The secret to creating the perfect design studio environment

Sack off "sperm white computers" says Snask co-founder Fredrik Öst

Illustration: Snask

No, we're not saying you shouldn't drop the kids by the pool at work; only that you shouldn't treat your studio as simply a place where you sit and do work. Instead, treat it as a place where you will want to go and feel inspired.

So what's the secret to creating the perfect environment for your studio? Well, this is not rocket science. It's actually very easy. It's called 'listen'.

Gather your co-workers. Ask them to imagine what a perfect office would look like to them. Gather the best ideas and execute. If you're part of a duo or on your own then it's even easier.

Wrong studio vibe

I can't even count the amount of offices I've been to where it looks extremely tedious and tiresome. Repetitive rows of white desks with black Dell screens and 'ergonomic' chairs of dubious quality. Five conference rooms that all look like interrogation rooms from a military facility.

Sound familiar? It's because that's how most 'creative' companies look. I bet that if you gave your grandma a budget and had her go nuts she would create a much nicer place. Perhaps plants everywhere and old wooden tables.

We have worked with financial institutions that proudly showed us their trading floor. Our only question: "Why does it look like 1995?” No-one knows.

We've asked everyone at the bank, on different levels, what they think about their office. Almost everyone asked us back. We replied: "We think it looks old, cheap and boring.” They all nodded and agreed.

Higher prodictivity

So to sum up: trust your own gut or your employees' fresh ideas. Make sure it's open and welcoming. Don't go for sperm white computers or multimedia speakers. Try and create places for people to sit more comfortably such as couch areas, big bags on the floor and so on.

Snask's identity for Nordea Markets, the leading investment bank in the Nordic and Baltic Sea Region


When it comes to productivity, it's all about getting the people to love their work, the studio ethos and the space. If they do that they will have a much higher productivity.

Also, don't forget to work regular hours, not overtime. Everyone needs a life on the side of their 
work in order to refuel, get inspired and love the life they're leading. If you fail on this, they will fail on you.

Words: Freddie Ost, Snask

Snaskified is a recurring column in Computer Arts magazine by internationally renowned creative agency, Snask.

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