Astonishing spatial design & funky brands

To follow up on my blog post Astonishing product design & funky brands, here are some of my thoughts about the role of spatial design in branding.  

I've already touched upon the role of space in brand management. To summarize my articles on the subject (Funky brands need funky spaces, Innovative advertising spaces, and Funky ambient ads), space is extremely important for idea generation, creativity and brand-building. For instance, think about Googleplex that I talked about here -- its main role is to reinforce Google's company culture of innovation and sharing, trigger creativity and solidify Google's brand vis-a-vis its employees, aka any company's biggest brand ambassadors. All of this achieved by means of design.


If  you place your product or service into an astonishingly designed space, this will greatly reinforce the rest of your brand building activities. One of the main reasons for this is how the human brain perceives reality.


The majority of people are the so called visual learners -- they constitute roughly 65% of the global population.  This is why a good business model, combined with clear positioning and superb customer service, also needs to look good. A good example of the role that design plays in brand building is nhow hotel in Berlin, previously featured in my series of Funky Brand Interviews. Needless to say, if you stay in such a hotel, you will most probably want to come back to experience the unusual, eye-catching design again. Which means, this hotel is likely to score pretty high on customer loyalty, an essential element of any good brand.


Another recent example of using design to create an extraordinary space is the work by Craig Redman and Karl Maier, known as Craig & Karl. What strikes me most here is a rather trivial starting point of the project -- a car park.


"When it comes to interiors, nothing is as traditionally drab and cold as a parking garage. There’s a reason why it’s the default setting for film directors looking to convey foreboding: garages are where people get grabbed, shot at, or straight-out whacked." (Source:


I got in touch with Craig & Karl, asking them to share with my funky readers some of the background to their project, as well as the stunning images of the designed car park.


This is what Craig wrote me,


"The objective of the project was to breathe new life into the space which, having been rendered in concrete with little inlet of natural light, felt quite dark and heavy. Working closely with the owners, who possess a keen design sensibility, it was decided that the mural would cover all surfaces in a blanket of bright colour. There was also a request that the larger wall surfaces be left blank with an eye towards potentially introducing additional, individually commissioned works at a future date. Nevertheless it was vital that the installation feel and function as a complete work in its own right. The resulting design is a dynamic mix of overlapping geometric forms that mirror and respond to the angularity of the architecture. The whole piece is tied together by a winding, ribbon-style device which, acting as a central axis, leads in from the driveway, through the space and out to the garden beyond."


Kudos to Craig & Karl, as well as the design-conscious owners of the car park. They should certainly build upon the publicity this funky project has received to date, and think how to capture this value in the longer term.



About Craig & Karl Craig Redman and Karl Maier live on opposite sides of the world but collaborate daily to create bold work that is thoughtful and often humorous. They specialise in illustration, installation, typography, as well as character, editorial and pattern design. Craig & Karl have exhibited across the world, most notably at the Musée de la Publicité, Louvre. They have worked on projects for clients like LVMH, Nike, Apple, Vogue, Microsoft, Converse, MTV and The New York Times.

Photography credit: Katherine Lu (