The Art of the Office

The Art of the Office: Redesigning the IPS Conference Room

Posted by Tom Evans on July 27, 2021

Covid has moved people away from face-to-face meetings and towards the conference call. As such, we have decided that our conference room needs jazzing up with a new feature wall. It is a fine art, redesigning an office or conference room. You have to strike the right balance between professionalism and approachability, but we think we have done just that. Here is the story of how IPS Ceramics performed the perfect office redesign.

Origins of the Idea

IPS offers conference calls to all customers using Zoom, Teams and other platforms, allowing us to directly communicate with them no matter where they are in the world. Due to the pandemic, these types of calls are all the more important and they are becoming much more frequent. In our previous setup, the view from the webcam was dominated by a blank wall, and we wondered, does this look boring? We came to the conclusion that it was, so we decided to liven things up a little bit.

The original plan was to stick a framed picture of our logo up, possibly with some form of fancy background. That way we could maintain our identity and professionalism while still promoting a friendly and approachable atmosphere. The issue was that to be properly noticeable on camera, the logo would’ve had to have been so big that we may as well have done an image that covered the entire wall.

So, we thought why not do just that.

The Art of the Office: Redesigning the IPS Conference Room IPS Ceramics
IPS’ original Conference Room Wall, as seen from our webcam

General Mind Mapping

When first developing the design, we had two ideas. 1) IPS Ceramics has a long history within the Potteries (aka Stoke-on-Trent, UK) so we should pay tribute to that by using the traditional imagery of the area. 2) IPS Ceramics is currently working with several technological industries such as the EV Battery Industry, placing us at the forefront of modern technology, so let’s do something hyper-modern which also perfectly reflects the local area.

You’ll have noticed that these ideas are pulling in completely different directions: literally “let’s do something old fashioned, but modern”. Luckily, direct contrasts are usually good things to have in art – they grab the attention and make you think about the work at hand. Given this, we decided to embrace duality. But how do you make something which harks back to the old traditions in a new, modern way?

The Art of the Office: Redesigning the IPS Conference Room IPS CeramicsOur mood board collecting images of the Potteries


The good news is that when you look at traditional representations of the Potteries, you quickly notice its very distinctive set of iconography: bottle kilns, factory chimneys, terraced housing, and great plumes of smoke. Most importantly, these things all have very identifiable silhouettes. Meanwhile, the big trend in modern design right now is simplicity: large shapes and clean curves filled with relatively muted gradients. The two fitted together – a style and imagery which both lended themselves to large, flat shapes.

Putting this into action, Thomas Evans, our Marketing Executive, produced a scene of the Potteries skyline in a modern style, designing it so that it would fit within the boundaries of the conference room wall. Now we just had to get the design from his computer and onto the wall itself.

The Art of the Office: Redesigning the IPS Conference Room IPS CeramicsIPS’ Design for our new Conference Room Wall

The Print Itself

The easiest way of realising the design (from our perspective) was to get it printed as a polymeric vinyl and attached to the wall by professionals. For the printing and installation, we went to Sherwin Rivers, a local company that specialises in custom printing a wide range of products.

Sherwin Rivers were fantastic to work with. They were extremely attentive and helpful when answering all of our questions and enquiries,  printed the wall very efficiently and installed it themselves in just over two hours, excelling at pretty much every point. Apparently blue is a difficult colour to keep consistent when printing something on this big of a scale. You wouldn’t know this by looking at the finished product – the colours came out perfectly, despite being 70% different shades of blue.

Our finished Conference Room Wall (left); Thomas Evans with his creation (right)


We’re incredibly proud of how the wall has come out. It adds a lot of personality to the room while still promoting a friendly and professional atmosphere, provides a visual ice breaker, and solidifies our image as a sleek and modern company at the heart of a storied, world-leading industry.

Thanks again to Sherwin Rivers for the work they have done on the project. To see the wall in action, organise a conference call with us and our ceramic experts. We cover areas such as technical ceramics, kiln furniture, silicon carbide, EV batteries and many more. So get in touch today, we look forward to seeing you soon.