Tips for Creating a Custom Wall Mural DesignJUNE 17, 2020| SpeedPro
Whether in the home office or the office that’s home away from home, you can’t beat the impact of custom murals. These scaled-up graphics turn a blank wall into a burgeoning piece of art. Highly customizable and innately unique, murals have been one of the past few year’s hottest design trends — and don’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon.
With more than 20 years in the visual communications industry, SpeedPro has seen its share of wall graphics. Compiled below are some of our best tips and tricks that bring custom wall mural ideas to life, from bathroom and bedroom wall mural design to statement pictures elevating tomorrow’s corporate offices.
What Can Custom Wall Murals Do for My Business?
Wall murals are more than pretty graphics stuck on walls. High-resolution, professionally printed wall murals elevate and add personality to a space. They strike the perfect balance between form and function, looking good while also doing good for their commercial and residential environments:
- Catch the Eye: Unlike other advertisements fighting for consumer attention using routine, expected methods, wall murals create bright, bold, attention-arresting graphics people can’t help but stop and take in. They’re a type of marketing that sells without being “salesy.” Customers will feel as if they’re viewing a piece of art, not an ad — one that just happens to be as aesthetically pleasing as it as strategically on-brand.
- Make Your Mark: Liven up your office, home, business or retail storefront with custom wall graphics that make the space truly yours. Enlarge and display your color schemes, logos, pictures, taglines and messages to transform a wall from plain to perfect.
- Exude Professionalism: Like dawning a suit and tie in the morning, putting murals on your walls adds an instant sense of refinement. Your space exudes poise and professionalism. It’s clear you don’t settle for the norm, putting in the thought to go above and beyond to craft the most engaging space.
- Tell a Story: Share information, shape emotional reactions, make connections and increase your brand recall with targeted customers — all because of brand-strategized, high-quality wall mural graphics. Businesses owners and offices can even employ a series of murals that do, indeed, tell a story across panels, from the founding of the business to its mission and values.
- Protect Your Walls: A high-quality, professionally printed wall mural will have a lifespan of seven to 10 years. When properly cared for, that number could extend even higher. Compare this to the two- to three-year warranty for paint, after which will require cleanings and touch-ups.
Across industries, businesses install wall murals to beautify their space while conveying branded messages:
- Restaurants: Restaurants can strengthen their one-of-a-kind dining experience by using all murals — customers come for the food and drink but stay for the ambiance
- Schools: Schools cultivate upbeat, energized environments by displaying school colors, mascots and pictures
- Sports and Entertainment: Venues show pride in their franchises with high-resolution, large-format images of teams, players, fans, championships and more
- Small Businesses and Retail Stores: Stores and businesses make the most of their space and stand out from larger competitors when they utilize the high-impact branding of wall murals
- Corporate Offices: Offices don’t have to settle for bland corporate atmospheres — break from dull meeting rooms, walls and cubicle partitions with wall murals exciting clients and corporate employees alike
- Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals and healthcare offices can spruce their halls, lobbies and reception areas with wall accents that boost comfortability and warmth
SpeedPro studios employ designated account reps and printing specialists on all orders. Clients have a set team dedicated to their wall murals, helping with the design, material selection and installation to ensure your outcomes exceed expectations.
Tips for Creating a Custom Office Wall Mural
Offices and businesses must put their best foot forward to impress customers. While this includes providing superior products and services, it also means creating an office environment that stands out just as much as those products or services. Here are six office mural tips to ensure you’re doing so.
1. Know Your Audience
Marketing that tries to connect with everyone is marketing that connects with no one. Wall murals are no exception. Use wall graphics as an extension of your company’s marketing messages, brand ideals and consumer segment-targeting strategies. Or, in simpler terms, design your wall murals to connect with target audiences.
Businesses can assure mural-audience alignment by designing with:
- Relatable imagery, icons and pictures
- Consumer-targeted language
- Attractive color schemes
- Placed where the ideal audience will see them — indoors and outdoors
2. Employ Color Psychology
Companies have researched the effects of color on consumer behavior for decades. Color psychology provides rich insights into the mood-hacking, positive and negative associations humans have with certain colors — associations the best wall murals harness. The three main categories are:
- Warm Colors: Trigger feelings of intensity, innovation, energy, power and youth
- Cool Colors: Sway feelings like security, authority confidence, luxeness, intellectualness and sophistication
- Contrasting Colors, Tones, Shading, Saturation and More: Further influence visual stimuli-based consumer decision-making and connection
3. Understand Lighting
Office lighting affects the coloration and shading of your murals. Light source type, angle, distance and even the time of day will visibly alter their appearances — sometimes with unintended aesthetic consequences.
Consider all the lighting variables surrounding the wall where you intend to mount your graphics:
- Natural Light: Supports and carries the full spectrum of light ray colors, meaning mural visuals will often be enhanced, not altered, by sunlight
- Artificial Light: Produces yellow or white light rays that can wash out mural visuals if too bright
- Negative Space: Increases the radius and intensity of natural and artificial light
- Office Furniture and Configurations: Will further disrupt or dispel light sources, potentially causes shadows on your mural
4. Consider Interactive Mural Designs
Interactive murals are wall graphics that contain digital screen components and technology. Clients or office visitors can write, draw, sign or scribble on wall screens that connect with a larger, mural-like display, which will project their work in real-time.
It’s a creative use of technology, with experiential marketing origins aiming to create more invested emotional connections with customers.
5. Enhance Your Brand Identity
Think of wall murals like a blank branding canvas. Indoor and outdoor murals create another potential consumer touchpoint, which means another chance to tell the world who your business is and what it’s about.
Mural graphics complement your brand, displaying photography, images, colors and words you want people to associate with your company. These associations help forge the right connection with consumers, which in turn becomes your brand identity. Professionally designed murals do this instantaneously, in a single look.
6. Aim to Surprise
Murals have the distinct benefit of capturing passerbyers’ attention. You probably know from experience how stunning murals on the outside of buildings can be, or how invigorating it feels to step inside a store and immediately spot a large format, custom-designed image.
However, there’s a difference between surprise and shock. Surprising visuals capture attention, swaying an audience to lean in for another look. They can be subtle or loud, inconspicuous or bold depending on what they contain. The point is to allow entrance, then establish a purposeful connection.
On the other hand, brand materials made to shock an audience are purposefully in your face. They don’t hold the same tact or a branding strategy other than shock value.
There are many tricks to creating custom wall mural ideas that surprise — and for the right reasons:
- Mural Shapes: The vast majority of wall murals are rectangular. Surprise viewers by breaking from this shape mold and creating other high-impact geometric wall graphics.
- Mural Placement: Place murals on ceiling, floors and walls, indoor or outdoor, for maximum impact
- Mural Tactiles: Consider adding 3D or interactive components and materials to finish off your piece. Contour-cut signs, digital screens and mixed-and-matched textiles add even more dimension to a mural, making graphics pop off the wall.
Tips for Creating a Home Wall Mural
Wall mural ideas for the home have many of the same tips and tricks as those in offices. Color psychology, room lighting, room size, furniture configuration and more influence the mural’s final appearance.
Keep in mind the following six design tricks when installing a living room, bathroom and bedroom wall mural to ensure the best design possible.
1. Choose Between Professional or DIY Installation
You’ll need the help of a large-format graphics printer to actually print your wall mural — that much is a given. However, the larger or more detailed your image, the more likely you’ll require professional assistance to nail the file image creation, uploading, preparation and installation of your home’s mural.
- How Much Time Can I Give to This Project? It’s one thing to spend an hour submitting a lone photo for a print order. It’s another to craft your own custom mural design, perfect its file type, size and scale, oversee the print order then apply the mural to the wall yourself.
- Do I Have the Right Tools? Do you own or have access to the tools you’ll need to properly install your wall mural — or the right camera and computer programs to design it in the first place?
- Can I Risk the Peace of Mind? A professional mural design will almost always produce a more polished product. Intricate murals or first-time mural users may simply enjoy the peace of mind fulfilled by full-service printing pros.
Note that not all large-format printers staff in-house designers or account representatives, but full-service visual communications studios like SpeedPro do. We commit a team of printed design experts to help you upload, edit and perfect your wall graphics.
2. Design for What You Have, Not What You Want
How many walls are you covering? Is the room large or small, with asymmetrical or proportionate walls? Are you renovating the entire space — new furniture, decor, carpet and paint — or adding a standout wall mural to its current look?
Answering these questions truthfully allows you to design a wall mural that works for your real home as it is — not a stylized ideation of what it can’t be. Remember to consider:
- Room Size: It may come as a surprise, but oversized images actually make rooms look larger. Opt for statement murals in places like bathrooms and entryways or other smaller-dimensioned rooms.
- Wall Dimensions: Determine the actual dimensions of the wall where your mural will be installed. Is the wall landscape (a horizontal rectangle), portrait (a vertical rectangle) or panorama (an ultra-long horizontal rectangle) style? This will affect the image detail and file type submitted to your printing partner.
- Current Wall Colors: If you don’t intend to repaint your current walls, work only complementary color tones and schemes into your design.
- Image Source and Resolution: If using real photos into your mural, use a professional camera or photographer. Avoid stock photos, which will be generic and grainy. Most people can sniff them from a mile away.
- Image Resolution: Aim for high-resolution photos with a minimum of seven to eight megapixels and a maximum file weight around 200 megabytes. These benchmarks ensure no problems arise regarding image enlargement, sharpness, coloration and clarity.
3. Make It Personal
The best wall murals for homes are those reflecting their owners — their style, their interests and the things that light up their lives.
We’ve seen some of the most meaningful mural images fashioned after drawings, doodles, even handwritten letters styled and enlarged into large-format graphics. Add a final personal touch by fabricating your mural on a range of base substrates, from the traditional cast or calendered vinyl to canvas and photo paper adhesive to plaster, brick, stone and wood wall paneling.
4. Remember the Tactile
Wall murals themselves may be 2D. Yet that hardly means they can’t contain textures and patterns added for a tactile experience, making their images stand out that much more.
Textile wall coverings can serve as accent or major mural features. Textiles are particularly great in places like the bedroom or complementing similar-fabric furniture. Wall panels can include suede, cork, grass cloth, upholstery, bamboo, brick, masonry, acoustic felt and much, much more.
5. Select the Right Finish
Professional printers will accommodate laminates onto your mural graphics. Finishes lend the look its visual finale, polishing off pictures and protecting the mural itself from stains, scratches and discoloration.
Select mural laminates like:
- Dry erase
The mural’s finish should also account for wall curves or similar spatial elements. Curves will need to be factored into a mural’s final print dimensions and panel overlapping. Plus, gloss-laminated murals installed on curves have a greater chance of catching and reflecting light, which can lead to unwanted, 24/7 glare spots.
6. Complement Your Style
Your home is an extension of you. It’s where you find rest and respite, share moments with family and invite over friends. Creating a space representative of your values — and then welcoming people into it, literally — gives them a window into what makes you tick.
Communicate your style and values through your wall mural choices. You can have your mural match dozens of design aesthetics. SpeedPro studios routinely see requests for the following:
- Bold: Statement images and striking patterns define bold wall murals. Think blown-up vintage maps, letter graphics, agate imagery and photography in bright colors or striking black and white.
- Serene: Serene wall murals lend a calming, cozy touch to home environments. Landscapes, greenery or other nature-displaying images, watercolor patterns or photography with softened filters and subdued color schemes make for great serene mural designs.
- Contemporary: Contemporary design aesthetics promote things like chic, clean lines, geometric silhouettes and a balance between light-to-dark gradient color schemes. Opt for murals that include marble backdrops or sharp, geometric patterns when designing more contemporary wall graphics.
- Minimalist: As the name suggests, minimalist wall murals give rooms a distinct personality without dominating or oversaturating. The Scandinavian minimalist movement is the most popular subgenre of this aesthetic, with murals made from muted colors, shapes and stamps often repeating in simple structures. Think herringbone, chevron or hounds tooth trims and pattern schemes if you’re interested in minimalist murals.
Bring Your Custom Wall Mural Ideas to Life With SpeedPro
Home and office wall murals make a one-of-a-kind statement. With SpeedPro’s nationwide network of visual communication studios, you don’t have to look far for a partner to bring that statement to life.
Your local team will walk you through the entire printing process to make sure you’re crafting the right design using the right materials and file type to help you achieve your vision.
Find your local SpeedPro studio to create your custom wall mural idea today.