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As a critical moment within the workplace journey, the Welcome zone is often the first impression a client or guest may experience upon entry. A warm sense of hospitality is essential to both the design and operation of the environment. The reference images and guidance below are a kit of parts designed to meet a variety of project needs—yet maintain a cohesive experience for our guests.


Signature moments

IBM environments are defined by signature elements that may be adapted in their execution to meet a project’s specific needs, regardless of a project’s size or budget. The examples shown here illustrate a variety of Welcome zones, each with a different footprint, but unified through a thoughtful approach to brand expression, pattern and interior design. Beyond the presence of our logo, these elements make our environments connected and identifiable.

Finish palette
The use of wood within the Welcome zone reinforces a warm sense of hospitality. Juxtaposed with other neutral finishes, such as concrete, stone, glass or metal, wood serves as a consistent baseline throughout our environments. Wood can be locally sourced but should be uniform in tone and grain as seen here. Combined with a custom millwork pattern, wood becomes a signature element in our Welcome zone. This combination can be executed in varying degrees of coverage in wall, ceiling and flooring treatments.
welcome zone finish palette

Color strategy

Our color strategy for environments is based on specific space types. As a first impression for guests, Welcome zones should feature a dynamic application of blue. In these instances, blue should be applied with purpose as a focal element and architectural finish, such as glass, metal or ceramic brick. These materials serve to elevate blue as a vibrant, distinct component to our identity and our environments. Avoid generic painted surfaces or decorative applications in furniture and textiles within the Welcome zone. Learn more about our color strategy for environments.

welcome zone color strategy
welcome zone reception desk color strategy
welcome zone volumetric slat wall showing color strategy

Brand expression

The IBM 8-bar logo should be considered an extension of the surrounding interior design. Materiality can be customized to best complement our finish palette. Within most Welcome zones, guests are already aware they’re inside an IBM location. With this perception in mind, the IBM identity can be more tonal in execution.

Consider debossing or embossing the logo within different substrates. The size, scale and location of the logo should be identified with purpose based on the surrounding furniture and architectural elevation. In some cases, the logo can be applied to the reception desk itself if a wall condition isn’t ideal.

IBM logo brand expression

Rhythm and pattern

Rhythm and pattern are core components of our environmental design characteristics. A dramatic use of pattern in our Welcome zones reinforces an IBM sense of identity. Patterns may be integrated into millwork or other finishes. Complexity and detailing are variable based on the size and budget of a project.

Consider different fabrication methods for pattern execution, such as dimensional elements versus die-cut designs. The application of pattern can occur in a variety of areas, such as feature walls, ceilings and screen elements. Location and design should be considered in context of the Welcome zone reception desk. Learn more about designing custom patterns using the 2x Grid.

welcome zone reception
black on black slat wall color strategy
black on black slat wall color strategy detail
perforation wood on wood slat wall
perforation wood on wood slat wall detail

Reception furniture

When possible, a custom reception desk is recommended for the Welcome zone. The design of an IBM reception desk can be considered an extension of our identity and developed using our principles of duality and geometry. As a place of intersection, the reception area serves as a connection point between the IBM brand and our clients. This connection can be represented in thoughtful contrast between material and form, customized to best meet the needs of a project. Learn more about custom furniture design.

The Welcome zone should also have comfortable lounge-type seating with side tables to accept visitors who are waiting. The furniture should align with the IBM Ancillary Furniture tool.

reception desk examples
reception desk example
reception desk example
reception seating example
reception seating sofa example

Flooring and ceiling

As a major point of circulation, Welcome zones should use a durable flooring material, such as polished concrete, terrazzo or stone. An accent area rug or wood detail should be used where seating is present in the waiting area.

A linear ceiling system may be used to complement various applications of pattern. This expression should serve to ground our signature elements and direct guests toward the Connect zone. Light fixtures should be integrated within the ceiling system.

flooring examples
IBM lobby
felt ceiling example
coffered wood ceiling example
wood slat ceiling example