This West L.A. Shop Designed Its Offices to Be Quirky, Charming and Modern

Clever Creative, a 14-person branding and design firm located in the West Los Angeles neighborhood of Mar Vista, is entrusted by clients like Sephora, Ritz-Carlton and American Girl with creating that certain something that will endear consumers to their brands. Since inspiring feelings through aesthetics is the agency’s specialty, it’s only natural that its headquarters would be not only a laid-back space to create but also carefully curated. “The vision … was to create a modern, open floor plan with natural light and organic materials,” explained founder and CEO Shannon Gabor. What resulted was “a sophisticated space merging the concept of design agency with creative cabin,” she said, featuring exposed brick, concrete floors and natural pine paneling mixed with modern elements like copper fixtures and spotlights. There’s even a colorful gnome garden on the roof for an added touch of whimsy.

1

The Creative Process

A local artist was responsible for this work, dubbed “The Creative Process,” on the wall of the creative bullpen. “The painted-brick gallery wall was the perfect place for us to highlight and showcase local California artists [and] bring daily inspiration to our team,” Gabor explained.

2

Food and Games

 “More often than not, our lunches together end with a round or two of our favorite game, Bananagrams,” the boss added.

3

Outbox

Mailing supplies and a mural featuring paper airplanes define the packing and shipping area, where custom bookbinding happens and from where pitches are sent. 

4

Garden Gnomes

A garden on the roof is filled with gnomes, each representing one of the shop’s 14 employees.

5

Beatles Fashions

One of Gabor’s staffers presented her with this poster of Beatles fashions for Christmas. 

6

Welcome

The reception area introduces visitors to the style and spirit of Clever.

This story first appeared in the May 23, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine.
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