Are you designing an office for someone who needs a good way to hang drawings or documents on the walls—for reference while working on a project, or just to keep frequently used papers readily accessible? Does you own office need that kind of product? Or are you designing products for those with this kind of need? Here are some of the many ways to use the walls effectively while accommodating various personal styles.
Bulletin/cork boards, and the pushpins to go with them
Bulletin boards have one downside—you wind up with tiny holes in the papers. But if that's not a concern, they can work quite well. Note that anyone with pets or small children will need to be careful about how the pushpins are stored.
Bulletin boards can be made interesting in a number of ways. For example, you might cover them with fabric, as Pulp does.
Or you could use an unusual shape, as with this flower from Three by Three and this map from Luckies of London. But if you want to make the most use of limited space, you'll want to keep the shape somewhat close to a square or rectangle.
Another option would be to put the cork board in a colorful frame, as Maine Cottage does.
And then you can get creative with the pushpins. Here's one example, from Nuop. I brought these medieval weapon pushpins to a holiday gift exchange, and they were extremely well received!
And here's a very different look, from Girl of All Work.
Magnetic boards, and the magnets to go with them
Magnetic boards work well, as long as you've got magnets powerful enough to hold the papers firmly in place. Those with pets or small children will need to be careful about how the magnets are stored, especially if the magnets are small.
Magnetic boards can be large or small, and can vary in shape — and you can go wild (or conservative) with the patterns. The board above comes from Beyond the Fridge.
If you'd like a really large board, consider using magnetic paint primer to cover a wall. Kling, one of the manufacturers of magnetic paint primer, shows one of the many ways such paint might be used.
And of course you can get creative with the magnets, as Seltzer did.
If both a bulletin board and a magnet board sound good, there's the bullet board—a perforated metal board that works with either pushpins or magnets.
Another option is a magnetized dry-erase board, in stainless steel or in glass, which allows the user to write notes as well as display papers. For a larger space, you could get this same functionality by using the magnetic paint primer mentioned earlier, and then using chalkboard or whiteboard paint over that primer.
Magnetic dry-erase boards can also take on playful shapes, as this pig and owl illustrate. (The owl was previously sold by The Container Store.)
There are also boards that provide storage options along with the display space. SmorgasBoard can be used simply as a wooden magnetic board, or you can add other items: pegs, a shelf, a storage box.
And for those whose paper display needs are fairly minimal, this multipurpose dry-erase channel panel and planner from Three by Three might be of interest. There's a channel at the top and a magnetic strip at the bottom which can hold papers, while the rest of the board is used in other ways.
Boards that don't require pushpins or magnets
For those who don't want to worry about keeping pushpins or magnets around, there are other types of memo boards.
French ribbon memo boards, such as these from Sweet Jojo Designs, can be made with a huge range of fabrics.
And the Post-it Cut-to-Fit Display Board has a sticky surface, providing another way to mount notes without using pushpins or magnets.
Clips and Clipboards
Rather than using some sort of memo board, some people prefer to have a wall with a collection of clipboards. This also avoids the need for pushpins or magnets.
A variation on the clipboard theme is the multi-clip notice board from West Elm. This provides a nice integrated look, but lacks the flexibility of using individual clipboards.
The Restaurant Ticket Holder, and similar products
Restaurant ticket holders and other related products provide some of the same functionality as clipboards. The limitation is that they come in fixed sizes, while a collection of clipboards can accommodate any wall size. However, many products in the restaurant rail genre will accommodate much larger papers than a clipboard will.
Basic restaurant ticket holders could work well for those who like an industrial look.
For those who'd like a warmer look, there's the Grip-A-Strip, which is available in bronze.
The Gripet provides a more streamlined look, which would work better in some offices. It might be easier to wipe down in a high-dust environment.
Finally, the Tack Bite provides a cork strip as well as the display rail — a useful combination when dealing with both large and small papers.