After defining the values of Bulb Digital, we wanted to come up with some creative ways to showcase and add reminders of them to our work day.
If you haven't checked out our previous post about what Bulb's values are, check that out first! We'll wait here 😉
While we’re all made familiar with the Bulb Digital values on day one of joining the team, it’s always nice to have a little reminder. As you step foot into our Grand Rapids office, you’re greeted with what might be our most important value: Make Others Successful. We wanted to be greeted with that mantra every day, so we decided to create a mural in our waiting area. Now it's the first thing we see every day and the first thing our customers see when they pay us a visit. We don’t exactly have enough open wall space to make all of our values 10 feet tall, but there’s plenty of space for some more posters.
We have a very particular design sensibility in our office. We prefer things to be simple, but effective. We like clean lines, strong geometry, and harmonious color. Because of this, we wanted our posters to convey their message without hitting viewers over the head with it. We want to show, not to tell. To do this, each poster makes typography the star of the show. One word is brought to the forefront, to distill our already potent values into even more digestible pieces. Those words are accompanied by simple geometry and a monochromatic color scheme.
There is a lot of psychology behind the use of color, so it would not do to simply pick a color and run with it. We considered the feeling a color embodies to pair it with the message we want to convey. The blues of the “Unquestionable Fairness” poster evoke feelings of calm and balance. The reds from “Fail Forward” evoke energy and action. Yellow represents optimism. Green represents wilderness and the unknown.
Shape is also used to tell a story as well. The radiating concentric circles from the “Be Kind and Optimistic” poster signify the energy and positivity we hope to radiate to the world around us. The waves from “Unquestionable Fairness” evoke balance and stability. The opposite is true of the angles used for “Fail Forward”. Instead, motion and energy are created. It's these sorts of little details that allow us to depict complex concepts while maintaining visual simplicity.
More than displaying our values on the walls of our offices, we also wanted to be able to carry our values with us a bit more literally. We're firm believers in using swag to promote internal unity and to share the things we hold dear with those around us. One way we do this is through t-shirts. We started with our favorite value – Make Others Successful – and we went to the drawing board. Through countless sketches and iterations, we came up with a design we were proud to take with us anywhere, and people definitely noticed.
Many companies just slap their logo on a t-shirt and call it a day, but that has never started a conversation. People ask us about our shirts; they want one for themselves! When strangers can resonate with our values, we know we’re doing something right. These shirts also have the added benefit of keeping ourselves grounded and kind. It's hard to be angry while sporting such positivity.
In places like offices where a graphic tee may not be appropriate, we leaned on a different strategy. We love our coffee so it’s only natural to have our own mugs. Not only do we use them, but we have gifted them to clients as well who love some positivity in the morning. Even the non-coffee drinkers love having something to put their pens and pencils in which helps remind them of why they do what they do. You can find these mugs all around State Office buildings in Lansing where we really get to make our customers successful. Finally, we also have our pocket notebooks which allow us to always be ready to take down a note or phone number, or just write down an idea that comes at a random time. You never know where inspiration will strike, so we are always prepared.
While we can crunch numbers and calculate returns on investment and quantify value in many ways, it’s really not always that easy. Value comes in many forms, and we don’t want to simply be cold and calculated. Sure, we measure our value in dollars, but we also measure it by employee satisfaction from an inspiring workplace. From pleasant conversations with strangers who stopped us to say “hey, nice shirt!”. We measure it in cups of coffee sipped from Make Others Successful mugs and in ideas captured in a 3.5x5 notebook. However you measure value, we'll be here to help you increase it, and to help you make others successful.