[ Downtown Fargo ]
Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by Dan Francis Photography
This month, you're invited to take a tour inside the new Super Studio in Downtown Fargo. What was once a more traditional office setting, home to cubicles and corridors, is now a completely reimagined space, designed to inspire creativity and encourage collaboration. With a long list of services ranging from website and logo design to animation and video production, it was finally time for their workspace to reflect their passion.
Bold, funky, and nimble are just three of the words Super Studio's team uses to describe their new work environment. As a sister company of Flint Group since 2014, this network of creative minds has been steadily expanding with the needs of their clients. While most of Flint’s clients require a full-service marketing agency, Super Studio was founded to serve clients who are purely looking for graphic design and production work. Spearheading the move to establish Super Studio in a separate space was Studio Director, Dawn Koranda, a 30-year team member with a graphic design background.
With the creative team on the move to the old media office across from Flint Group, Koranda and her team worked closely with their contractor, Jason Gustofson of Rescom to transform the dark, closed-in space. Today, the old walls, drop-down ceilings, and cubicles have been happily replaced with natural light, custom desks, chic lounges, and an open concept floor plan that invites collaboration.
Super Bright & Branded
With one step through the door, guests to Super Studio are greeted with bold, bright, and fresh pops of their branded orange. Even the accent wall pays homage to their mascot, an icon within their logo. Koranda, herself, built and designed the warm wood panels; one of the few decor pieces that made the move from their prior office. She also found the adjacent front desk's light installation at Curious in Grand Forks, spray painting each to coordinate with their brand's style guide.
The Super Studio's attention-to-detail can be seen in every expanse, even the fireplace surround's 9x33" porcelain tile. "If you look closely at the tiles, it almost looks like the designs were hand-drawn with a Sharpie marker. It really resembles our thought process in the concepting stage. We loved the variety of designs, and it was just the perfect fit for what we do here," said Koranda.
Throughout the entire redesign process, it was important for Koranda to work closely with her team and the contractor, proposing unique ideas and materials that would speak to their creative minds and provide an energetic environment. "We talked about what was important, as far as aesthetics; we wanted warmth from wood, and to incorporate splashes of orange, which is our brand color. We also wanted this space to have good flow, be really comfortable and relaxed," said Koranda. "I think the warmth of the wood tones really balances out the polished concrete flooring. We also got rid of the drop ceilings and raised them, making it look more like clouds in the sky. Opening up the space allowed for much more natural light - a feature that was really important to the team and overall efficiency."
With a team that's fueled by a great cup of coffee and the occasional ping pong match, Super Studio's kitchen had to be centralized and multi-functioning. It's a daily gathering place and break room for their team, but can easily transition to an assembly line for projects. This is where you'll find their archives, laminator, trimming, binding, and adhesive machines for mounting work and preparing proposal books or presentations. Even here, you'll find their brand within subtle angles and lines, like the herringbone tile backsplash.
The Fox Den
To create a more intimate conference room that would not feel dark or closed off, the team chose a very unique material. Instead of the more typical drywall, they opted for polycarbonate, a product typically used to build greenhouses. This was used on all east and west-facing walls to harvest natural light and diffuse it throughout the entire office.
The fox is part of Super Studio's logo, representing their strive for lightning-fast, creative turnaround. Koranda's team is always on the go, expanding their services, and remaining flexible - the key to overcoming a constantly changing market.
Super Think Tank
Between the desks and conference room is a small gathering space repurposing old stadium seats and artificial turf. "The stadium seats came from the old Metrodome and did not come with legs – we had to design a way to attach them to create a 'think tank' of sorts, so our contractor suggested we add a bench and artificial turf. For us, this is another collaborative space to get together and brainstorm ideas," explained Koranda.
Recharge & Unwind
A small, but effective space, Super Studio's Recharge Room is a remedy for the creative grind. Team members are invited to step away, close the door and unwind whenever necessary. It's a quiet and cozy space with magazines to read and blankets to curl up with; a place to recharge and reinforce creativity.
Creativity + Collaboration
At Super Studio, you won't find any dark cubicles or outdated offices. Their workspace is an airy, open-concept floorplan with a deliberate design - to create an environment conducive to the creative flow. This is a contemporary group setting that encourages collaboration. For projects requiring more privacy, everyone is welcome to use the conference room, think tank and recharge room whenever needed.
"The contractor made all of the furniture on casters, so if we want to change things up and move the furniture around, we can easily do that. We also host quite a few events, so by having everything movable, we can really open the space up. This concept gives us the ability to grow as we need," said Koranda.
"I definitely feel like I have my own space, but it's nice to be around other people and work off of their energy that's in the room. The atmosphere is set up for creativity to thrive. It's really open, with a lot of natural light and allows for a lot of collaboration. I like the pops of color and our branding - it's an inspiring environment to be in," said Production Artist, Tanner Bjorlie.
Meet Studio Director, Dawn Koranda
Koranda started her career at Flint in the art department, eventually working her way up to a creative director. After nearly 25 years, she was offered the role of Studio Director and asked to spearhead Super Studio's transition while managing the creative team.
"Super Studio is a graphic design and art production studio. We do everything from logos, helping with brands, pure graphic design, traditional design, animation, illustration and video editing," explained Koranda. "Over the past decade, we've seen our industry rapidly change. We are doing a lot more video and digital, less traditional and a lot more motion graphics. Social is also big, therefore we create a lot of social content assets."
"Every day is completely different - it's exciting waking up and being passionate about coming to work and what you might be challenged with that day. I love motivating and energizing a team to do their very best work, and being surrounded by other creative people's energy - I wouldn't want anything else," said Koranda.
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