OE’s Big Move: Reviving the Creative Spirit of 1879

Starting Monday, September 12th, our new address will be:
509 South Exeter Street, Suite 300
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

You may have heard our recent announcement that Orange Element is moving. While we’re excited to have more room—allowing us to grow, better facilitate client meetings, and more—our new space is more than just, well… a space. Rooted in Baltimore history and a long-standing tradition of quality craftsmanship, our future home is an enduring source of inspiration.

The historic Bagby Furniture Company Building, situated in Baltimore’s Harbor East neighborhood, was constructed from 1902 to 1907. Alfred Mason, the building’s architect, was known for designing area schools and remembered in his obituary as “one of the most widely celebrated architects in Baltimore.”

“Our future home is an enduring source of inspiration.”

Behind its corbelled cornice and architectural details, the building witnessed nearly a century of celebrated furniture design. Bagby & Rivers started back in 1879 on West Pratt Street, moving and eventually becoming the Bagby Furniture Company. Charles T. Bagby, and later his cousin William Hugh Bagby, focused on efficiency and quality while embracing modern technology. Because of this, they survived a series of changes and hardships, including the Great Depression. They closed their doors in 1990, finally succumbing to national competitors and stifling tax regulations after 108 years in business. Bagby Furniture’s legacy is one of ingenuity: embracing steam power early on, investing in modern equipment, and utilizing local shipping resources. Their business was key to cementing furniture manufacturing in Baltimore’s strong industrial base, earning the building a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Maybe it’s a little nerdy to care about this stuff. And maybe it doesn’t seem relative to the field of graphic design. But the fact is, as designers we’re challenged to develop new ideas and groundbreaking creative daily. It can (and should) be challenging. As our field grows and becomes more diverse, we find it not just interesting but imperative for other creative practices to inform our design solutions. After all, our work exists alongside furniture, industrial, and architectural design, among other fields. We could go on, but that’s another blog post (maybe someday). Our clients and their passion give us the drive to do good and to do well, but a little extra inspiration always goes a long way.

So yeah, we’re excited for a new workspace. But more than that, we’re excited to start a new chapter. To adapt our craft to new standards and a changing world just as Bagby Furniture did. To continue creating award-winning work, while bringing our clients fresh ideas. In a country that spends 30% of its time at work, it’s good to know inspiration for those ideas will literally be all around us.


“Alfred Mason.” Baltimore Architecture Foundation, http://baltimorearchitecture.org/biographies/alfred-mason/. Accessed 8 August 2016.

National Register Properties, Maryland Historical Trust, Bagby Furniture Company Building, 1998, https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/NR_PDFs/NR-1206.pdf. Accessed 8 August 2016.