Valspar Knows What Matters: First Impressions

Mallory Johnson

21 November 2014

Marking their 200 Year History - Valspar Reveals Their Newly Renovated Applied Science and Technology Center

Minneapolis, MN – September 11, 2014 – Star, a Minneapolis based experiential marketing solutions company, created a new first impression for Valspar Corporation at their Applied Science and Technology Center (VAST) in downtown Minneapolis. This corporate interior renovation brings to life Valspar’s 200-year history of technological innovation. The VAST Center, located in a historic 1903 building, was originally the company's headquarters and is now home to offices and laboratories. The creative design of the 3,850 square-foot space was the result of Valspar, Star, and Hagen, Christensen and McIlwain (HCM) architects’ concentrated effort to provide a rich visitor experience that would showcase Valspar’s brand attributes: history, innovation, global reach and scientific expertise.

The first impression begins even before you step into the space. From the outside, you spy a three-dimensional sphere of glowing color that becomes even more intriguing as you enter the lobby. Placed at the threshold of the visitor experience, the seven-foot diameter sphere consists of 206 glass beakers filled with dozens of colors. The "color in 3D" sculpture is the creative brainchild of Star's design team, who were inspired by the glass beakers Valspar's technicians use to develop new coating formulations. "The sculpture embodies our global reach and communicates the fact that what we do is both an art and a science," says Valspar Executive Vice President Steve Erdahl. "It's significant that the sculpture floats above our tagline, 'If It Matters, We're On It."

The entire space is organized around the four pillars of Valspar’s technological innovation: Appearance, Application, Performance and Environment. Colorful graphics and hands-on displays showcase “what matters” to Valspar and the Valspar History Wall, which features a combination of 3D images, graphics and historical artifacts, illustrates the company’s history of innovation. You can read about the legendary Valspar Varnish (the first varnish to stay clear in water), the Valspar industrial coatings that protect the nearby Guthrie Theatre, and the interior can technology that Valspar created to ensure SPAM™ “plops” out of its can.

“The process with Star and HCM was incredibly collaborative,” says Steve Erdahl. “After numerous discussions and design iterations, lines became blurred as to who worked for whom. We all knew we were trying to bring something special to Valspar and no one was willing to compromise on quality. As a result, we’ve created a space that goes beyond our wildest dreams.”

Valspar is one of Minneapolis's oldest and most established global companies. Since 1806, Valspar has delivered industry-leading innovations, the finest quality products and exceptional customer service in the coatings industry. Valspar supplies customers in more than 100 countries, offering a diverse array of products that make it one of the largest and most comprehensive suppliers of consumer and commercial coatings in the world.

About Star

Since 1993, Star has provided powerful brand integration for their clients. A leading global marketing solutions provider, Star values a customer-centric approach, lasting partnerships, powerful strategic direction, and consistent execution. Star’s comprehensive design, fabrication, installation/dismantle and property management services support event, trade show, retail fixture, corporate lobby and selling environment initiatives. For more information about Star, visit

Mallory Johnson



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