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New Olson Headquarters Wins SEGD Merit Award

Image © Gensler

Gensler was recently honored with a Society of Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD) Merit Award for designing the Minneapolis-based Olson headquarters. Although the SEGD receives more than 400 entries from around the world each year, only 22 projects received this award in 2013. Amy Barthel, a graphic designer and member of the design team, accepted the award at the SEGD conference in San Francisco on behalf of the Gensler team.

Olson came to Gensler hoping to strengthen their position as creative advertising leaders in Minneapolis. Gensler built on this goal and focused the project around the concept of connections: connections to clients, the community, and each other. This begins in the parking lot, where in the style of artist Georges Russe, Olson’s logo spans four floors of exterior-facing elevator lobbies, becoming visible on the walk from the visitor parking area. The scale of the logo effectively brands the entire building.

The concept of connections also emerges once a visitor exits the elevators on one of Olson’s floors. Another large-scale graphic, this time made of multicolor string woven into a pattern of nails, identifies the floor number. These installations, by local artist Danica Adler, add detail, depth and color to the entry experience. The real connections literally make an idea visible.

Image © Gensler

Olson’s diverse disciplines serve a range of clients, from print to interactive. The first logo impression in the space is on the 10th floor entryway. Being a multi-disciplinary agency, Olson knows the sum of its products is greater than its parts, and when people and great ideas come together, they morph into something entirely different. This sign is a reflection of that statement. Hundreds of bronze tubes are gathered together to create the OLSON logo.

Each of Olson’s four floors carries a unique color story and personality, much like the different cities represented in the conference room murals, including Minneapolis, Moscow, London and Sydney. Illustrating scenes from different cities was a way for Olson to create connections with global partners and add a playful element to conference rooms. The Gensler design team included: Bill Lyons, Betsy Vohs, Amy Barthel, Jason Hall, Beth Nist, Beth Mosenthal, Kate Levine and Mark Spencer.

All of the winning projects will be featured on the SEGD website and in eg magazine.

Image © Gensler

Brand Design is a growing discipline and set of services within Gensler. It includes brand definition/strategy, print design, environmental graphics, signage, video, and interaction—all delivered in deep collaboration with architects, interior designers and strategists.

Kim Lindstrom is a leader in Gensler’s Brand Design practice in Chicago. As a Project Manager, she integrates transdisciplinary teams to deliver powerful brand experiences across many project types, including workplace, retail and healthcare. Looking forward, Kim is energized by the potential of environmental brand communication to make a difference and add unique value for the organizations and communities we serve. Contact Kim at kimberly_lindstrom@gensler.com.
Amy Barthel is a Brand Designer in the Minneapolis office. She focuses on developing and integrating brand into the architectural environment, as well as print. She has worked extensively with organizations in retail, hospitality, and workplace to build visual links between brand and the built environment. Contact Amy at amy_barthel@gensler.com.

Reader Comments (1)

Ollson team,

Terrific work, i love the results and the exterior image viewing shot.!
07.26.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdoug wittnebel

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