A core palate of black, cream, grey and an egg yolk yellow was developed. This palate is used on all brand communications and in the logo and we followed these through into the office space. We subverted the normal rules by painting the ceiling black (actually Farrow and Ball’s Downpipe), in part to disguise imperfections in the ceiling which we didn’t want to remedy. Then to brighten up the space we painted the walls cream and the floor is pale grey throughout. Yellow is used as an accent colour. It is used for the legs on the tables, the lighting cords and on the walls downstairs in the kitchen and in the street entrance.
We used sustainable and eco friendly products where we could, to tie in Sam’s personal philosophy as an “adventurer and friend to the planet”. As he says, “we didn’t inherit this world from our parents, it’s on loan to us from our children”. So the flooring is marmoleum, which is a lovely product made from recycled materials and we had two large communal tables made from a sustainable plywood. We also reused furniture and materials where possible.
We made an early decision to spend the bulk of the budget on the flooring and lighting – two elements which are difficult to upgrade at a later date. As an office it was essential that the lightning was top notch and we have chosen to layer the lighting to achieve the best results. There are track lights to provide good background lighting and pendants dropped over the tables to provide pools of light where they are needed most. To save costs we kept the existing lighting positions in the ceiling and then made a feature out of the long cabling loops needed to ensure that the pendants were positioned over the tables, specifying it yellow – the accent colour in the colour scheme.
The Sundog ethos is to nurture the creative skills of its staff and so we made sure that we built spaces for the for staff to come together and interact. I believe that we shouldn’t skimp on these spaces, but we should make them comfy and welcoming, to encourage people to linger and talk.
Finally, as a way of demonstrating their mission statement of telling stories that matter we have built a story wall in the breakout area which will evolve over time to tell the story of Sundog Pictures.
Despite being a bit of a cinderella space, unloved and unused, it had great potential which we have harnessed. Its real value was that it was in an amazing location at the bottom end of St John Street in Clerkenwell, in the heart of creative London.
My design philosophy is to create low key luxe interiors. The real luxury in London is a space tailored for you – that, as a result, feels natural and comfortable. From my perspective, I’m really happy to report that it looks like home already.
As Johnny Webb says:
“We pushed Zoe to create a light, fun and creative space and she has delivered – and on a very tight budget. There’s a new energy to the office already – we’re more social and productive as a team !”
Sam Branson: “Thanks to Zoe from stealth design, our vision for our new offices has been realised and a new era of Sundog has arrived.”
The move from Olympia to Clerkenwell in July 2015 signalled a new determination to tell stories that matter for Sam Branson and Johnny Webb of Sundog Pictures.
Sundog Pictures came to me in March 2015 having found a space on St John Street in Clerkenwell that was currently unoccupied and unloved. Taking charge of the creative process together, we have developed a space that meets their current needs but is also aspirational for the future of their production company. Sundog Pictures focuses on ‘social production’, where engagement and ‘shareability’ are hardwired into the way they tell stories.
Sam, Johnny and the rest of the team are excited and energised to be part of the creative community in Clerkenwell, with Sam Branson saying:
“Watch out Farringdon, Sundog Pictures are in our new digs ! Such an exciting moment for us. Thanks to Zoe from stealth design, our vision for our new offices has been realised and a new era of Sundog has arrived.”
Offices and commercial spaces are in a really interesting transitional phase. Commercial interiors are taking lessons from other interior spaces – residential, hotels and restaurants – and rethinking the traditional format. We’re moving away from the traditional layout with enclosed boxes for the managers and an open plan space for other employees.
Just as our home environments reflect our personalities, offices should reflect the brand values of the business. This can be expressed in the use of the logo and colours but is more effective when the space itself is designed to reflect the brand.
With such a strong brand identity, we agreed it was essential to communicate Sundog’s values through the design itself.