Black graphic; text reads "How to design an enjoyable lobby: ideas and inspiration for creative lobby design for office buildings"

Quick: what’s the first thing people see when they walk through your office’s front door? Do you have a front desk? A seating area? Any branded wall decor? What creative touches did you give the lobby design in your office?

Lobby design might not be the top of your priorities for designing your office environment. The offices themselves or the conference rooms might seem more important — and they are important. But don’t overlook the lobby. It can be a powerful avenue for branding your office and showing your company culture from the minute a visitor walks inside.

Your lobby is the first impression you make, after all. Presumably, if you’ve invited somebody to your office, you want to make a good impression. So how is your lobby doing?

Making the First Impression Count

You might think there’s not much you can do to make a creative lobby in an office building. “How exciting can you make a front desk?”, you might ask. You’d be surprised! ZENTX’s front desk, for instance, sports corrugated metal wrapped around three sides to add texture. What if that’s too casual for your brand? Well, the front desk isn’t the only opportunity to liven up a lobby.

Take a look at the photo at the top of the page, for instance. That sign hangs behind the front desk in the lobby we created for SCE. It’s fairly simple in itself, but the blue lighting makes it catch the eye. Since the lights required some custom wiring, it’s also a nod to SCE’s work in the electrical industry. And the blue color matches one of SCE’s brand colors. That’s a lot of significance for just one piece.

Or take the desk/sign combo we created for Nexteer Automotive. The warm color of the wood brings out the red in the sign, and vice versa. It’s also a fairly simple solution, but it effectively highlights Nexteer’s name and brand colors.

Nexteer Front Desk

Branding Your Lobby

There are more complex solutions too, of course. If you’ve got the space for it, why not give your lobby some branded wall decor, or even a full-on display about the company?

SCE, for example, opted for a timeline wall in their lobby, tracing all 50+ years of the company’s history. Since it’s set up near a waiting area, it gives guests something interesting to look at while they wait, and also demonstrates the company’s experience and expertise in the field of electrical enclosures.

More than that, SCE also asked us to create a map wall in the lobby, again with custom backlighting. The map wall demonstrates the company’s growth and reach, besides providing another interesting visual piece.

Since your lobby design can help set the tone for your interactions with clients and guests, why not make it distinctive? The style of your decorations communicates your company culture. And if you have the space for a display, you have the opportunity to tell your brand story or establish your expertise in an industry. It’s an unparalleled chance to start on the right foot.