Progressive or Un-Professional?


Firethorn Holdings, LLC, recently became the latest workplace environment to embrace the trend of graffiti art. The leading mobile commerce enabler, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, "transformed its bland office space into a two-floor graffiti art gallery," according to a press release.

The brightly colored artwork in Firethorn's Atlanta, Ga., office is by international graffiti artist ToTem, whose 20-year career includes global projects and art galleries. His signature style features robotic armored lettering and the Mechanical Battle serif motif. His gallery showings span New York, Los Angeles, and Japan. (ToTem has designed art for music industry celebrities such as Usher, Outkast, and Lil Jon, and his corporate designs include the offices of Coke, Shell, Nike, Playstation, PSP, Xbox, and Red Bull.)

The Firethorn office re-design is paired with the upcoming company launch of SWAGG, a mobile application. "The SWAGG brand screams fresh, stylish, and progressive," proclaims a statement.

I know I'll sound a bit like my grandma if I say this, but whatever happened to old-fashioned professionalism? I recognize that graffiti art can be beautiful. It's both edgy and inspiring, offering that urban spin that companies crave. I understand its inclusion in art galleries or even private homes. But does it really belong in the workplace? Ideally, I envision graffiti art in its intended space: outdoors and visible, not inside an otherwise professional environment.

What do you think about the recent trend of graffiti design? Should graffiti even belong in an office environment? Please share your thoughts on this style!

–Lillian Civantos

One Comment

  1. As soon as I saw this image, I had a positive impression. Bland is no more indicative of professionalism in the workplace than stained glass windows are to the righteousness of a church.

    The graffiti, in my opinion, is a bold and refreshing change to the (often) sleepy office environment. Whether the coffee drinkers in this office will be able to wean themselves faster, or people will smile more often while they're in the building, I think the design has the potential to spark positive results.