Face lift and a new CEO

Day 2 of new CEO/President

this is how the conversation kinda goes… CEO " So i kinda hear your the creative guy around here"
Me “You could say that, my training is in design and i lead the design and development team”
CEO “Great, I wanna give the company a face lift, Can you do it?”
Me " Whats my time line and whats my budget"
CEO " Lets say 15 days and do it for as cost effective as you can but i want it Kick Ass and to wow me"
ME “Okay, do you have any ref. material of what wows you as i don’t know you or your style very well”
CEO " no i l just leave that up to you"
CEO " do you agree that wee need to do this?"
ME “Yes I do”
CEO “we don’t need to do everything by the 14th so lets think stages, but i want whatever we can do by the 14th”

A little insight into the current situation for me, 1. Just promoted to Design and Development manager and tasked with turning around several items the major one being that we need to integrate all departments properly into the process. 2. currently overseeing 4 projects in the engineering phase 3. Designing and developing 5 projects in the ID phase 4. Getting the in ID person up to speed who just started last week. 5. Creating new signage for every dept. that the new CEO has asked to create things but to ensure everything goes through me as I am now apparently in complete control of our Brand Identity…

The image is what we started with, and i will next post some of the quick rough concepts i put together to communicate the direction i wanted to go in. keeping in mind through this process i have had the support of some great internal team members and some valuable vendors. I am still unsure what all we will have done by the 14th but you will see it soon.

OK, so now that we know where you work, and that your new CEO has no clue, will hope you have your resume in order.

Oh i think there is a definite method to his “madness”, and having a president wanting update the visual image of your company is a good thing especially since it hasn’t been done in 20 years. My post isn’t to grip but to show what i will accomplish in that time frame and get some feed back… because Interior design is not my strong suit…

Dan, always so uplifting…

Chevis, I’ve done this before. I’d say any change (even if we are just talking branding, signage, letterhead) will take 1-2 quarters. (or are you just focusing on the offices?)

In 15 days I would focus pulling together a 4-6 hour workshop with key stakeholders to define who you are as a company, what your value proposition is, what your ethics, ideals, and strengths are. If you are redesigning the space, I’d make sure there is an exercise or 2 in the workshop centered around workflow. Who works with who, when currently, vs idealy how would lines of communication and collaboration be drawn.

With alignment on those issues, you can start conceptualize how to manifest that through interior space, branding, org structure…

Whatever you do, keep the tufted burgundy leather guest chairs. I can’t see but I can only hope they have a lovely pattern of nail/stud heads on the arms. Nothing says stodgy country club filled with old dudes like those chairs.

In addition to what yo said, get yourself a budget. My guess the CEO will shut the project down when he finds out Herman Miller furniture for the reception area will run 5 figures without breaking a sweat.


Your description is 100% accurate on the chairs, and I am amazed at how many people here are upset that they are going…

Sounds like he’s taking pages out of this:


So his request could be completely self serving. I’ve been asked to do this multiple times at my company and the end result is typically lots of cool renderings and then lack of funds and it doesn’t go much further than new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. The upside is that me and the designers got to work on some interior design projects and they can be a lot of fun.

If his objective really is to improve things at your company then I think Yo’s advice is a good honest start.

I’ve done this internally while an employee at several corporate gigs, and also do this from the ground up now for many new companies.

I echo, that in 15 days, you won’t be doing much. Most furniture alone has a 5 week lead time.

I expect first priority would be to align the goals of the project, talk to different departments, set some strategic plans in place on budgets, schedule, position, etc.

Most difficult thing I expect would be to make much of an impact or change as it doesn’t look like the company is very design conscious (based on logo, look of office park location, what seems to be a healthcare-type commercial industry, furniture, etc.) so expect you would get push back on spending money on things that people might think “make no difference”.

Best thing at this point might be to benchmark a competitor or company from a different sector you think is doing it right.

In my experience it is one of those projects that can seem like it has great potential as “can’t get any worse” but can turn into a clusterf**K of half assed small things that in the don’t make any difference, really quickly if the vision is not there (and judging by the 15 days schedule, doesn’t sounds like it is).

It’s something that has to be done right, from the top down and inside out, or it’s putting lipstick on a pig. :wink:



I am now just getting around to posting some picks of what i was able to get completed and approved in my 15 day window. The nice thing was that i had just completed the visual branding for our marketing and internal documents so i carried that over. I showed about 4 concepts varying in range of cost and the executive committee yay or nayed various options. the images are what i was able to get approved and executed in the time line.

Note, I fought not to have our LOGO on all the images, but didn’t win on that one…

I did get approval for the following which is in the works

50" TV for the reception area (will go above the plants)
replacing the Brown doors
new carpeting
spotlights for each product
new tile
new carpet
face lift for receptionist desk (herman miller)

I know there is room for improvement and i will continue to push for more, but to be honest i think this could have gone a lot worst…

Nice work with a positive attitude about getting it done combined with realistic expectations (something I personally could use some improvement on :stuck_out_tongue:). I like the cleaner look befitting the end use of the products. Only thing I’d like to see brought back is that American flag, perhaps displayed more affectionately.


I shall find a way to incorporate the Flag back in, my goal is to get a flag pole out front when it warms up. US flag, State Flag,

Chev… the flags in the first series of images is displayed improperly. Sort of…

When viewed from an audience perspective (in this case the entry) the American flag is to be placed on it’s own right, traditionally the side of “strength”; as seen by the audience it would be on their left. This would place the two flags on the left side of the receptionist’s desk (as seen when entering the building). The US flag would be closest to the wall (it’s own right). The blue field is displayed properly; hanging to the left (as seen when entering) of the staff.

All other flags stand to the “left” of the American flag (when in the United States of course) , and lower by descending authority; State, City, Company (which could get a little confusing if you are Bank of America).

Niggley stuff to be sure, but it might as well be “correct”.
Entry display.JPG

Good info, like you say if it is going to be done then do it right. Thanks