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Intellectual Graffiti: Business Communication as Art


Few art topics are as polarizing as ‘graffiti’. Depending on your viewpoint, it’s either an eyesore, or artistic expression. The question was recently posed in the UK’s Telegraph titled Is Graffiti Ruining Paris? But when celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie spend $2 Million for the work of celebrated graffiti artist Banksy, as they did almost 10 years ago, you know something interesting is happening. Now, it’s not on a subway wall, but think for a minute about the ‘intellectual graffiti’ you express on a weekly basis in your work, communication and leadership. Your thoughts and ideas are every bit as creative, yet even more refined. You are an artist and of all available writing surfaces, glass is the canvas you deserve.

Anyone who has travelled the world, from New York to Paris, to Tokyo – and everywhere in between, knows that while you might not always be able to speak the local language, you can interpret the universal language communicated in the form of urban art. The presence of a writing surface with a built-in audience of passersby, residents and travelers has been irresistible to artists, poets and social commentators for millennia – the first graffiti can be generally attributed as some of the world’s oldest works of art. One example would be crusader graffiti on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jeruselum.

Today, with artists such as Banksy turning the medium into a form of social expression, the legitimacy and appreciation for the format is on the rise. Just last month, Banksy unveiled a ‘mural’ of Steve Jobs as a refugee, painted on the wall of a refugee camp in Calais, France. Whatever your position on the Syrian refugee crisis, the art only serves as a reminder that Steve Jobs’ creative and technological gifts trace directly back to Syria from where his father immigrated.


In a workplace setting, what thought-provoking material can you bring to your employees, colleagues, customers, and community on a glassboard surface?

Perhaps you’re an architect whose rough sketches inspire collaboration and stakeholder buy-in. Or you’re leader seeking to gain consensus for a new business model that will drive customer retention and return profit to the company. Regardless, the ease and optics of expression on a format as beautiful as glass allow you to transcend the whiteboard. The creativity you bring to your audience is better than disposable. The fleeting moment of each thought and spoken word are juxtaposed only by the permanence of glass. Whiteboards are known for being hard to erase because they get dirty. Glassboards are hard to erase because they make your work look so beautiful.

Graffiti – urban, social, intellectual – is if nothing else a durable medium. And while some might point out their boss’s sketches will not qualify as art in any lifetime, you should rethink the importance of your glassboard expression. Some of the most creative moments of your career will come as you express your ideas in written, artistic form – whether or not you have technical or otherwise appreciable artistic talent. The value is in the impact of your ideas.

Using a glassboard in your leadership and communication helps you leverage the fact that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than simple text; that 90% of what is transmitted to the brain is visual and your presentation truly aids comprehension versus simple spoken word.

The key is to find more opportunities for expressive, artistic communication in your day-to-day. And if your workspace design lacks collaborative writing spaces, reconsider its importance to your business. Every glassboard is an opportunity to express your ideas and make things happen. Clarus™ celebrates leadership and business communication as an art form.