Photos by Rick Etkin Productions.

After 15 years of leasing an office on the edge of Vancouver’s Gastown, Matthew Clark, Roy White and the rest of the folks at Subplot Design Inc. decided to make the move to a brand-new 2,198  square-foot space in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. The firm works primarily in packaged goods design, and they had a pretty good idea of what they wanted to wrap their new office in—the most magnificent magenta you ever did see.

xCustom millwork was done by Wanes Custom Woodworks.

“Our corporate colour has always been hot pink,” says Clark, Subplot’s co-founder and creative director. It was selected to be the opposite of the boring neutrals classic in large agencies. The unique colour also worked as an unapologetic sort of client barometer. “If it was too much for a prospective client, they weren’t the ones to work with,” laughs Clark. 

xConcrete Cashmere took Subplot's plans and made them build-ready.

But the sassy hue did require some careful placement—even the most colour-happy designers knew that. “It’s a very fine line,” says Clark. In addition to not overwhelming the eyes, there was also computer monitors and work stations to think about. “We do a lot of colour critical work, so we kept all of the pink away from the work station area intentionally to not pollute the colour.”

xGBS Construction Managers Inc. took on the project management and full build.

So they stuck with pink in the main lounge and entryway, cloaking the board room in a dark grey and keeping work stations simple with white lacquer and wood. Even the natural elements have a fun twist (like the plywood-backed basketball hoop). Closed storage was a must—“We’re not nearly as tidy as we think we are,” says Clark—so wall-to-wall closed cabinetry hides plenty of space for filing and product samples.


Eclectic seating has always been a Subplot staple, and this new office was no different. Int he board room, none of the chairs match—there’s office chairs, dining chairs, folding chairs, you name it. Simple LED lighting bolsters the natural light that streams in from both north and south-facing windows, and a 3D-printed wire frame shade from Tangible gives the lounge some extra attitude. “We may have actually crossed over into circus slightly,” says Clark. No matter—it’s a show we’re here for.