Why Environmental Graphics are a Key Component to Commercial Space Renovations

JANUARY 3, 2022| SpeedPro Dayton

When most people hear about a “remodel” or “renovation,” their initial reaction is often apprehension – especially if it’s about their business.

Commercial space renovations often imply a substantial undertaking, with weeks of planning and preparation and days of employee downtime and disruption.

Not only do they typically require a significant time investment, but the expenses of a commercial remodel can stack up just as quickly as the hours lost. An average office or commercial space remodel costs $200 per square foot – but it doesn’t have to.

Environmental graphics give architectural designers the power to completely modernize, update and refresh any office building or other commercial space, from museums and hospitals to gyms and retail stores.

Tiffany & Co. retail display

More importantly, strategic environmental graphic design (EGD) lets you execute your creative vision without requiring the significant time or financial investment of a massive structural remodel.

Here are some primary functions and applications for environmental graphics in commercial renovations, and how they can be leveraged to upgrade or transform any space:


As architectural environments become more sophisticated, guests and passersby increasingly need help finding their way around. This is particularly true in complex structures, like urban centers, transportation facilities and medical and educational campuses.

Directional Signage for Offices

Environmental graphics, such as wayfinding and directional signage, are a key component of helping people navigate their environment. Using strong visual cues, such as maps, directions and symbols, these graphics help guide people toward their desired destination.

Beyond aesthetics, these large-scale graphics upgrade the visitor experience by making the environment as hassle and stress-free as possible.


Placemaking and identity design include a multidisciplinary approach to the planning, design and development of public spaces. Identity design creates a strong sense of “you are here” by differentiating a place from others, helping people become completely immersed in the environment.

Environmental graphics play an integral role in the placemaking and identity processes, using visual communications to create experiences that connect people to place. By creating an engaging, all-encompassing and transformative atmosphere, environmental graphics help differentiate any public or commercial space and create a sense of association and identity with passersby.

BIS Lincoln Park

For businesses, this might include branded signage, such as a company logo or design that conveys a brand’s personality.

Cities and municipalities often use environmental graphics, like public wall murals of the town’s history, community or cultural events, in placemaking and identity design. This helps express the unique culture of the town while creating a connection that resonates with tourists and residents alike. 


Similarly, EGD is also used to add meaning and context to public spaces and installations, from artwork and memorials to parks and landmarks.

Temporary displays, like museum exhibits, also often incorporate elements of EGD in their overall design. Strong and strategic EGD can help you create a display or environment that’s not only immersive and engaging but also conveys information in a way that’s easily accessible and understood. Digital signage and other interactive environmental graphics are the perfect way to engage audiences.

Strategic environmental graphic design can elevate any commercial space, optimizing the physical environment for both form and function.

Experiential graphic from Hickok Cole Architects
200 Eye, Washington DC
Hickok Cole Architects

From public parks and transit systems to sport venues  and retail stores, EGD is used across the public and private arena to create a memorable, standout experience for employees, customers and passersby alike.

And, environmental graphics can provide your architectural design business with just as many advantages as it offers your clients.

Working in tandem with a full architectural remodel, EGD serves as an additional avenue you can offer clients to complement your all-encompassing design. At the same time, EGD can help you tap into an entirely new base of clients seeking out a turnkey solution for a quick and cost-effective brand refresh.

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Cody Scarberry and Sean Hohenstein