A colorful way to counter the home-office blues

Hamburg, 14.12.2021

Colorful illustrations of faces created mix-and-match style – sometimes bizarre and always diverse. With its “United Minds of PSG” campaign, Peter Schmidt Group aims to stimulate dialogue among coworkers and rekindle the joy of inspiration by bringing the agency’s creative diversity into the new working paradigm.

Before the coronavirus lockdowns, working from home was widely seen as a privilege. Now that the pandemic is in its fourth wave, the home office has lost much of its appeal. In the meantime we’ve all been exposed to the dark side of working from home. We miss the random conversations around the water cooler; we’re annoyed by the latency times of digital tools; and the loneliness we experience at our desks compounds our frustration about social contact restrictions. “We kept hearing the same feedback from all our teams: Organizing the workload is easy thanks to digital tools, but we miss laughing with our colleagues,” is how Ruediger Goetz, managing director at Peter Schmidt Group, summed up the initial experience of working from home.

That led Peter Schmidt Group to create a colorful campaign that celebrates the anticipated return to collaborative cooperation in a shared working space. As the agency endures another long, dark winter in separate home offices, the “United Minds of PSG” campaign spreads optimism and celebrates the diversity of the agency staff with a set of faces that can be combined in 8000 ways. The results are inspiring, sometimes exaggerated and occasionally irritating, but they remind coworkers that even a Cyclops with a Mohawk haircut and an elephant's trunk for a nose will be welcomed with open arms at Peter Schmidt Group! At the same time, the motifs unobtrusively communicate guiding principles that are central to the agency’s mission – with a few words scrawled on a ’s eye patch, for example. The look was created by Felix Koch, a designer at the Munich office of Peter Schmidt Group.

A clear statement without a lot of words: The diversity of the team leads to unique ideas

There's no limit to the way the illustrations can be used – from do-it-yourself craft projects to social media posts, from notebooks and sticker sets to posters that inject some optimism into the currently questionable conditions. A favorite are certainly the coffee cups that have been printed with nearly 100 different motifs. Each employee received two mugs – one for the office and one for home – and they are all curious to compare their own motifs with the designs on their coworkers’ desks.

“The campaign makes a statement about the power of creativity, but also underscores the importance of diversity. After all, the two are directly related. Differences in personal experiences and lifestyles broaden the perspective of each individual. That’s what leads to innovative solutions that inspire people,” said Ruediger Goetz. This is part of why the home-office situation has been so challenging for creative agencies in particular. “Our offices are catalysts for ideas, so this campaign encourages crazy combinations and random exchanges – even if we still won’t be able to meet in person for a few weeks.” And “United Minds of PSG” does so with a sense of humor, a lot of color and the power of illustrations, rather than strict demands and company directives.

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