More than a logo, branding in the built environment can be many things, but importantly it’s a chance to demonstrate the subliminal signatures and a secondary brand language that communicates your message to your market without having to be overt or explicit. At its best, the simplest of gestures – a colour, shape or material – can become synonymous with your brand, saying everything it needs to say with just a glance.

There are important measures in creating a branded environment. It also need not be such a strong statement; the physical space of a brand is the culmination of everything a brand presents to the world. These can be feelings, emotions, sounds and music, even scents.

When developing a space for a business, the gestures we make in reference to the brand become very important considerations. Making sure these gestures support and pay respect to the values and philosophies of the business is crucial if we are to achieve the right alignment and positioning to create the perfect branded environment.

Take the IDP Head Office in Melbourne for example. IDP is a global education service provider that helps people from all over the world achieve their international education goals. Their business is the literal meaning of interaction, inclusivity and collaboration, so outside of their logo, how does a space communicate these values?

For the designers of the project, Siren Design Group, they framed the IDP philosophy as a way of “bringing health, wellness and diversity to the fore of this workplace.” They go on,

“IDP’s commitment to their connected international community drove the design, with bridging moments of interaction and collaboration that were incorporated into the design and denoted by defined ceiling features, light and bursts of IDP’s brand colours – intended to represent a student’s journey to their ultimate destination, textures, materiality and design features have been sourced to represent the diverse and global company.”

Other, quieter brand considerations for IDP have been included into the construction and furnishing of the space. Designed to WELLS Platinum and 5 Star Green Star certification, while not strictly about branding, makes a strong statement about the importance of these values within the business. The association has been made and IDP (designers and builders too) are not only aligned with the communities and people they embolden, but with the environmental stewardship they’re extolling.

“IDP Education is a global leader in international education services, offering a platform to guide students in their journey, and has played a major role in the development of communities around the world.”

Working within these parameters lets us develop a space that suits the ideas of integration, inclusivity and community. Colour is an obvious choice but is often limiting or separate to the interior goals, we’re not building a McDonald’s restaurant here, though an excellent example of overt branding withing the built environment. Spaces like IDP require values and philosophies to be felt and experienced, so are designed accordingly. This should be a space that is comfortable and comforting. Users and staff alike, should feel the connection to the space and each other. Education and community are the goals, and the space should reflect that. The same applies to any new branding project – what are the key values and philosophies and how will they be reflected and interpreted?