LearnIt's important to have an office that encourages creativity


Ryan Carson
writes on July 16, 2008

Mike is working on some new designs for Carsonified HQ and they’re looking fricken great.

Carsonified office design ideas

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The Creative Laundry Line

The ‘laundry’ line (2nd row, middle image) is a physical line that we are going to hang creative ideas on. Whenever we come across something in a magazine, paper or whatever, we can hang it on the line to inspire us later. We’re going to clear out the line every week or so to keep in fresh.

The Corkboard Wall

I love the idea of covering a whole wall with corkboard (2nd row, 3rd image) and using it to pin things on. I thought it would be a great place to hang up quotes from people praising the Carsonified Team. So when I come across an nice Tweet, Email or blog post that says something kind about Carsonified or the Team, I’m going to print it out and tack it on the wall.

The Photo Wall

We’re going to create a grid of 20 photos which we’ll change periodically. We might do something that allows you guys to submit photos and if your photo gets chosen then we’ll put on the wall for a little while. Who knows?

What do you think?

Which ideas do you like the best? How is your office decorated? How do you encourage creativity?


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29 Responses to “It's important to have an office that encourages creativity”

  1. My favourite is the bottom left, with times square on one wall. I love the purple wall and the poster.

    I couldn’t agree more about how much your surroundings affect creativity. I usually work in my dingy bedroom on an old PC but I seem to be able to produce much better work when I’m at uni in one of the smart mac studios.

  2. Hi Ryan,

    At SubHub we’ve just discovered this fantastic product — Magic Whiteboard.


    We have covered most of our office walls with it. It sticks to the wall using static electricity, and papers, cards, photos, etc. stick to it the same way. You can also write and doodle on it using whiteboard markers which erase same way as a regular whiteboard.

    We are really impressed with this product. I think you would like it better than corkboard!


  3. Lot of great ideas here! We’re looking forward to larger office space for this kind of thing…

  4. This is fantastic. You know, we have a wide-format digital printer in our office (sorry, studio) so we have no excuse for not doing up prints like this for our walls.

    Quite inspired now. I think we’ll start planning our own makeover tomorrow morning!

    (Jaan: love the stand-up table idea too…)

  5. Hey Ryan. The new office refurb ideas look cool. Really creative and inspirational. If I’m ever in the Bath area I’d love to pop in and take a look. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Those are some cool ideas. I especially love the laundry lineรขโ‚ฌโ€plus it would come in handy when getting caught in the wet stuff!

  7. Anthony Bruno on July 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm said:

    Looking good! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. @jaan – Great idea. I’ll have a think about it (might need to buy more office space though :D)

  9. *glances around her spare and sparse office environment* ๐Ÿ™

    Wow. Those look amazing. I know personally, as I grew up in the mountains, the trees would be super inspiring and calming. I’m thinking that the creative laundry line would be neat, but make sure that it’s high enough/taut enough that it won’t get in the way of walking spaces. Though I’m sure you’re thought about this already. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck!

  10. Ryan,

    Have you guys considered alternative work spaces for the team, alternative to their desks, to use once in a while?

    Maybe stand-up tables to work from, or “meeting spaces” like small round tables (stand-up off course) with a blackboard next to them.

    Its a very personal POV of mine but I feel creativity can be helped by having several “work” spaces to rotate between throughout the day. I tend to start the day at my desk, then work from my narrow stand-up (yes I like stand-up) table, then spread out my papers at the big table in the afternoon to recap/regroup.


  11. Like the purple/green combination and the pinboard.

    @Martin: agree designers need studios not offices.

    I personally like working in a clean environment – our studio walls are white, and we have a laminate floor – but we have loads of polystyrene gliders to throw around (see here), and things like LEGO lying around. If I’m stuck for an idea, I get up, walk around and play with stuff around the office until I’m in the frame of mind to continue working.

  12. I love the tree wallpaper (wall picture) It’d be nice to have a little outside brought in when you can’t be outside. Maybe just surround that wall with plants as well, just to be sure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. oops, sorry about this – spelling mistake in the link to Mags’ site:
    Mags Brolly

  14. Ryan,
    great ideas… do love those huge forest shots… though having creative bits on the wall works for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I work from home and love it – the wall I face across the room changes in content and keeps me inspired. Only recently I changed it from a lovely photo of India to 2 gorgeous painting I received as a thank you gift ๐Ÿ™‚ and it’s cheered me up and kept the creative juices flowing since ๐Ÿ˜‰
    (in case you fancy a look: ‘scaffolding’ by Mags Brolly

    Hope you’ll keep us posted on what the result will be ๐Ÿ˜‰ curious to see ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. How about scratch and sniff wallpaper? And Ryan could be Carsonified’s very own Willy Wonka; hat et al!

    More here: Flavor Paper – Tutti Frutti | Flavor Paper – Cherry Forever | Flavor Paper – b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

  16. Sorry, I should have linked the Ain’t No Disco site.


  17. I was thinking about building a Social site just about this very topic.
    (Much like: This Ain’t No Disco site)

    I comp’d it on Photoshop, but never got around to finishing it because of ‘paid’ work. It’s something I’d really want to finish. It was a learning example for me to learn Rails and iPhone Development really. Now if I could just found some more time.


  18. That “Welcome Everyone”, reminds me of those posters they put up in corporate offices to encourage people to work for some reason. “Theres no I in Team!”, “Every journey starts with a single step” etc etc.

    The bottom left one (with the City landscape) gets my vote as the best.

    But anything is better than our office with 4 white walls and a huge yellow logo on the side.

    Good effort.

  19. LOVE the laundry line idea. What a fun project—green with envy here my depressing cubicle. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. I always thought a wall you could stick magnets to (like fridge magnets) would be great. You can get undercoat that allows you to do this…

  21. Aah it would be a dream to work in such a place! Great office!
    If I had only got some real qualifications in web stuff, I’d be camping on your doorstep.

  22. Thanks guys! We’re really looking forward to getting it all done.

  23. Ok, I like the photo wall idea. I think that is really cool. I have a feeling the cork-board wall will get old quickly. I could almost see you guys getting magnetic paint in that blackboard color more than a wall of cork.

    I really like the green and the large imagery of the trees. I don’t know if it would necessarily enhance creativity, but it is really cool.

    All in all, there are some really cool ideas here! I can’t wait until I can move my team out of our home offices into a central location. Good times!

  24. Looks awesome; loving it so far.

    What amazing timing. I just put up a blog post on importance of creativity and working environment: Itรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs a studio not an office!

    When you can walk into work and feel more creative the second you step in the door than the moments right before; it becomes more about creating than working.

  25. Hi Ryan,

    You can order digital wallpaper from here:

    (our family business Imagefile supplies the images to them – not sure what shipping to the UK is like though.)


  26. Love the idea. Planning to do something similar, maybe even copy the whole thing, in my office.

  27. I like it! I think the darker colours make it a lot cosier, and the images (and textures like the corkboard) definitely make it interesting. I like how every room / section looks different.

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