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Five Action Points

These Principles can be applied to any building in GSA's portfolio, regardless of it's size, location, or function.  Straightforward in their purpose, they are as easy to apply to an office building as they are to a courthouse, border station, or other building type.  The "one size fits all" approach assures that all buildings in the governments portfolio can offer the same standard of service to it's customers.

Five Action Points serve as the foundation of the First Impressions Program.  These points incorporate everything from no-cost or low-cost improvements, to full-scale renovation work.  They are:

  • Reduce Clutter - Signs, posters, and messages should not be randomly placed around the Lobby on easels, bulletin boards, walls and columns.  “A place for everything and everything in its place”. 
  • Consolidate Functions - Group amenities by function and create centrally located business centers in their lobbies.  ‘Mail boxes, ATMs, and retail’.
  • Unify Signage - Create a clear, consistent system throughout buildings.
  • Streamline Security - Create unobtrusive pockets of space in lobbies to provide for security needs.  Outside, ensure that exterior security contributes to public spaces and blends in.
  • Transform Your Image - Proper integration of architecture, urban design, interior design, and graphic elements creates a welcoming professional environment.  New lighting brightens dull, dark lobbies and new materials complement existing conditions while refreshing tired, worn interiors. 

These ideas have been wrapped in the approachable package of the First Impressions brand, helping to reinforce a standard set of public space “best practices” for GSA’s Property Managers and Project Managers across the country.


The First Impressions Program Brochure provides an overview of the program and is intended for a wide audience.


Mary Shearill-Thompson
(202) 208-1827

first impressions,lobby,lobbies