Art for the office needs to strike the right tone, inspire a good working environment and create the right impression. You’ll also need pieces that will broadly appeal but aren’t boring or generic. It’s a delicate balance.
But don’t you fret — we’ve mastered the art of finding art (get it?). We even have the lovely mural in our office by Kev Munday as seen above, so we know a thing or two about finding that perfect piece to hang on a wall, dull or not. It can make the day typing away on your keyboard go by much faster.
Dare to be original
Choosing art for your office can be tricky - you’re not only striving to achieve a polished working environment, you’re also sending a message about your organisation. What impression do you want to give?
Don’t feel you have to rely on a generic canvas in order to satisfy everyone. While it might not put anyone off, you run the risk of looking short on your own ideas. This is especially problematic if yours is an organisation with claims to innovation and creativity.
Choosing work from contemporary and lesser-known artists will not only make it likelier that your pieces will offer something visually new, it will give the impression of originality and creativity. And nothing portrays a lack of originality like opting for something everyone else does.
The right tone
What kind of organisation do you work for? Think about this when choosing your artwork’s colour, style and subject.
For example, reds may work in a dynamic, energetic environment but will be completely the wrong colour for a doctor or hospital waiting room, where soothing greens and blues will work better - think seascapes or landscapes.
For an office of 9-to-5-ers, a landscape may not be appropriate - lest they dream too much of their escape! A creative organisation will benefit from striking or daring pieces, like abstracts, making a bold statement about your level of interest in design and originality.
Sculptures and other media
A striking sculpture can work fantastically well in a main entrance, such as in reception or a lobby. It creates a piece of interest for those arriving, like employees and clients, and, when chosen well, it gives an air of authority (you have picked something bold!).
Within the office, smaller pieces and mixed media can create a cosier atmosphere, utilising any nooks and crannies to create texture and interest. Offices run the risk of being very flat spaces, so a well-placed sculpture can soften the edges.
Same goes for interesting pieces. While most may go for abstracts that have a broad appeal, don’t shy away from bolder or more intricate pieces that can really lift an atmosphere.
That being said…
Avoid erotica. Not even a tasteful Botticelli? Of course, some art works are less risqué than others, but still best to err on the side of caution. Basically, don’t hang nudes! Ditto to pieces with a religious theme to avoid creating an unwelcoming space.
While bold and original art does have a home in the workspace, here is not the space to incorporate oversized pieces. Installation pieces that take up an entire floor may best be left to the galleries, especially if you don’t have the space just yet.