Little Big Gets Bigger: Inside the Imaginative Little Big Brands Studio
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 04/06/2017 | 6 Minute Read
A sixteenth birthday is certainly one to remember, and it was no different for brand design firm Little Big Brands. To ring in their 16th year in business, they went all out with a brand new state-of-the-art office in the heart of White Plains, New York. Little Big’s chief creative officer John Nunziato and Forge Group designed the space which is four times larger than the firm’s previous location. Thoughtful design elements have made their way into every inch of the new Little Big Brands office, making it a top-notch design experience for both clients and employees.
The creative environment doesn’t just come with the new design, though—it’s also tied to the city in which they’re located. “We always get asked why we’re in White Plains and not New York City. The short answer is that we decided a long time ago that we wanted to give our employees a better quality of life,” said John Nunziato, founder and chief creative officer. “Agency culture in NYC is about filling seats with young, cheap talent and working them to the bone to support the high rents. The beauty of White Plains is it’s still a city, all while being a 30 minute train ride from Grand Central and 15 minutes from the airport.”
Lower rents also mean that dollars can be put back into creating a unique new office space, which the firm is excited to finally get to show off. “We painstakingly searched for a location that would have continuous daylight, high ceilings and a window line that would allow us to be integrated into the city atmosphere,” Nunziato explained. “We see and hear people and traffic all day long which keeps us in touch with our environment and is visually more stimulating than being tucked away in a quiet setting or up on the 20th floor of a building.”
The aesthetic, while modern, is warm and inviting. Warm woods mix with polished concrete floors and a cheery color palette. Quirky touches like wooden swings, day of the dead wallpaper and a phone booth that transports you to the Swiss Alps are just some of the features that make the space stand out. The competition level Butterfly ping-pong table sits alongside the custom 30-person bistro dining table (LBB buys lunch for the studio each day!) And on chilly days folks can warm up by the working fireplace in the lounge.
But it’s not all fun and games. Nunziato was very purposeful in designing the space, and each room was developed with the end use in mind to maximize functionality and the user’s experience. One area that demonstrates this is the state of the art kitchen. While functional for employees, it is outfitted with everything needed to prep food or ingredients for photo shoots when needed. Additionally, consideration to seemingly simple aspects of the new office, like seating height, was very strategic. Sitting at a certain height changes the way you interact or engage with each other. For example, bistro height automatically makes people focus and engage more—so a lot of the firm’s critique spaces feature higher seating just for that reason, to foster conversation.
Another standout element is a giant, nine screen video wall. It’s a highly engaging presentation space that features stadium seating on the opposite the wall to set a casual, interactive tone. Most importantly, though, it offers a space where clients can experience and interact with life-size store shelf sets. While people will continue to purchase shoes and clothing online, the Pharma, food, and beverage market continues to thrive as in-store experiences. Nunziato mentioned, “From polished floors, to a life-size color corrected shelf we can look left, right, up and down at their competition while cycling through multiple designs. We can even simulate the store environment sound.” The video wall gives clients as close to a real life shopping experience as you can get.
"We seek people that invest in us as much as we invest in them. From the moment a client walks into our new space they breathe a sigh of relief and typically the first words are ‘I don’t want to leave.’"- John Nunziato
When clients turn to Little Big Brands, they become part of the LBB team, functioning as one with the agency. The new innovative space offers plenty of options for clients to come in and work in a room or space that suits them best. “We seek people that invest in us as much as we invest in them,” Nunziato added. “From the moment a client walks into our new space they breathe a sigh of relief and typically the first words are ‘I don’t want to leave.’”
At the end of the day, the new space is truly a manifestation of LBB’s strong company culture. A culture that helped the firm win the title of one of the country’s best places to work last year.
“We’ve all been in work situations where culture and chemistry strikes the perfect balance. It not only creates a positive work environment and healthier employees, it also results in incredibly happy clients. That’s the impetus for this investment into our employees and clients,” Nunziato added. “We want them to love coming to work and to give them a space that sparks creativity and collaboration. Because at the end of the day, they are the reason we get to do what we love everyday.”
Take a virtual tour of the new LBB office and learn more at littlebigbrands.com.
Photography credit: Magda Biernat, Carlo DiRusso
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