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Annie Kotowicz's Desk

Hi I’m Annie. As Media Director for Marstudio, Inc., I help each of our clients build a vision for their brand’s online presence, then coordinate with our web developers and content writers to make it happen.

Can you tell us something about your desk setup?

Light, color, greenery, and order. These are the things that make me feel happy in a space, the guiding principles that have shaped my cube. Plus, lots of inspiring trips to Ikea. :) The rest of my office environment (at Marstudio, Inc.) is pretty impressive, so I wanted my own personal workspace to live up to that standard too, and reflect the creativity and eye for detail that we put into branding and design projects for our clients.

What’s the story behind that desk?

I began working at this desk when my company Marstudio moved to a new office space. We’re a full-service marketing studio, but because we emphasize the importance of branding, we wanted to “practice what we preach” and let our workspace be a reflection of our brand. We essentially took an empty concrete space, and turned it into a studio that is both perfectly customized to our needs, and decorated to physically embody our logo, brand colors, and general aesthetic.

Here’s a video of the renovation and decoration process.

My cube is a bit more colorful than the rest of the studio, but it coordinates well with the surrounding red, black, and white. I suppose the variety in my color palette could be a symbol of the variety of things I do in my role at Marstudio! As Media Director, I lead the digital side of all projects, from web development to content to social media.

Can you tell us something about the items on/around your desk?

  • I have a set of 100 Pantone postcards, with a different swatch on each one. I framed five of them in black frames and hung them on my cubicle wall. I used to switch the colors every week, since I have a variety to choose from, but eventually I stumbled on a combination that I haven’t gotten tired of.
  • I buy fresh flowers every week, and keep them in a porcelain milk bottle at the corner of my desk. For me it has nostalgic as well as aesthetic value – when I was a child, my dad had a painting studio on the top floor of our home, and he kept paintbrushes in this bottle.
  • I filled a Coca Cola bottle with water, drilled a hole in the cap, and fed a plant sprig through the hole to grow roots in the water below. It has stayed alive and healthy for over two years with almost zero maintenance – I just change the water once or twice a year.
  • Instead of putting my computer monitor directly on the desk, I raised it on a glass shelf, which is supported by two chrome candlesticks. This puts the monitor at my eye level, and also creates extra desk space below.

Is there anything you would like to improve on this setup?

It took me several months (and lots of trips to Ikea!) to set up my ideal workspace, but I’ve been very happy with it since then.

Is there something on your desk which helps you stay focused? What is it?

My snack plate! I need to eat almost constantly to stay focused. The plate (which usually has something delicious on it) stays front and center, right under my computer monitor, so that I don’t get light-headed by forgetting to eat. Plus it’s colorful, and says “SNACK” in a font that I approve of.

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