02.19.2015Architecture, Business Practice

3 Ways That Architects Advertise

Just last week, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) put out some tv commercials to help the public better understand what architects do. Here’s the AIA video:

As this article statistically mentions, the architect is a highly regarded profession, yet one of the largest challenges architects face is that the general public doesn’t exactly understand what we do or how we fit in. We think it’s pretty great that AIA is trying to get this conversation started on a large platform. It got us thinking…how DO architects advertise effectively?  Below are 3 different advertising avenues that we think are pretty great:

1. Print Ads That Read Like Articles

In 1901, the President of Ladies’ Home Journal reached out to multiple architects inviting them to share their residential designs as as way to increase public awareness of modern residential design.  Frank Lloyd Wright was the only one to submit, and he had two back to back articles/advertisements in that year’s issue. Although we can’t find an image large enough to read the text, the title leads us to believe he was translating his design in a way that most everyone can relate. These ads resulted in numerous leads for residential designs.


Photo Credit: Steiner Agency


Photo Credit: Steiner Agency

2. Blogging

Blogging for service or product-based businesses is not a new concept.  Within the last 5 years, there are all kinds of architect bloggers out there talking about architecture, but our long-time favorites have been Build, LLC. The Seattle-based design build firm shares insight, images and critical opinions for those in the profession as well as the general public. They provide a variety of topics, from business practice to design process to modern finishes and materials. Here are some of our favorites:

3. (Viral) Videos

Another popular name around our office is BIG. Once employed at OMA, Bjarke Ingels and his team create highly capitivating videos that successfully merge design philosophy, physical form, and solutions to real-world constraints. It’s inspiring, technically-impressive, and thoughtful.

There are countless ways an architecture firm can advertise, but we find the three above are doing more than just putting their firm name on a billboard. We like that they are sharing ideas, information and insight about their design process and practice. Maybe one day architect’s roles will be fully understood, not just highly regarded, if we continue to see some big picture outreach from AIA and grassroots efforts from individual firms. We know we’re ready for the task!

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