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.

€œOur 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. €œIf it was too much for a prospective client, they weren€™t the ones to work with,€ laughs Clark. 

But the sassy hue did require some careful placement€”even the most colour-happy designers knew that. €œIt'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. €œWe 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.€

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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€”€œwe'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'soffice 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. €œWe may have actually crossed over into circus slightly,€ says Clark. No matter€”It's a show we're here for.

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This story was originally published on October 20, 2020.