Design & Art Direction
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Thumbtack Office

 

Environmental Design, Wayfinding, Branding

When Thumbtack’s new brand launched, it was a critical moment in the company’s history - not just for our customers but also for employees. I was tasked with leading a design effort to transform our space architecture by BBA to embody the new Thumbtack brand and create a directional graphics package.

We brought on production partner Tinkering Monkey to help fabricate and build a variety of physical signage that was not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional. At the core of the package is a way finding system, designed to help people navigate the entire 80,000 square foot office space.

Beyond celebrating the brand and creating directional signage, we also wanted the space to celebrate and reinforce Thumbtack’s values. We developed a physical card system that showcases each value, but was designed to be placed anywhere around the office to continually inspire and remind employees of their significance.

 
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The main lobby features a wall of Thumbtack’s meta categories, leading to the front desk and reception.
 
Each icon was meticulously carved out of solid walnut. The entire wall provides an eye-catching demonstration of the breadth of categories that Thumbtack offers, and invites guests to explore the different neighborhoods in the office.
 
Does anybody else want to touch this wall? Just us? Ok...We had the opportunity to work with Thumbtack to unveil their new branding and we loved playing a part in a whole office makeover. This icon wall is so eye catching!”

Paula Chang, Tinkering Monkey

 
The Thumbtack word mark is fabricated from adhesive acrylic.
 
The lobby features gigantic light boxes that are easily changed to display seasonal campaign imagery.
 
The lobby features a masked digital projection map that showcases live data of Thumbtack jobs happening across the nation.
 
Thumbtack’s platform makes it easier to get more done. The directional system was designed to literally make it easier to find a meeting room and ultimately be more productive.
 
The first layer of the directional signage is to help people find one of the 9 “neighborhoods” in the building. These meta level signs also direct to the nearest restrooms.
 
Each neighborhood also has solid walnut hanging signage featuring the name and associated icon.
 
Once inside a specific neighborhood, people can navigate to the specific room they are looking for. Adjacent neighborhoods are called out beneath to provide further guidance.
 
Each of the 60 rooms in the office has it’s own walnut name-card, with a corresponding neighborhood meta icon. The extra icon helps reinforce the system so eventually people just understand where they are going without even having to look.

Each of the 60 rooms in the office has it’s own walnut name-card, with a corresponding neighborhood meta icon. The extra icon helps reinforce the system so eventually people just understand where they are going without even having to look.

 
For rooms that have video conferencing, we created custom wallpapers specific to each room. This provides even more visual cues to help people find rooms faster, and also provides a bit of wanderlust as they wait for their meeting to begin.

For rooms that have video conferencing, we created custom wallpapers specific to each room. This provides even more visual cues to help people find rooms faster, and also provides a bit of wanderlust as they wait for their meeting to begin.

 
Given the significance of Thumbtack’s values, the values cards were designed to be placed anywhere around the office. This allows the office ops staff to see where the cards get the most visibility, or to arrange them in a specific area for an event.
 
Two sizes of the cards were created, a small 8x12 inch size (pictured) and a larger 24x36 inch variant (pictured below).

Two sizes of the cards were created, a small 8x12 inch size (pictured) and a larger 24x36 inch variant (pictured below).

The larger size creates an integrated but prominent statement, one that employees can read multiple times a day.

The larger size creates an integrated but prominent statement, one that employees can read multiple times a day.

Each value board is made of solid hardwood, inspired by a skateboard deck. The wooden texture lends a natural feel, and is in line with the rest of the signage wood motif.

Each value board is made of solid hardwood, inspired by a skateboard deck. The wooden texture lends a natural feel, and is in line with the rest of the signage wood motif.

Rendering of the entire set of values cards.

Rendering of the entire set of values cards.

Throughout the process, I made sure that the entire office design system worked with existing elements - such as partnering with designer Chi Thorsen to integrate photographic layouts.

Throughout the process, I made sure that the entire office design system worked with existing elements - such as partnering with designer Chi Thorsen to integrate photographic layouts.

 
After the brand launch and a successful office refresh, we kept going - looking for more opportunities to add form and function to our cherished space.”
 
The neighborhood signage system was easily extended into Thumbtack’s famous kitchen area. Although not pictured, this area becomes quite congested with hungry employees around lunch and dinner time each day - so the signs provide structure for the daily food queue.

The neighborhood signage system was easily extended into Thumbtack’s famous kitchen area. Although not pictured, this area becomes quite congested with hungry employees around lunch and dinner time each day - so the signs provide structure for the daily food queue.

To differentiate from the neighborhood signs, we chose to ‘invert’ the palette, utilizing a birch wood texture with dark typography.

To differentiate from the neighborhood signs, we chose to ‘invert’ the palette, utilizing a birch wood texture with dark typography.

A custom logo was created for our beloved TACKitchen, and is proudly mounted on the kitchen’s front desk area.

A custom logo was created for our beloved TACKitchen, and is proudly mounted on the kitchen’s front desk area.

 

To give a sense of scale and complexity for the entire project, this map shows the entire office layout. Even finding the position of wayfinding locations required lots of laps around the office and a bit of trial and error to make sure that every area was covered.