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Non Sequitur Fridays

When Is a Door Not a Door?

This post is part of our Non Sequitur Fridays series, which will feature a different Wistian's take on a non-Wistia-related topic each week. It's like our "employee of the month" but less "of the month"-y. Joe Ringenberg is a designer at Wistia. His last Non Sequitur was about things organized neatly.

Here's a good one: When is a door not a door?

When it's ajar! Aha ha!

A jar! Get it?

Ha. Okay but seriously, I'm really excited about our doors.

We've been in our new office for six months now, but we're still in the process of settling in and making it feel like home. Six months is a long time, but we think a home should express the character and values of the family that lives in it. Since our company culture is always evolving and changing, it makes sense that the work of settling this office will never be officially over.

That said, it was a little ridiculous to go for six months without having our name posted anywhere on the building. In retrospect, I'd like to think we were just holding out for something special. When we stumbled on Best Dressed Signs, we knew it was time to move on the signage.

Josh and Kenji are experts in hand-painted lettering, a lost art in the age of mechanical reproduction. The strokes and swashes hint at a time when cursive was still taught in public schools, and real paint on glass feels straight out of Mad Men.

But the appeal of the brushwork isn't just nostalgia for a historical art form no hipster startup can claim to have a stake in. What makes these signs perfect for our doors is their authentic expression of craft. In the words of cultural critic Walter Benjamin, the authenticity of a work of art is "inseparable from its being imbedded in the fabric of tradition." The hand-painted lettering on our doors celebrates a typographic tradition of meticulous care and thoughtful handiwork.

Just take a look at these guys at work:

The careful lines and the hints of brushstrokes left in the paint are a trace of the hands that painted them. Inspecting them up close reveals the technique of the artists, their instincts and personal touch in an uncommon medium. And that's something we strive to do every day at Wistia. Whether it's the lighting of our videos, the language of our documentation, or the subtle repeating patterns in our product's interface, we try to approach every task from our own idiosyncratic angle and with care and craftsmanship.

So in this case, getting settled in our new office didn't just mean getting our name on the doors, it meant finding a small way to reflect the values of our company. And let's be honest: hiring real, live, friendly artists to paint on your doors is just a whole lot more fun than exporting a PDF to a vinyl printer.

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