Inspiration In Progress: The Fish Hall Wall
Let me introduce you to one of the longest projects we’ve had going at Slate Group. I’m just going to call it exactly what it was: The Fish Hall.
The Fish Hall is our main hallway on the second floor. It leads straight from the elevator to the conference room. It is a pretty important hallway. For the past four years it has been decorated with staggered stand-offs of fish photography, stock photography shots of beaches, emotional sunsets, and sea turtles.
It did provide for a good conversation starter and examples of our Wide Format capabilities, but that was it. The hall became something we walked by every day that did not reflect “us”. We all kind of wondered how it even came to be. There were rumors that “Nemo” was hidden in one of the photos. Jokes surfaced about the fact that one of the panels ONLY had a turtle tail on it… and, in the spirit of Nemo, I think I even heard somebody daring another to “touch the butt.” …
*Just kidding, I made that last part up. I’m pretty sure I was the only one that thought the turtle tail panel was funny.*
Then We Got Serious…
The Fish Hall eventually became one of my Marketing projects to think on. We talked about displaying our favorite inspirational quotes, our Core Values, artwork by our Graphic Designers, and even simply just wrapping it to look like weathered brick.
The only thing we could agree on for sure was that the Fish Hall had been around for much longer than we intended, and it had been going longer than any project should go. So, we set a goal… 2017 would be the last year for the Fish Hall.
*See ya later, Fish Hall, don’t let the door hit your turtle tail on the way out!!*
Inspire Your Eyeballs Out of their Sockets
For the past two years we’ve committed ourselves to being a source of Education and Inspiration for our customers, so it was easy to pick a word that meant a lot to all of us “Inspire”. We want to be that boost when you need it… that little idea that inspires your next GREAT IDEA. Maybe we like that word so much because we realize how much we ourselves need to stay inspired. You’ve gotta fight for it, people! The easiest thing in the world is to become stagnant. But it is not easy to stay inspired.
My 2017 vision for the Fish Hall was to blow your eyeballs right out of their sockets and INSPIRE the socks off of you. Picture riding up the elevator to our second floor and right as the doors open hearing me yell “YOU’RE GONNA GET INSPIRED WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!… AND YOU’RE GONNA LIKE IT!!” (in the tone of a Old School West Texas Coach.) I think that’s a little bit of the feel this design was going for. I envisioned bright colors, the word “Inspire” larger than anybody could ever imagine. I envisioned this bright, energetic wall that you would not see anywhere else but a creative and happening place, or Pinterest, or Google. IN-YOUR-FACE!
I was convinced this was going to be THE concept. I had the wall measured, and created art according to my vision. Might I mention, I went ahead and created PRINT READY art files (I was that committed to my aggressive wall), and very casually submitted it for approval, complete with rough renderings of how it would look on the wall.
Approval did not happen, (Thank God!) not fully at least. And, honestly, this was a good thing. It pushed us a little further. The concept was there, the inspiration was there (pun intended..) But the “feel” was off. So, we agreed to sit the project on the backburner for a bit. We had definitely made progress; the concept. It was just time to let it sit in our mind and mature.
For the next two months we talked about different ideas for the word “Inspire”, vinyl backgrounds, no background, etc. We also debated different problems we could run into with each. One of the main questions we continued to ask ourself was “Will this idea help us continue to take our building in the direction we want to go?”
We continued to take baby steps in the direction we wanted to go while we were still in brainstorm mode. This helped us make up ground and encouraged us to keep going. To start things off we took down the fish and replaced them with three huge framed photos of some of our work.
Then It Happened
The Fish Hall became something my boss and I discussed probably only as a brain-break from whatever project we were working on at the moment. I can’t even begin to list the amount of ideas we ran through.
And then suddenly, out of nowhere, it happened. THE IDEA that would eventually actually make it’s way onto the wall just sort of fell out of our mouths and into place.
Now I don’t want to give anything away yet… This kind of thing can be tricky. Because, the honest truth is you never truly know how some things are going to turn out until it is done. Sometimes you just have to do SOMETHING YOU BELIEVE IN, you have to START SOMEWHERE, you have to have the courage to “Touch the Butt”, and you must have the courage to possibly fail.
But here is the deal: we did it. After years and years of talking about it and walking by fish butts all day every day. We did something. That’s an accomplishment.
The last and final piece to our wall will be installed at the end of this week. Our next Newsletter will include lots of pictures and lots of details about it. And, if you follow me on social media I will definitely be posting about it. BUT I will give you a little hint and a glimpse into the project progress over the past week.
*Hint: WE HAD AN AWESOME FRONT-LIT CHANNEL LETTER SIGN MADE FOR THE CENTER OF IT!!!
*Cross your fingers!*