Studies suggest that office artwork can significantly improve employees’ moods and productivity. The University of Exeter found that when people perform work tasks in an office enriched with artwork and plants, they work 17% faster than employees in bare, functional rooms. They also experience lowered stress levels and improved well-being. Employees who work in spaces decorated with art are happier at work and feel more connected to their employers.
Another survey done by the Business Committee for the Arts reveals just how deeply art affects the workplace. According to the survey, 78% of employees believe art in the workplace helps reduce stress, 67% believe art in the workplace enhances morale, 64% believe art in the workplace improves creativity and productivity and 65% believe art in the workplace helps build client or community relations. Additionally, 94% of employees feel that art enhances the workplace overall.
Office wall murals provide an excellent way for companies to make their workplaces more inviting. They offer measurable gains to the business and enhance the environment for employees, clients and guests.
History of Murals
As an art form, the mural has long roots throughout history.
The earliest known murals are the type of Paleolithic cave paintings found in the Lascaux Caves, which have been nicknamed the “Prehistoric Sistine Chapel” for their abundance of wall art. Egyptian hieroglyphic tomb paintings, paintings on the walls of the Ajanta Caves in India and early frescoes in the Minoan palaces of Crete were also ancient forms of murals.
The Romans made extensive use of murals, including in Pompeii, where the ceilings and walls of almost every building were painted with scenic murals of landscapes, still lifes and figures.
During the Renaissance, especially in Florence, Italy, an explosion of mural paintings led to innovations in form and technique. Italian artists such as Piero della Francesca and Luca Signorelli created some of the beautiful religious murals of the period. Sandro Botticelli’s stunning paintings of human figures are also famous examples of frescoes, or murals painted on fresh, wet plaster.
The latter part of the Renaissance saw artists like Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci doing important work. Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper is a stark and haunting psychological scene, and Michelangelo’s beautiful ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel, especially those depicting scenes from the Book of Genesis, are famous around the world. Raphael’s frescoes in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican also stand out as premier examples of fresco murals during this period.
Twentieth-Century Murals and Beyond
In the 1900s, artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse pushed the mural form in a more abstract, impressionist direction. Picasso’s famous Guernica depicts the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Matisse’s ceramic murals in the Chapel of the Rosary in the town of Vence, France, depict simple, impressionistic religious images. In the last years of his life, Matisse designed the chapel, including its artwork and stained-glass windows, for a group of elderly Dominican nuns who had been using a garage as a place of worship.
Further developments in the style and use of murals arose out of the Mexican revolutionary movement. Diego Rivera’s History of Mexico mural, painted on the stairwell of Mexico City’s National Palace, depicts the struggle of the common Mexican people again Spanish and French colonialism and Mexican dictators. Rivera’s City of Industry, a series of murals depicting the auto industry of 1930s Detroit, also focuses on the struggle of the working class, this time during the Great Depression.
The development of murals in the late twentieth century included the use of graffiti and the creation of more outdoor murals. The English street artist and activist Banksy uses stencil graffiti to create murals offering social commentary, such as a recent Brexit-themed mural and a mural depicting Apple founder Steve Jobs as a refugee.
In many American cities of today, street murals have taken off. In San Francisco’s Mission District, vibrant, large-scale street murals are practically a way of life, ranging from whimsical to socially pointed. They include homages to celebrated artists like Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe. The enormous, intricate MaestraPeace mural on the 18th Street Women’s Building, for example, was created by seven talented female artists to represent and celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world.
In New York, street murals abound, from graffitied murals on the Bronx “Wall of Fame” to an Audobon Society project that presents endangered birds around the city in technicolor mural form. Detroit is also bursting with murals — Diego Rivera’s last living assistant has created a mural in Southwest Detroit.
Benefits of Office Wall Murals
One of the greatest qualities of art is that it doesn’t exist merely framed and hung up in a museum. Art is a living, changing, dynamic thing that we can incorporate into all aspects of our lives, including schools and offices.
Having wall murals in a workplace is vital for several reasons. Office wall murals offer multiple benefits for employees and clients:
- They catch the eye: One of the virtues of office wall murals is that they grab people’s attention and don’t let go. In a neutral-toned environment of bland conference rooms and filing cabinets, colorful wall art can catch the eye in an appealing way.
- They brighten the workplace: When you think of a stereotypical office, you probably think of blank white walls and generic furniture and decor. But it doesn’t have to be that way. An office can be a lively place full of color and engaging graphics. All you need is a mural to make your office a more vibrant place.
- They boost employee morale: As the statistics above show, when employees have to work in drab, uninspiring workplaces, their moods tend to suffer. But an office mural can provide a much-needed boost to employee morale. A colorful and engaging mural goes a long way toward making an office a more cheerful and fun place to be.
- They increase productivity: Statistics show that working in a space filled with art helps employees focus and connect to their work. An improved level of engagement can dramatically increase employee productivity.
- They impress clients: No one likes to come to a business that’s drab and gloomy. Having attractive, stylish murals in your office does more than make the place look nice — it also projects an impression of professionalism and caring. When clients see that you care enough about your office space to make it look inviting, they’ll believe that you care about your clients, products and services, as well.
- They engage clients and guests: Clients and guests need opportunities to engage with your business on many levels. If your business is a tech company, consider creating a bold office mural to illustrate your startup’s goals and vision for the future. A fun mural full of futuristic gadgets can engage with people. If your company has an environmental focus, a mural featuring a lush, green, thriving landscape could make people more invested in acting to make that future possible.
- They create a tailored atmosphere: The beauty of custom murals is that you can design whatever you wish. You can tailor your mural to your business and clientele. If you run a dentist’s office, especially one that serves a lot of children, you could create a mural with cute animals in dental masks and chairs. If you own a local business with strong ties to the community, you could create a mural featuring scenes from the local landscape. You can also use the appeal of contrast to your benefit. If your company is a strait-laced law office, a bright, whimsical mural might be just the thing to lessen the mental load your employees carry.
- They spark conversations: Inspiring lively communication between different teams and different people is the goal of many businesses. Having an engaging mural on hand to catch the eye and stimulate the imagination can do just that. If clients are stuck in your waiting area, instead of getting bored, they can chat with each other about the mural. If clients are new to the area, they can ask about the nearby scenes featured in a mural. Art has the ability to bring diverse people together, and companies can harness this power for their benefit, thanks to murals.
- They can communicate information: Murals don’t have to be all whimsical landscapes and cartoon creatures. If you need your mural to communicate information, such as the specific, sustainable way your product is sourced and transported, it can do that. Using art to convey information is also likely to increase clients’ engagement with the material. So they will be more likely to retain the knowledge and comply with the rules.
- They can advertise your brand: Murals are a great way to incorporate elements of branding and create strong positive impressions in clients’ minds. Brand advertising in a mural can be either subtle or bold. If you’re a dry-cleaning company hoping to enhance your business atmosphere by creating a colorful mural that happens to incorporate a small logo, that’s a great way to go. Or if you’re a university bookstore and you want to create a mural covered with specific school colors and themes, that could be an excellent way to promote school spirit. Either way, you’ll create a positive association with your brand, and you’ll also make your brand more memorable. These two qualities help attract and retain clients.
Benefits of Printed Wall Murals
At SpeedPro, we work with printed murals rather than paints. We typically use these materials:
- Vinyl: Vinyl is one of the premier printed mural materials. Cast vinyl is exceptionally thin and can adhere to walls that curve or contain small imperfections. A cast vinyl mural often looks painted rather than printed. Calendered vinyl is thicker and ideal for long, smooth stretches of wall. Both varieties offer strong adhesive properties and maintain their color well.
- Photo paper: Photo paper is ideal for murals containing photographic images. With its glossy finish, it makes for sleek and shiny office murals.
- Canvas: The textured quality of canvas gives it a unique visual appeal. Canvas is perfect for giving your office murals an enhanced artsy feel.
- Perforated window film: Perforated window film is generally used on glass walls or the outsides of windows. The perforations allow rainwater to drain and sunlight to penetrate, and they also allow people on the other side of the glass to see through.
Printed media offer a couple of distinct advantages:
- Time: The complexity of a painted mural generally means its completion could take weeks, months or even years. With our state-of-the-art printing capabilities, we can have your project done in a fraction of that time. Our colors are vibrant, our images are crisp, and our quality is first-rate — and you get your project done with speedy turnaround time.
- Longevity: Paint can chip or fade, but our murals are sturdy, so they can stand up to the elements. Our ink is designed for a long life, and we can also laminate our vinyl or use custom finishes for increased protection and durability.
Types of Wall Murals
Murals come in a few different styles, so you can pick the one that will work best for your business:
Indoor Wall Murals
Indoor wall murals adhere to the interior walls of a business. They don’t have to weather the elements, but they should be durable enough to resist the fingerprints and small abrasions of indoor office life.
You can use your interior wall murals to coordinate with your outdoor signage. A complementary color scheme, for example, helps tie the company aesthetic together and creates a unified appeal.
Outdoor Wall Murals
Outdoor wall murals adhere to the exterior walls of a business. They need to be particularly durable to stand up to harsh weather and extreme temperatures. With outdoor murals, it’s essential to use the appropriate finishes or laminates so that your mural has the protection it needs.
Oversized Wall Murals
Large wall murals are bold and impossible to miss. The size of your mural typically depends on the printing equipment used to make it. Roll-fed printing, in which one sheet of material is fed continuously through the printer, can create larger murals. Flatbed printing is great for medium-sized and smaller murals.
If you want to cover an entire wall of your building for a striking effect, that’s absolutely an option. For large wall mural printing, you’d generally use tiling to create sections of your mural and then piece them together into one seamless image.
Create Custom Office Wall Murals With SpeedPro
At SpeedPro, custom printed products are our specialty. We have an extensive product catalog that allows our clients to customize their projects with a variety of styles and materials. Our in-house graphic designers can consult on project ideas, assist with design and edit files. We also have a specialized team that will come to your site, take measurements and test your wall composition. So you’ll always end up with a mural that meets your size requirements and adheres to your wall with ease.
Check out our list of locations across the country, and then contact us for wall mural printing.