Down to Business Down Under
THERE's environmental graphics program for 3M Australia celebrates collaboration, chain reaction, and scientific heroes.
Asked to create a compelling environmental graphics program for 3M’s 8,000-square-meter Australian headquarters, THERE (Sydney) focused on the company’s collaborative work ethos and the chain reaction of ideas that create technology innovations.
Researching 3M's extensive image library, THERE found geometric shapes revealed in macro photography of the company's micro-replication technology, which is used in many 3M products. THERE appropriated these shapes—circles, triangles, hexagons, and diamonds—as a way to identity individual departments while establishing a common visual language used across entrances, meeting rooms, laboratories, and wall graphics.
The company’s leading scientists are also the heroes in the space, says Simon Hancock, creative director. “We created more than 15 large-scale illustrative and graphically treated portraits throughout the six floors that pay homage to important innovators and scientists from 3M’s history,” he notes.
The project also included an extensive program of wayfinding, identification, and statutory signage, including large-scale carpark super graphics.
Utilizing 3M's recognizable red brand color and expressing its culture of innovation, THERE designed signs made as single folded pieces of steel. The custom signage includes a 1.5-meter high gloss red 3M logo standing boldly in the entrance foyer.
--By Deborah K. Dietsch, eg magazine No. 01, 2012
Client: 3M Australia
Project Area: 8,000m2
Opened: October 2011
Design Firm: THERE
Design Team: Paul Taboure (project director), Simon Hancock (creative director), Jon Zhu (lead designer), Sinead McDevitt (designer)
Consultants: Colliers Project Services (architect)
Fabrication: Spike Design (graphics and signage), Infracraft (timeline wall)
Photos: Simon Hancock