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Brandchannel

October 6, 2016 View Original Article

New HQ, Google, ‘Playing Lynch’: Q&A with Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena

Located in New York City’s historic Maltz Building, a former printing house, Squarespace’s new headquarters is square with a design that complements the brand’s “clean and minimalist aesthetic.” The only color the brand added to its new space was plants. Moreover the new HQ makes an effort to highlight Squarespace clients, including chairs by customer Les Ateliers Guyon, art by Emil Lukas and office supplies from House of Portfolios NYC. The office, according to the brand, “reflects our identity.”

In addition to the new space, Squarespace has launched two new campaigns to draw attention to its services. One is a partnership with Google to highlight mission-driven clients of the brand, including girlboss, LocoL and Kombucha Dog. More exotic is Squarespace’s recent PlayingLynch.com, an art project that saw “David Lynch character as re-imagined by John Malkovich and Sandro Miller.”

brandchannel reached out to Squarespace Founder and CEO Anthony Casalena to talk about the brand’s new Manhattan diggs, the Google-centered campaign and the David Lynch project.

brandchannel: Why the West Village? How did this fit Squarespace more than, say, Silicon Valley or Brooklyn?

Anthony Casalena: We love the energy and diversity that exists in New York City and we’re proud to be headquartered here. We really love the West Village as it’s a diverse neighborhood known for its rich cultural heritage and world-renowned restaurants. Our building actually has a very unique history. We’re now in the historic Maltz Building, which originally served as a manufacturing hub in the Printing House District. Squarespace’s new headquarters once played an important role in disseminating information and producing print material throughout the mid-20th century and now, decades later, we’re proudly carrying the torch with our goal of allowing more people to express their ideas freely on the web.

brandchannel: What is your favorite element of the new HQ?

Casalena: I like that we stuck to the brand aesthetics while still creating a warm and welcoming space. Depth, texture and warmth were created using natural materials including polished concrete floors and workstations, wood slats as wall treatment along the main circulation paths, leather benches and walnut accents. We wanted a feel that was more akin to a residential project versus a commercial one, and I think we achieved a nice balance.

brandchannel: Squarespace’s official description of the new HQ made it a point to say that it is not an “adult playground” of the variety favored in Silicon Valley. Fact Co. described the offices as “very serious?” Is this the end of “fun tech?”

Casalena: I’m not sure I would describe our office as “very serious” but I do feel it is more grown up in nature. We also firmly believe that a beautiful and functional space can be fun. We think being surrounded by such an elegant space really reinforces our brand values, and hopefully allows our employees to be their most creative and do their best work.

brandchannel: Playing Lynch is a fascinating if bizarre new project from Squarespace. Why David Lynch, a director whose most iconic films came long before the internet?

Anthony Casalena: Squarespace has always had a special relationship with our core of creative customers. Both David Lynch and John Malkovich are extraordinary creative individuals whose work is inspiring to us. At the heart of what we do, Squarespace is all about helping people with creative ideas succeed.

brandchannel: With Squarespace’s new Google-partnered campaign and Google pushing Google AMP, how is Squarespace pivoting to define itself as a mobile-specific platform and service?

Casalena: Our customers know that Squarespace has always made mobile a priority, and all Squarespace sites have been mobile-optimized from the start. As more and more people turn to mobile, we’re going to continue learning, developing and improving this experience for our customers so we can always offer the latest technology advancements for sharing content.

On Squarespace, we believe in making your content accessible everywhere—whether that’s on the desktop, mobile device or social network. We will continue to ensure that our customers will have the best distribution for their brands.