Time To Shine

Laser cut wayfinding with metallic paint match

Fora is a ‘proworking’ space that pushes the design boundaries and creates truly beautiful interiors for its tenants to enjoy and work in. The Central Street branch (on the borders of Clerkenwell, Barbican and Old Street) in particular has some distinctive characteristics, including a lush lobby with elevated seating and an onsite Italian restaurant by chef Stevie Parle.

Aware of our impact on Workspace, Fora connected with us through a design group to act as their shared office signage specialists. They asked us to come on board and help them to completion. Naturally we carried out a recce before opening, and one of the main points of interests was the lack of walls in this truly open plan space. We were intrigued by the chance of creating a wayfinding system using just a network of pillars!

Fora weren’t very keen on vinyl yet wanted to implement a concept of copper coloured signage that looked 3D. We decided on laser cut acrylic signs, sprayed in a paint mixed up using a special recipe of silver and bronze to get the exact colour match.

We then affixed lettering, arrows and pictograms directly onto our canvas of pillars, encasing the signs with wraparound frames, hugging each post at a 90 degree angle. Implementation proved a little tricky, as some of the facets of the pillars weren’t straight but we managed to get around that by adjusting the frames. In the end, the idea for this shared office signage was a pretty simple but visually original one, resulting in a strikingly minimalist wayfinding system that’s fitting for such a clean space.

Our signpainter, Hector, then hand painted numbers onto each of the lockers using the same paint, creating a sense of harmony and completing the high end look.

After Central Street, Fora evolved and eventually changed design groups but they asked us to stay on board and work on their next project. The relationship has built on from there.

We’ve been able to increase customer satisfaction by making our quotes more competitive, especially since we’ve brought laser cutting in house – we now do all laser sign creation here at our Shoreditch shop. And, for each Fora project, we listen to what they need and always supply temporary mock ups, ensuring the architects, interior designers and stakeholders are happy, working around the launch dates of each new location.

This often means we’re stepping around trades people like builders, plumbers and painters, reliant on each phase to conclude before playing our part. At times, we’ve been looking for a particular wall to place a sign on, but it’s turned out the wall hasn’t even been built yet! Being artistic in a construction environment does come with its own set of challenges, but we love that we get to know all the folk on site, and it’s a beautiful thing when the process is seamless, with everyone communicating and working as efficiently as possible. The projects at Fora provide the contentment of witnessing all the stages of progress, from a little bit chaotic to perfectly complete.