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I began my career in marketing communication, helping companies develop brand identity and determine how best to communicate it to the world. To do that, we first interviewed the company to define the words and phrases that best demonstrated the company’s personality and differentiation in the marketplace. We created what is called the “look and feel” of the company — the company message as illustrated in promotional materials, publicity, web design and special events.

Never the Two Shall Meet?

When I made the career change to interior decoration and design, I wondered if the two worlds would intersect. I quickly discovered the strategy I employed to create look and feel for marketing materials applied directly to the strategy for creating interior design concepts.

Like marketing concept creation, when I create a design concept for a professional space, I first interview the client in depth to understand color and furniture tastes and preferences, as well as company personality, culture and image. Next, I review the company’s website to see how the colors and photos might inspire a color scheme. I note the shape and form of the artwork in the website to see how these elements might influence materials type and furnishing style. If, for example, the website layout, photos, fonts and artwork have clean lines and reflect a modern style, the jumping off point for furniture and accessory selection might be more modern.

computer monitor with colored blocks
Colors from a company’s website can inspire a complete interior color scheme.

Design Dilemma Solved

For an MSB Architects private school client (we are designing a new performing arts center), I initially received the floor plan and school logo as tools for developing interior paint finishes and flooring materials. A good start, but a black-and-white room layout and two-color logo left me stumped on how to create a color palette for an entire building.

From the school’s website, I discovered an array of complementary colors from the banner running along the bottom of each page of the website. This lead to our calling the school’s marketing department to obtain the marketing style guide. This helpful document outlines the exact color tones for any and all of the school’s advertising materials, including the website.

Voila! I now could select from a full range of colors the marketing team had created expressly to reflect the school’s personality. I incorporated these colors as accent walls in the new performing arts center practice and lesson rooms, not only adding energy and excitement for the kids, but linking the interior design with the school’s brand personality. I used tints, tones and shades of these for the custom terrazzo flooring materials, as well as the method for connecting color room-by-room.

Marketing and Interior Design. An unexpected marriage, but a lasting one.

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