together.

Need Some Event Branding? Click Here

Examples of Stand Out Event Branding

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Ghost of Me Mural
Graffiti Beauty Mural
Xray Saint Mural
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BIG Printer Primer

Does ordering a sign or banner seem like a daunting task?

Large format printers start where most traditional print shops leave off. Although large format printers have the ability to print the smaller sized graphic requests, these firms specialize in producing large graphics including foamcore signs, posters, vehicle wraps, tradeshow displays, full color banners, and much more.

Some of the terminology may sound strange, but don’t be put off. Here are some basics to help your communications flow better and help you get the product you need.

Media

Media is the material that your graphic is printed on. We print on many different types of media including banner material, poster, adhesive backed vinyl, fabrics, backlit material, and many others.

Substrates

Substrates are rigid materials often used for signs such as foamcore, gatorboard, MDO board, acrylic, Max-Metal, polystyrene, PVC, etc. Adhesive backed graphics are mounted to these types of materials to add strength and rigidity. Or we print directly to these substrates—depending on the application.

Laminate

Laminate is sometimes applied on top of media or substrates to further protect the graphic from abuse. There are a multitude of laminates, ranging from matte to high gloss that can be used depending on the use. However, by directly printing to substrates using flatbed printers, there is less need for laminate.

Print Files

To print big, printers need “big” hi-quality, hi-resolution images and files. Images copied/pasted off the internet do not work well for large format.  But what does that mean?

Generally, we can edit and print files ending in .ai and .eps.  Often—depending on whether how the files was produced—we can print .pdf and some .jpg and .tif files.  GIF files are rarely printable as they are made for websites.

Big messages and bold brands need big graphics. But even if you don’t have a big understanding, printers can help you walk through the process to make it simpler.

Author: Roman Blazauskas, Owner, SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia, 571-313-8334

SpeedPro NOVA Donates to YMCA Fairfax County Reston and Unveils Loudoun Habitat as 2017 Charitable Partner

Children and Pets are Printing Company’s Charitable Focus

SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia, a wide format printing company specializing in custom visual solutions, donated $1,850 to its 2016 Charitable Partner—YMCA Fairfax County Reston, in support of its programs that help youth.  In addition, the company announced that Loudoun Habitat for Humanity will be its 2017 Charitable Partner.

“We are a young company but know that giving back is important for our community’s health.  This program helps us spotlight great nonprofits that are helping our region’s most vulnerable children and pets.  Having a stable home and fixed address is life-changing for families, including their furry friends.  Habitat makes that happen, and we look forward to supporting their work this year,” explained Roman Blazauskas, SpeedPro Imaging Northern Virginia president.

In closing out the year, SpeedPro recently presented a $1,850 check to its 2016 Charitable Partner–the YMCA Fairfax County Reston and Executive Director Joe Crawford.  The funds will support the Y’s efforts to help less fortunate youth attend preschool and day camp this year.  There is only one YMCA in Fairfax County serving 10,000 individuals and throughout the year, many at-risk local youth and families apply for financial assistance to participate in the Y’s early learning programs, sports, STEM activities, child care, and summer camps at little or no cost.

For 2017, SpeedPro selected Loudoun Habitat, a nonprofit that makes safe, decent and affordable housing available to people in need in Loudoun County, as its 3rd annual Charitable Partner. Since 1993, Loudoun Habitat has provided 38 homes to homeowner partners, reaching over 140 individuals, including a number of children and pets. Habitat homes are in neighborhoods throughout Loudoun County. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  With the support of the community, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families.

Through its Charitable Partner program, the company commits to give a portion of its gross profits to a different Northern Virginia charity each year that focuses on either children or dogs…or both. SpeedPro NOVA started the nonprofit partner program in 2015 during its grand opening. Loudoun Hunger Relief was SpeedPro’s inaugural partner, receiving a year-end donation of $1,100 to help the nonprofit reduce hunger for children and dogs through its Food Pantry, which includes a Pet Pantry.

SpeedPro NOVA’s program serves as the cornerstone of its overall community relations efforts, which includes volunteerism and sponsorships. Recognizing this commitment, SpeedPro NOVA was honored as Volunteer of the Year by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

As a local, family-owned business, SpeedPro NOVA creates premium, wide format, high-resolution digital indoor and outdoor graphics.  It is part of a nationwide network of wide-format digital printers, all committed to exceptional quality and great service.  SpeedPro specialties include event signs, banners, retractable banner stands, trade show displays, vehicle wraps, wall murals, window and floor graphics and more. www.SpeedProNOVA.com

romantheresekari

Cheers for Beers

e81e6998-b7f7-4c0f-8b06-e364a77de438Craft beer is big!  Nationally, craft beer sales are almost 13 percent of all beer sales according to the Brewers Association.

Here in Northern Virginia breweries are opening throughout.  To celebrate, August is Craft Beer Month in Virginia. Want to find local beer happenings? Virginia Tourism has a great map with a beer trail: http://www.virginia.org/craftbeer/.

Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Arlington are beer central, leading the way in piloting and producing new brews. Making these suds stand out can make all the difference in making them a hit with beer lovers. Great branding by beers and breweries is essential.

Check out these clever ways to brand beer:

  • Growler Tags
  • Keg Collars
  • Wall Murals6cdce417-7c53-498d-af60-751f40ecf315
  • Brewery Vehicle Wraps
  • Tap Handle Decals
  • Sidewalk Signs
  • Window Graphics
  • Tents
  • Banners/Retractable Banners
  • Event Signs
  • Tablethrows
  • Cornhole Decals
  • …and more

Need more ideas?  Give SpeedPro NOVA a call at 571-313-8334.

 

 

Terminology Tips

At the next cocktail party, want to impress people with your large format printing knowledge?  Here is some terminology that will impress the guests.
Poster: Posters are typically made out of a paper material. They can be hung up on a wall or window and are good for indoor usage and rolled up when you are not using them.

Foamcore Sign: These signs are thicker than posters and cannot be rolled or folded. They are flat and have a foam center and are good for short term sign indoor usage.

Substrate: Hard material–such as foamcore, ultraboard, or coroplast–to which we print onto or apply vinyl.

Vinyl:  Flexible material that we print on that is often adhered to a harder substrate, window, car or wall. There are dozens of types of vinyls that each have their own specialized use.

Vehicle Wraps: What to Expect

Quotes: To prepare a quote, we will ask: the year, make and model of your vehicle as well as whether you want a full wrap (whole car), partial wrap (like the one shown above), or simply spot graphics (i.e. lettering or simple logo).
Design/Proofs: This process can take a week or two since we have to discuss your needs, prepare a design, and incorporate your edits. Sending high quality PDFs or vector files to your production artist will shorten the process.
Printing: This takes between 2-3 days to complete the printing process and to prepare for installation.
Installation: Plan on installation taking 1-2 days to complete. Larger vehicles may take longer.

Average Time Frame: 2-5 weeks to complete. 

 

mosquitojoes haymarket wrap 1

Sweet Makeover: May Newsletter

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SpeedPro Imaging NOVA recently exhibited at
the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit! We enjoyed meeting so
many new people and showing off our redesigned trade show display.
Check it out!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH

In the Nick of Time is headed to Shark Tank in the vehicle we helped design and wrap.  Good luck to the In the Nick of Time team!

Educational Moment

As a large format printer, we have a number of materials we can use to create signage. The sign to the right is printed on max metal–which comes in a variety of finishes including brushed aluminum. Max metal is rigid and won’t bend easily and can be used indoors and out.

A Sneak Peek Into the World of Signage

When it comes to displays and signage, these get made from many different types of material, based on your needs and preferences. From large scale to slightly smaller projects, SpeedPro NOVA has the materials that you need for all of your indoor and outdoor signage. Here are a few types of materials we recommend for outdoor use (and sometimes indoors), depending on how you plan to use it and for how long, where you plan to put it, and what your goals are for the sign:

Aluminum
  • Great for long term signage.
  • Doesn’t warp or rust over time.
  • Can be custom cut.
Coroplast
  • Good for indoor and outdoor short-term usage.
  • Light weight.
  • Commonly used as yard signs.
MDO
  • Comes either primed or painted.
  • Made of wood. Good for indoor and long-term outdoor usage.
  • Can be mounted with posts, used to make lettering, used for construction signs and billboards.