Our designers are at it again. We moved into our new studio in March and couldn’t wait to make our mark on the space. So we created something we’ve never done before–-a massive mural that moves from wall-to-wall and overflows our lobby space with inspirational energy. Think of this as our modern welcome mat as you enter our studio.
Creativity is who we are. It lives within everyone at Bates Creative in several forms. We wanted the mural to send the message that creativity flows through our team, clients and every branded experience that passes through our doors.
Finding the words to describe our evolution since 2003 was tricky, yet thrilling. We landed on “Creativity Moves.” These two words say so much about what we stand for. We are a community of creatives who believe in the fearless exploration of art and experiences. We are also strategic thinkers who place meaning behind our designs. This craft engages audiences, then moves them to take action. Concepting the mural was a cross-team effort, but the feat was spearheaded by Creative Director Jen Fose, and Art Director Emily Biondo. By the time the mural was completed 300 hours later, every team member was able to burn the midnight oil and dip their paint brush into the collaborative experience.
Silver Spring Hidden Gems
Much of our brainstorm process focused on the isms that define us as an agency. We explored different angles of inspiration for the mural, but it was something about our Silver Spring history that stuck. It’s the place that our brand was born, nurtured and has grown.
“We decided to focus on one object to define Silver Spring. Naturally, we went for the metro since it’s the most representative of movement,” Biondo says.
Within the mural, you’ll find local icons paying homage to our city like the historic Silver Spring fountain and the AFI Silver Theatre and Culture Center.
The designers wanted “to execute something on the wall to show our manual skills, but also who we are as a company,” Biondo says.
Looking at the mural, it isn’t hard to tell that we rally behind our eclectic brand. It’s a melting pot of Silver Spring history and inside jokes that have grown with us since our founding in 2003. Each item represented in the mural holds meaning. Some of the more figurative gems, like the airplane, represent creativity taking flight and mobilizing an audience.
Others are more straightforward, like the succulent referencing Biondo’s motherhood to over a dozen plants in the studio. On any given day, you’ll find her misting her tropical tribe. Or perhaps the white elephant, commemorating our annual holiday tradition that celebrates our team culture, spirit and unwavering competitiveness for who can bring the best gift to the bunch. And speaking of competition, you’ll also find a curling stone whirling through the center of our mural, nodding to our 2017 holiday party that swept us off our feet.
Other elements speak to our client work, like the beer tulip, or the magazine spreads. It’s our way of saying “thanks” to brands for entrusting us and letting our creative juices run wild and channel movement among target audiences. And some objects are pure fun. The palm trees are there simply because Debbie Bates-Schrott, our CEO and founder, dreams of spending her days at the beach. But then again, who doesn’t?
Blending Creative Styles
Despite having different creative styles, Fose and Biondo work together like a well-oiled machine. Fose is balanced and thoughtfully outlined. Biondo airs more on the side of organic styles and whimsical.
Before the design began filling our blank wall, it went through several rounds of revisions to make sure the two illustration styles were meshing into magic. The finished product does an eye-popping job of showcasing two different design styles that sync together to create a memorable mural.
The beauty of being a creative mind here at Bates Creative is that you’re free to explore outside the lines. We don’t follow the traditional do’s and dont’s of a creative agency—we simply evolve with the times, embrace new perspectives and push the limits to produce striking experiences.
“Seeing our agency’s inside story come to life on our first mural in the new space has been awe-inspiring. It exudes creativity as soon as you walk in the door. It sets the stage for our space that we can’t wait to share with our clients,” says Bates-Schrott.
Our mural is a perfect blend of creative flavors. It is whimsical in nature without sacrificing the integrity of smart design. And when you really take a step back to soak it all in, you’ll see that not only does it speak to our Silver Spring community, but also to the eclectic, quirky tone of our team. This mural is just the beginning — smaller murals will pop up on several of our ivory walls, flourishing our new space. With our different design flavors, this space will truly become our artistic sanctuary, where we are surrounded by our paint strokes and fluid movement that will inspire our client work.