Writable Surfaces - A Simple Guide to Choosing What Works12 Jul 2016
If there was ever a must-have in the office, irrespective of role, title or industry - it’s a writable surface. We’ve been exposed to it right from the start - from staring at kindergarten teachers write down the alphabets on the big chalkboard, to college professors or project managers jotting down ideas and information on a whiteboard. It’s almost subliminal like.
You need a space to pour out all those thoughts and ideas onto. Designing a space for your brainstorming sessions isn’t hard, but there’s no one size fits all solution.
Before we move to products - there are three points you need to evaluate before picking them
This refers to flexibility with space, as well as the option to be moved around. Some offices require writable surfaces to go across round columns, corners and even furniture ! And in some cases, you’ll even need to move them around the room.
It’s important to consider the content and the audience when assessing what board to go with. If you’re heavy on diagrams and concept drawings, it’s best to go with white surfaces like whiteboards or dry-erase paint. Glass won’t work if the background color doesn’t contrast well, and the writing can be obscured.
Cost per Area
As with any office planning scenario, the issue of cost is bound to crop up. But before skipping to the cheapest option, it’s best to evaluate your area. Boards come in standard sizes, while the paint is boundless. It’s best to evaluate the first two points against these and then pick an option
Let’s have a look at the options we have to work with
Traditional whiteboards are your traditional options.The frame around the board is reminiscent of classrooms and is one dimensional in the sense that it involves one person jotting info on the board. Not very supportive of the whole collaborative movement.
To be fair, these boards provide good visibility as white backgrounds offer the best contrast for writing. But they offer not customizability when it comes to sizes, and cannot be seamlessly integrated into rooms so they blend with the overall design. They’re not flexible and are a lot more expensive for the larger area.
Glass boards provide a far better experience, in terms of both design and functionality. They’re far more attractive, offer various color options and branding as well. The Frameless Magnetic glass boards present a premium design element to the workspace. They can installed post fit-out or even integrated into the original design, blending seamlessly into the collaborative space.
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Cost-wise, glass boards can definitely strain your budget if you’re considering larger sizes. Buf if the aesthetics is your key driver in the decision process, you can’t go wrong here. Glassboards also leads the pack when it comes to erasability. Suspended boards can also be taken off and hung elsewhere if need be.
Dry-Erase paint is the new kid on the writable block and has been taking over the market by storm. They bring open up a completely new dimension to the whole brainstorming and writing process by removing the traditional size restrictions and boundaries that come with boards.
The only issue with writeable paint is the texture of the surface you are applying on. You have to absolutely sure of a smooth surface, else erasability becomes a problem. Make sure your installer is a professional and does a great job of smoothing the surface.
IdeaPaint, who’s currently leading the pack with their PRO and CLEAR products, launched the PULL - their new magnetic wallpaper. Combine the PULL and the writable paint, and you’ve got a virtually boundless collaboration tool that can be applied anywhere in any shape and size.
Writable paint is far more effective both in terms of flexibility and cost when applied to larger spaces. The surface that takes on the paint is what I’d watch out for.
You ultimately have to consider how important the brainstorming process is to you, and how involved you want your team to be. Private offices may not be so demanding on functionality while collaboration zones will need a functional and cost effective option as well.
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