Muskets and blunderbusses : Unexpected design tools for office identity

Initial concept illustration showing the idea.

Initial concept illustration showing the idea.

Display cases add history and character.

Display cases add history and character.

Contemporary office design is becoming very similar the world over. It is hard for people to feel affinity with a place, a company, a brand or an office when it is undifferentiated.

But one of our clients has had a brilliant idea.

Like most good ideas it is refreshingly simple and worth sharing.

He wanted to show that his employer, a big financial institution, could be trusted with customers’ money in an age of digital fraud. He could have looked to clever marketing slogans, big wall graphics but instead he went and looked into the company archive.  He selected a series of artefacts that illustrated how, over many years and different market conditions, his company had kept their customers’ money safe and secure.

 

The selection was a bit bizarre at first, but it has a strong underlying message. It included muskets and blunderbusses that had been used to protect customers’ money from the Gordon riots of 1780, an old stick used to “tally” documents, a timelock mechanism for old safes, piggybanks and rubber stamps. We worked with him to display these artefacts in the contemporary client facing meeting spaces.  By displaying these in double sided glass cases we enabled the objects to be seen, and provide a point of interest, from both inside the meeting rooms and from the central corridor.

The resulting displays enliven the office and meeting spaces. They generate huge pride and loyalty. They give a sense of belonging to an organisation with longevity, authenticity and purpose. This is an important message from the past, in order to maintain trust with the customers of today.

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