10 decorative accessories we always see in every graphic design agency

It’s not just the smaller design studios. We are talking about some of the biggest creative agencies in the world, like Pentagram and UsTwo, where we see some basic decor items. Of course, everyone’s space looks different and has its own character. But there are always the same objects that sneak around.

Some of the items listed below will bring back fond memories for many of you, perhaps visiting IKEA to outfit your first office – many of which have stayed with you through various changes as you expanded your business and staff. We’ve even shared some real-life studios from our creative community for more inspiration. Appreciate!

1. The IKEA bookcase

No design studio is complete without IKEA’s beloved white shelf system. Now called KALLAX, it’s affordable, reliable, and can act like many things. From room divider and sideboard to bookcase, vinyl storage or D&AD Pencil display, it’s a piece of furniture we see over and over again. But don’t even think about buying anything but white. White is the color of choice in this industry.

2. Motivational typographic printing

While some studios move away from classic design and opt for other typographic statements, Anthony Burrill’s Work Hard & Be Nice To People has become a studio staple for much of the industry over the past decade. The graphic artist is known for his impactful, direct statements and love of print. And it’s easy to see why the design community loves his work. Other options for his office walls include those by graphic artist Sarah Boris, “type twister” and designer Dani Molyneux and Veronica Fuerte of Hey.




Tim Easley’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

office of [Tim Easley](https://timeasley.com/).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Tim Easley’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

the office of [Gavin Strange](https://www.jam-factory.com).  The image was courtesy of the artist.



Gavin Strange’s office. The image was courtesy of the artist.

The House of [Studio Build](https://www.studio.build) in Leeds.  Courtesy of Michael C Place.



Studio Build’s home in Leeds. Courtesy of Michael C Place.

3. The classic Anglepoise desk lamp

Whether it’s a cozy corner or a well-lit table, a lamp is essential for any discerning graphic designer’s space. But if there’s one classic that creatives keep coming back to, it’s the Anglepoise table lamp. Who can resist the charms of this timeless British-made product? Especially when there are so many irresistible options.

4. Playful design toys and ornaments

There is no doubt that we want to express ourselves creatively. We want our workspaces to say something about us and what we love. That’s why vinyl toys are a big feature of many studios. Even nostalgics like Transformers often show up. We love this classic Smiley lamp that doubles as both a toy and a functional object – Hey, space is limited; we have to be practical about these things. Or you can opt for something a little more mature, like a typographic ornament. Who is guilty of having an ad on display? Etsy has some pretty cool options if you haven’t added one to your office yet.

Matt Smith's office at [Daylight](https://day-light.co.uk).  The image was courtesy of the artist.



Matt Smith’s office from Daylight. The image was courtesy of the artist.

office of [Kate Moorhouse](https://solodesign.studio).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Kate Moorhouse’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

office of [Chris Wilson](https://www.stckmn.com/).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Chris Wilson’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

5. A Swiss cheese factory

We’ve seen plenty of cacti and prayers, peace lily and heart necklaces in design agencies around the world, but the one plant that stands out is always the Swiss cheese variety. There’s something about this humble plant that draws designers everywhere. Maybe it’s the interesting foliage. Perhaps it is the air-purifying abilities these plants possess. Whatever the reason, it’s the most loved in the industry. Beard & Daisies offers a good option and, in solidarity with Ukraine, is donating £1 for every sale of its Swiss cheese factory to Choose Love, a charity that works to provide vital help to those forced to flee their country.

6. Habitat tab clock

Sadly no longer available for purchase on the Habitat website, this classic flip watch is loved by many design studios across the UK. For a decent alternative, we recommend heading to the industry favorite Present & Correct. We particularly love the Flip Clock/Calendar on sale for £195. Made by a small Hong Kong company since 1968, you can opt for one in yellow, black or grey. An absolute classic. (And we saw some on Pentagram, don’t you know!)

office of [Chris Wilson](https://www.stckmn.com/).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Chris Wilson’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

office of [Chris Wilson](https://www.stckmn.com/).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Chris Wilson’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

office of [Tom Muller](http://www.hellomuller.com).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Tom Muller’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

7. A miniature refrigerator

A small fridge is an essential addition to any design studio for beers, for office milk and for keeping chocolate fresh in the summer. One classic in particular that keeps resurfacing, again and again, is the ridiculously wonderful Marshall Fridge. Reserved only for the cool kids, it’s an icon of the creative industry.

8. G’s Collection Book. F Smith

Yes, you have important reference books like Swiss Graphic Design by Richard Hollis, Total Design 63-73 by Unit Edition, and Twenty-Five Years at the Public by Paula Scher. But among these immense titles is one booklet that is universal in its popularity, and that is The Collection Book by G. F Smith. It is home to all the papers, weights and reliefs it offers in its four main collections, from Colorplan to Fine. Yes, it’s practical. But it very much confirms what you do for a living and is often more of an ornament than an essential guide.

office of [Steve Cardwell](https://defaultica.com).  Image courtesy of the designer.



Steve Cardwell’s office. Image courtesy of the designer.

a corner of [Ross Middleham](http://www.superdoodledesign.co.uk).  The image was courtesy of the artist.



A corner of Ross Middleham’s office. The image was courtesy of the artist.

office of [Jamhot](https://www.thisisjamhot.com).  Image courtesy of the studio.



Jamhot’s office. Image courtesy of the studio.

office of [monopo](https://monopo.co.jp).  Image courtesy of the studio.



Monopoly Office. Image courtesy of the studio.

9. Corkboards, pegboards and panels

As creatives, we need inspiration. We need to be surrounded by art and design. IKEA SKADIS gives you everything you need. Available in white, you can choose one or add batches to make a larger version. Then use various accessories like hooks and small shelves to store your things. The best thing about a sign on your wall? You can swap things out whenever inspiration strikes.

10. Desk storage for pens and pencils

With so many gadgets, tools and stationery to keep us happy, we need adequate storage to keep our desks clean and tidy. But we don’t want just any box, folder or basket. It has to be stylish. Enter Hay, the highly respected Danish design company. We love her colorful boxes, her versatile round storage containers, and pretty much everything she does. All of this can be seen in studios all over the world. What if you still need more storage? The Bobby Trolley is where it is. Keep it under or beside your desk to make it easier.

Conclude

So there you have it: the ten pieces of decor and furniture that we always see in design studios everywhere we go. We haven’t included other worthy competitors like the studio’s honorary dog ​​or the essential gumball machine. Nor did we add a stationary bike hanging on the wall. However, in our research, we uncovered a recent project by Ben The Illustrator where he asked creative friends on Twitter what his dream workspace would look like, and the results line up a bit with our essential breakdown. We’ll leave here the resulting illustration of it, offering more inspiration.

The creative workspace of dreams as illustrated by [Ben The Illustrator](https://bentheillustrator.com/)



The creative workspace of dreams as illustrated by Ben The Illustrator

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