EGD – More than just pictures on the wall.

By Nate Pregg

Environmental Graphic Design, or EGD, has become an increasingly important part of the workplace.  As one of the four core services within our Visual Communications practice, major emphasis has been placed on this component of the workplace environment. As the name suggests, Environmental Graphic Design is the practice of graphic design applied to an environment, but is a significant step above standard signage application. EGD goes beyond simply aiding and communicating pedestrian movement, to being used to reinforce culture, express brand, communicate meaningful information, and facilitate navigation. As we work with our clients to understand their needs, we tailor the application of these graphics to their unique workplace, culture, and objectives. This can take many shapes and forms, from large format graphics, to 3-dimensional installations, to all-encompassing branded environments.

One way to look at the impact of Environmental Graphics is to consider it in terms of 3 tiers:

  •  Tier 1: Enhancing Navigation - creating wayfinding and visual cues within the space.

  •  Tier 2: Reinforcing Place – creating a sense of place and communicating clear messages.

  • Tier 3: Creating Experiences – going beyond graphics to create a branded environment and experience for employees and clients of an organization.

Recently, we had the opportunity to employ all three tiers with Murphy Oil Corporation at their new headquarters building in El Dorado, Arkansas. The primary goal of the project was to create a brand experience throughout their new headquarters, where they could make a first and lasting impression on visitors. The messaging and applications were not only targeted to the visitor, but also to employees, business partners, and investors. We did this first through the use of oversized photographic prints located in each of the four elevator lobbies located on each floor. The photos, taken at Murphy’s drilling sites around the world, not only tell the story of what they do, but also create a visual cue that aids navigation through the building.

The most exciting opportunity on the project was the development of their Visitor’s Center. Designed to be a 3-dimensional encounter with Murphy Oil Corporation, the Visitor’s Center is an 800 square foot, centrally-located space. It is on the first floor, open to the main lobby, visitor waiting area, and a 4-story atrium. Murphy had clear objectives for the space, which included capturing the heart of Murphy Oil Corporation. We accomplished this by telling the story of who they are, where they work, what they do, how they do it, and most importantly, why they do it. These elements where expressed through a combination of a large world map highlighting their impact around the world, four freestanding graphic kiosks showcasing their core businesses, and model displays showing how they work.  By creating an immersive environment that embodies the essence of Murphy Oil Corporation, they now have a place they are proud to call home and that tells their story in a meaningful and memorable way. 

Our Visual Communications team is ready to help you create a meaningful encounter with your brand. We can help you influence perception and amplify your built environment, whether it is through enhancing navigation, reinforcing your sense of place, or creating an immersive experience.


Nate Preg

Nate Preg is an Industrial Designer and Team Lead for our Visual Communications Practice. He is passionate about helping companies communicate the essence of who they are through any medium.  He has over 15 years of experience helping companies create spaces and places that showcase their brand and message.