Trends in the Office - Chalkboard


Writing on walls is something that is attractive to everyone starting from an early age. There is something empowering about not being confined to a small sheet of paper. It can help people of all disciplines think through a complex problem or organize their thoughts. Developers, marketers, managers, salespeople, designers, teachers; all can benefit from this ability.

Within today’s working world, there are several different options available for office designers looking to give employees the ability to write on a wall. The first and most ubiquitous is the whiteboard. It would be probably an understatement to say that 95% of offices have one. They are cheap, easy to use, and available everywhere.

A second option for designers that is becoming more common is Ideapaint. Ideapaint is essentially a liquid whiteboard that is applied to a wall in several coats. One of the advantages of painting a writable surface onto a wall is that your work surface can be an entire wall as opposed to the defined space of a whiteboard. One often mentioned downside to this product is its cost. At around $200 a gallon, Ideapaint can put you back a pretty penny, but several companies like Adobe and Square have used it in their office projects.

A third and more trendsetting option for wall writers are the old-school chalkboard. Chalkboards are becoming more popular in offices that want to set themselves apart for their creativity. In addition to the benefits of being able to think creatively, ideas can actually pop out more because of the high contrast nature of a chalkboard. Many proponents of chalkboards also believe they are much more aesthetically pleasing by offering a more refined look, while giving a less-slippery experience for touch-oriented people.

Chalkboards are going to be more expensive than a whiteboard, but can look great in an office environment.

Here are a few examples of their use:

At 37 Signals in Chicago, Illinois:

At Greenpoint Coworking in Brooklyn, NYC:

At XSolve in Gilwice, Poland:

Do you have chalkboards in your office? Where do you use them most?



San Diego Office Furniture August 7, 2011

I love the old-fashioned look of chalkboards, but I can’t stand the squeaky sound the chalk makes. On the other hand, the smell of dry erase markers makes me woozy. So, I haven’t found a good middle ground yet besides an easel and a large pad of paper.


Sayeh, The Office Stylist October 5, 2011

They have non-toxic markers now that don’t have that “marker smell.” You should definitely check it out, I totally understand what you mean!

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