As 2022 draws to a close, companies continue to settle into new nontraditional methods of working. One company, PSM Communication Arts, recently opened its new office in Hermosa Beach, which allows for an open, hybrid-style work environment.
Integrated marketing firm PSM Communication Arts recently announced the completion of its 2,400 square foot headquarters building, which is located at 422 Pacific Coast Highway. The company began renovations on the building shortly after acquiring it in July of last year with designs from Studio V. Those designs, according to President of PSM Daniel Martin, aim to create a collaborative hybrid headquarters space while also paying homage to well-known surfboard shaper Hap Jacobs, who previously utilized the space as his workshop.
“I think people have really embraced having a headquarters place and an address. The fact that it came with all this history and this legacy, for me as someone who came from the South Bay, I just feel like it’s a connection,” Martin said. “A connection back to place is probably one of the most undervalued or underappreciated parts of what has been lost over the past two years.”
PSM is a full-service marketing firm with services including branding, public relations, social media, web, video and more. The company has been in the South Bay for more than 30 years and is 100 percent employee owned.
With more than 30 employees, Martin explained that PSM’s goal for the building was to create a space that allowed for strategic growth by owning real estate as well as providing a collaborative hybrid environment.
“We only recently drafted our future-of-work plan, which is for us, how we’re going to use the space. That wasn’t written before the space was done, we wrote it after. We wanted everyone to see it, touch it and then give input on how they want to re-engage with it in a way that is collaborative,” Martin said.
As an ESOP, the goal for the space was to be fully transparent with large glass walls not fully reaching the ceiling. In this way, the office lacks closed off spaces, leaving little room for non-open conversation. The office space also employs a number of unique work spaces, with no assigned desks and various seating options.
According to Martin, the space is very different from the company’s previously leased space, which provided employees with a traditional work atmosphere complete with assigned desks and a lack of open space. Martin said the push for new ways of working was largely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the company’s desire to continue offering a remote work option. However, having a headquarters space allows for the ability to meet in person when needed while also having a home base to meet with clients or to be utilized for events.
As a South Bay company, PSM’s new office space also aimed to utilize its surroundings, with several local features. For instance, a coffee bar – that offers local coffee – is created out of reclaimed wood from former bleachers at the Hollywood Bowl.
The headquarters also have a gallery of art, that includes both art purchased from professional artists as well as art that has been made in house for various clients. While serving as a larger visual fixture of the space, the gallery also helps to pay homage to the art that has long been created in the space prior to PSM moving in.
In keeping with the theme, one main art feature in the building is a large 1970s-era orange surfboard hanging on the wall. The board is known as a Hap Jacobs 422 after the address of the former surf shop turned headquarters space. Martin said he hopes the influential piece will help to inspire future art by PSM.
“Ideally there’s a little legacy of creating art that comes from there,” said Martin. “…We work in artistic communication, and we wanted to honor the art that he made there with the art we make there and in that way it will be a continuation of his legacy.”