A picture is
worth a thousand words


But is a good chair worth the commute?


Are your sure you would like to delete this favorited item from your dashboard?

Oona Walsh, Director, Corporate Marketing, Teknion



In a world where people expect immediate answers, sometimes we have to take a step back. Let your brain process what you’re seeing. Take the time to connect the dots. Feel a little uncomfortable. Give in and see what curiosity this sparks.

On a recent visit to a museum with my teenage son (yeah, I do know how lucky I am) we stopped in front of a painting. We stood together, silently, for a while. I realized I had no idea what he was thinking about, but I really liked thinking about something different together.

A lot of times we forget that marketing is close to art (these are things you say when you’ve been in marketing for 20+ years ), and art is meant to say something. It speaks directly to your nervous system, triggers a reaction of calm, pleasure, dislike, or…at it’s best…provocation and curiosity.

There are clear trends in visual marketing – we know them when we see them.
A task chair in a forest = sustainability
A height adjustable table = ergonomics
A group of people gathered around a table = collaboration

But what happens when we pull back. If we distill a huge issue to a simple question:
Is a good chair worth the commute?
How do you visually communicate this question?
Like the question, the imagery needs to be free of extraneous details, it needs to get to the point yet still inspire.







Inspired by the Picasso sketches, where in some cases the entire sketch was made of one single line we tried to tell the story of the chair and user. So many different types of chairs are available, but they all must work for the same user. Internally, we began to call him Picasso man – and we knew that he needed to be the focus. So, a thicker line. A simple visual cue to show that the thing that matters the most is the user. The chair is there to support Picasso man, on all of his adventures.







It was a departure, to say the least. In the past we’ve leaned into color, setting, emotional resonance – a deep and rich visual story. This year, to go to a gray and white series of line drawings was perfectly provoking. To tell a story is a partnership between the telling and the asking – an interaction between the audience and the presenter. By leaving so much unsaid, we invited our clients to ask, to question, and to reach their own conclusions. I hope we achieved the goal: to say something together.





Oona Walsh

Oona Walsh 

Director, Corporate Marketing, Teknion


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