Ink + Mortar reveals its bright and homely design studio in Philadelphia

At first glance, Ink + Mortar's home in Philadelphia could be mistaken for an apartment rather than a workspace. And that's kind of the whole point, as its founder, Sharon Taylor explains: "We want our clients to feel welcome the moment they walk in."

Based in about 1,000 square feet in the heart of the Old City, Sharon wanted her studio to feel like an extension of home with plush furnishing throughout and a meeting table that looks like a dining area. We chatted to Sharon about her newly refurbished office and the local creative scene in wonderful Philly.

Describe your space

I found this studio on the iconic N. 3rd Street in Old City Philadelphia and jumped at the chance to make it home for the business. We've been located here for a little over a year and it has become exactly that: an extension of "home".

We want our clients to feel welcome the moment they walk in, so the studio is a mix of modern office pieces with an eclectic mix of found items and vintage. We have a plush Article couch mixed with an IKEA coffee table alongside soft pink vintage chairs found at an antique market. The mix has really worked for us to create and share the personality of studio and our work.

It's also a place to find inspiration, and with bright front windows pouring in the sunshine, it's the perfect spot to dive into great creative work. We have plants everywhere and they thrive in the bright light and help immensely on a grey day (although watering them does take some time!).

The studio used to house a letterpress business many years ago, and now refinished, it's become a perfect spot to host intimate events, our clients, and work on a daily basis.

(And no, no one lives here! It's only used for commercial purposes. We get asked that a lot!)

Who works here?

It's the home to Ink + Mortar and I work there full-time and then depending on the project, we have freelancers or collaborators in the space, host workshops and client meetings.

Tell us more about your process at work

We take a very hands-on approach to all our projects and we have an extended amount of art supplies, resources and tools in the space to get our hands dirty. There are elements of almost every project that were created by hand and we take a lot of pride in that. The studio reflects that by being versatile in the way it's used and the layout can change based on those needs.

How do you win new clients?

It's a mix of things – we work on marketing our business through Instagram, in-house classes and then outreach to clients we want to work with. We also get a lot of referrals from past clients and from meeting people in the community.

What are you currently working on?

We are currently working on launching a podcast about the transforming landscape of retail (our specialisation) called Transforming Retail, which is really exciting. We also have some incredible projects in the queue including a new gifting concept and a few seasoned product brands that are getting a major facelift.

What's the local creative scene like?

Philly is home to incredible museums and shops and the food scene is thriving. It's growing immensely and you can tell there's a pulse of change as more and more people are moving into the city. There is always something to do, which is one of the reasons we love it here!

We have groups like AIGA and Creative Mornings that offer great creative release and there are many opportunities to learn through organizations like Girl Develop It. The creative scene is growing and I hope it continues to change and place design at the forefront!

To find out more about Ink + Mortar, visit inkandmortar.com.