Olson has been announced as one of the SEGD Global Design Awards winners for 2013, which were presented during the 2013 SEGD Conference in San Francisco.

Established in 1987, the SEGD Global Design Awards were created to recognise excellence in environmental graphic design and are the only international design awards that are focused on communication in the build environment.

As the largest advertising agency in Minneapolis and rapidly expanding, Olson procured architecture, design, planning and consulting firm Gensler to interpret its strategies for a design solution structured on Olson Brand Anthropology. Securing 125,000 square feet (38,000 metres) within Minneapolis’s historic Ford Center building, the design team set about creating a new office environment with an industrial character.

Client hospitality is a strong component of Olson’s philosophy and, as such, they worked with the Gensler team to create new strategies for an energised and comprehensive client experience. Some solutions they came up with include Brand Rooms, which are dedicated to key clients, client-focused food and beverage services, as well as an integrated display systems that recognise visitors and boast Olson’s brand anthropology studies.

When creating an office space, flexibility and personalisation are of the highest importance. The Gensler team introduced Olson to an open-office systems furniture solution based on a kit-of-parts that can support both collaborative and focused workgroups. This flexibility allows the office to be able to easily reconfigure work surfaces and storage components as teams and departments grow and evolve in order to meet the needs of each individual, while incorporating ample collaborative meeting spaces throughout.

An eclectic mix of found objects reflect the diversity of individuals, clients and processes within the agency, while sustainable reclaimed and industrial materials connect the space to the history of the building itself. The architectural concept is further supported by the environmental graphics, while the designer’s partnership is leading Olson to enhance connections and strengthen their position as the creative advertising leaders in Minneapolis and further afield.

As one juror commented: “The integrated graphics program is muscular and courageously aggressive. From a fragmented mirror wall in a stairwell to large-scale floor numbers created out of multicolored strings, the expressive moments of color and graphics speak to the bold personality of this firm.”

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