You only get one chance to make a first impression…

You only get one chance to make a first impression…

You know what they say…you only get one chance to make a first impression, and we are firm believers in this!

Your reception area is a perfect place to showcase your company so the Ian Smith team at West Brom have treated themselves to a brand spanking new reception area to welcome our customers. After installing so many new and fantastic reception areas and office re-fits we were getting far too jealous and knew it was about time we spruced up our own. And haven’t we done just that!

Our main design aim was to ensure that the space was transformed into a welcoming, exciting and stimulating space – whilst remaining relaxing, optimistic and a practical meeting point. We knew we wanted the design to reflect our identity and personality, after all, it instantly tells our visitors and reminds our employees who we are and what we stand for.

We want the customer to feel like they are a part of our company, instantly at ease and comfortable – not sitting on out of date, dull and uninspiring furniture whilst staring at our old trade counter.

You, our Customers, are part of our brand and you have helped us build our identity and we therefore hope you enjoy the new space and see how everything, from the splashes of colours on the walls and the fantastically textured (and practical!) flooring, is a reflection of our approach and values.

Our Reception desk is a beautiful bepsoke piece of furniture and we hope to inspire you with our stylish, modern, mis-matched seating which is creatively shaped and most certainly unique! This area also includes the ‘Smith’ chair (I wonder why!) and the amazingly comfortable ‘Columbus’ sofa by ‘Connections Seating’. We invite you to come in and pick your favourite and join us for a coffee any time.

You may also find your eye drawn to the piece of typographic wall art, created by our talented in-house Graphic Designer. We then simply printed the artwork onto a self adhesive vinyl and had the simple task of attaching it to smoothly to the wall… Let’s just say that a half an hour task took Adam and Nicole almost six hours to get right! However, we got there in the end and the artwork announced our quietly confident motto: “Welcome to the HQ of the best office supplies company in the world (Just ask our customers!)” and from the second you walk in the door, we hope you’ll agree.

100% Design

100% Design

During September our Interiors Team popped down to London Olympia to visit the 100% Design Show, we’d like to share their adventure with you and tell you all about the inspirational things they encountered. After a very early start (what happens when you leave Tony in charge of travel arrangements and which Adam did not appreciate) the guys arrived down in London. Having been momentarily separated when Adam was a bit over eager and squeezed onto a packed tube train, leaving Tony at the platform, they were re-united and made their way over to the impressive Olympia Arena for the opening day of this years 100% Design Show.

The arena was buzzing when the guys arrived and after a quick heads-up tour they made their way over to the Steelcase stand where Serena Borghero the EMEA Marketing Communications Manager gave a fascinating insight into humanising workplaces and bringing new life to the work arena. After the inspirational speech, the guys made their way over to see their colleagues at Boss Design, the guys at Boss were as welcoming as always and engaging as ever as they talked us through their beautiful Coza seating range and the exciting new Marnie range. The Coza really is like no other task chair we’ve ever seen! The visual impact is just stunning with a single organic ribbon that sweeps from under the seat, through the arm and over the backrest. In addition the colour options on the Coza offer an aesthetic unlike anything else, we absolutely loved the Azure Blue finish and having the option of either a 5 or 4 star base is again something really different. We cant wait to show this off in our Showroom soon…watch this space!
The afternoon session started with a couple of familiar faces when the guys bumped into their friends from Narbutas Furniture Company, after a good catch up the guys were on their way again. First stop was the ERGO Aircharge stand, what man doesn’t enjoy a bit of technology! The guys on stand were excellent, talking through their current range which we’re now happy to announce is on display in our fabulous Showroom and is available to buy with immediate effect. The guys on stand also enthused over their Koncept lighting range, talking through the elegant Equo LED multi level dimming lamp, the award winning z-bar desk lamp and another for the gadget lovers…the tono LED mood light.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent working their way from stand to stand grabbing as much info as their bags could carry, from the beautiful and barely believable Fake Landscapes stand to the Nowy Styl Group Play & Work range where we saw some really nice touches on how to bring vibrant colours into the workplace (the saffron, cashmere, atlantic and vino mfc finishes were really eye catching) and using innovative ideas to make use of wasted office space for soft seating such as corner areas and on top of storage cabinets. The reps on stand gave a fascinating insight into how arranging an office space can help employees flourish, support communication and positively impact an employees’ well being and efficiency.

There was also a touch of the ‘weird and wonderful’ on the Peska Seating stand with their range of Balance chairs. Not one for those amongst us who struggle to balance on their own two feet….these innovative chairs provide a unique combination of an office chair and a balance ball! Sound weird? You’d be right! Never has sitting down on a chair been such a challenge! After a few moments of ‘wind-milling’ arms and flailing legs, the chairs proved to be really comfortable, definitely one for the forward thinkers and gym bunnies of the world.

The day was brought to an end with sleep filled train journey arriving back in Birmingham at 9:15pm, long day but a great day giving the guys some fresh ideas and inspiration.

Introducing our new image…and name!

Introducing our new image…and name!

Introducing our new image…and name!
After months and months of hard work, group discussions, agreements (and some disagreements!) we have recently unveiled our refreshed brand identity and are excited to introduce a whole new look and feel to Ian Smith and we hope you love it!

We’d like to take the time to explain a bit about what lead us to this change and what it means for our customers, partners and the Ian Smith team.

Our new logo isn’t just about nice colours and playful fonts, we hope that it defines an identity and that the story will resonate and serve as our brand criteria. Ian Smith has evolved significantly since the start of our journey 47 years ago – for a start, we are so much more than just an office supplies company and our new identity marks the start of our next chapter, moving away from ‘Ian Smith Office Supplies’ to IAN SMITHGROUP. We’ve got a young, strong, creative team forming five different divisions and our logo just didn’t feel like ‘us’ anymore. We pride ourselves on being utterly passionate about what we do and we weren’t convinced that this was reflected through our previous branding – the new identity is all about expressing the personality and diversity of the IAN SMITHGROUP and everyone that works here – we think it is more representative of who we are today – passionate, energetic and fun.

Just a quick note on our divisions – some of them have changed in name very slightly but they are all still encompassed by the Ian Smith Group.

‘Ian Smith Office Supplies’ has become IAN SMITHOFFICE, this is because we continue to cover all of your supply needs but now offer much more such as in-house print and recycling solutions. Along a similar vein, our Ian Smith Workplace Supplies division will now be known as just IAN SMITHWORKPLACE.

‘Ian Smith Office Interiors’ and ‘Ian Smith Printing’ has had much investment over the past few years and we’ve welcomed many new members to the team who have vast experience in their own areas. For this reason we now enjoy working on a whole range of commercial interiors, not just offices so it is only right we take this opportunity to rename this division to IAN SMITHINTERIORS. Following the expansion of our print team ‘Ian Smith Printing’ will now be known as IAN SMITHDESIGN&PRINT meaning we are pleased and excited to offer our customers a full design service along with their printing needs. We are confident this makes life easier for everyone – us included!

It is important to mention before we sign-off, that all of our staff and the company directors remain the same and there is no change within our company from that pint of view. Ian Smith’s is still the same friendly bunch of people as it has ever been and that will long continue, we wanted to show you what else it is we do that makes our company so great. Thanks for reading.