Tag Archives: design

brand architecture

brand translated into architecture

shape from content

story telling details

finishes from context

The interior architecture is informed by the brand concept . The space is shaped by a structure of yarn into a minimalist decorative environment that speaks the language of precision, quality and detail. Careful consideration of lighting and product placement offers stunning effect with less to support the brand philosophy.

pas de calais

IMG_4126

IMG_4125

IMG_4124

Pas de calais, in Soho, NY since April 2013

regis pean + omni//form is a strategic architecture and design firm creating
experience based design around the world
Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

It starts with understanding the task.

You are looking for a designer ? You have written up your needs, a fact sheet or a brief and assembled some support documentation ready to send out, but how do you decide whom to go with when there are many choices with similar credentials?

The qualitative difference lies in the type of response to your request for proposal. A designer’s responsibility is to understand what his client really intends. To do that the good design partner will make the extra effort to evaluate both, the context you are coming from and what are you trying to achieve with the project –  in addition to the bare brief.

To really understand the task the designer must reach out to explore with his client who they are and what they do. That is true for individuals as much as for brands. What is the brand culture, who are the people behind it, what style do they promote, what fans do they attract, who is their target customer, what is the product all about and what is their point of differentiation from their competition? It is no different from a tailor taking your measures.

To make this process easier and more fun we typically prepare visual boards with specific questions, which we then answer in collaboration with a prospective client as shown in these examples below from a recent proposal.

omni//form brand story questionnaire

omni//form experience questionnaire

omni//form mood questionnaire

A committed designer would also want to know as much as possible about the context he will be working into such as, location specifics, traffic pattern, geographic orientation, adjacencies (specifically if there are competitors) and any restrictions. He would also want to learn about how the brand sees its product being accessed by its customer in store and other channels, as all of this is key to designing a functional (branded) environment. In the tailor’s analogy this would be discussing the fit, use and style.

This very first collaborative evaluation of the task is an instrumental step in defining a qualitative brief in the partnership between a designer and a client that will help to avoid misconceptions and shortcomings. Without this base work even aesthetically winning results will emerge outside of context and bear the risk to fail to often great surprise.

Tagged , , , , ,

attention grabber

How do you make yourself visible with a tiny product on very little assigned real estate in a busy retail environment? When faced with this task for an end cap of a gondola in Sephora to introduce a new product line, we thought we’d turn up the volume on the benefit of the product using the tone of voice of the brand language.

In our case it was a lip puckering product line for a brand that charmingly but a bit provocatively plays on the naughty side of women in a retro esthetic of the past mid century.

This led us to create the theme of a historic figure – the theater candy girl, who offers out her goodies in a front loaded tray. With a little naughty twist this felt right on brand. We developed a retro style visual composition, that focused on the effect of the product with benefit centric call outs and statements, while building the actual product display trays projecting out of the visual to bring her to life. The result was a dynamic attention grabbing display.

endcap design

http://www.omniform.us

Tagged , , , , , ,

Moving the crowds- strategic planning_part 3

In my previous post “Leading the way!” I wrote about how strategic “attractors” can help pull the customers through space by providing a sequence of stimuli throughout the experience. Today I want to look at how care needs to be given equally to the layout of the path.

We believe that a store layout is more favorable when it allows for a customer journey without repetition.

Creating a round trip experience will keep the attraction and interest levels up. As they move through a choreographed sequence of experiences they will not realize their way through the store, unless the way is experienced backwards, even for some parts. The repeated path is usually without value for the retailer as the customer will have the impression “to already have seen it” and likely expedite their way through that area without any interest or interaction with a product.

A good example to this theory are IKEA stores. They have driven this idea to a point where it is impossible to turn back without loosing orientation. So customers are almost forced to complete the journey if they want to ever see daylight again.

IKEA store layout and customer path

The negative aspect of taking it this far is that not every customer possesses the same attention span and not being able to exit when you want can create adverse impressions and annoyance. IKEA may get some impulse sales out of a disoriented customer but the experience won’t have a positive perception. (see related article in “Daily Telegraph”) The journey should be offered, not forced.

Below is the layout plan of our store example from the previous blog – a jewelry store omni//form designed for the French brand Mauboussin in Singapore. We have mapped possible journeys from the main entrance as well as the secondary but equally important VIP drive way.

<omni//form for Mauboussin in Singapore>
customer journey mapping
red main, blue VIP

Even though the store is relatively small, it is organized to allow for a customer round trip with attractors setup along the entire journey.

Not every space configuration will necessarily allow for a comfortable round trip journey. Small retail stores very often are narrow and long. The trick is to get the customer to explore the entire space offering by setting up an attractor or a functional area at the very end of the space. When we designed retail stores for MAC Cosmetics with such conditions, we usually set up an attractor at the deep end of space .

This could be a stimulating light element, such as a large light box visual or video screen since humans tend to walk towards light in darker environments. Alternatively we would locate the cash register all the way in the back, so that we could be sure that the customer see the entire store offering before check-out.

A round trip journey can also be created by simply introducing island displays, if the space allows.

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in New York>
video screen at the end of the space as a far sight attractor
and island displays to encourage round trip journeys

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in Los Angeles>
light source and cash register at the end of space
island displays encourage non repetitive paths

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in Tokyo>
wall gestures and displays lead around the corner guiding customers through the space

store designs by omni//form, inc

www.omniform.us

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

View it all

New York based design firm NEMAWORKSHOP crafted a clever design for a coffee shop.

A big living room to mingle over coffee or socialize is flanked by two Library style walls that are angled inwards thus enhancing the perspective  and making the content better viewable from outside. A large mirror over the service counter extends the space conveniently and offers additional unexpected views. Loose furniture allows for flexible seating configuration. The wood floor adds dynamic to the space through its unconventional installation.

Toby’s Estate / 125 North 6th Street  Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tagged , , ,

Smashbox Cosmetics – launches New Store Design Internationally!

Smashbox Cosmetics launches a new store design to expand into international markets.

Legendary and “uber-hip”make-up line Smashbox Cosmetics – a spin-off of trendy Smashbox photo studios in Los Angeles – opened its first bespoke international installation in Douglas Berlin, Friedrichsstrasse on Friday, April 27th, 2012.

The design, crafted by omni//form,inc, a New York based design agency specialized on retail concepts for beauty/fashion and luxury, refers to the look and feel of a photo studio and captures the vibe of  the fashion, the glamour and the scene that put Smashbox studios on the map.

The product is “staged” in white boundary less space with focused lighting to create a scenario of highlights and shadows. Equipment to hold up shelving, displays and accessories is reminiscent of studio grip equipment. To support Smashbox’ image as “the digital brand” in the industry, the installation features ipads with video content and the possibility of live streams from Smashbox studios in L.A. as well as direct link ups with social media for customers to share their on-counter experience.

“It is important to create something that consumers can immediately associate with the brand,” says Péan, principle of omni//form, inc. “ Consumers in foreign countries are not yet familiar with Smashbox Cosmetics’ brand codes, so we are helping in our way to make it unique and recognizable.

For more information:

http://www.smashbox.com

http://www.omniform.us

Tagged , , , , , , ,

case study: branded design – the genetic code / part 3

In the last post I was explaining how we identify the DNA of a brand and extract the aesthetics around it as a starting point for a design of the retail fixtures.

In this case study on Smashbox Cosmetics it is the smashbox camera, the  grip elements of a photo studio and the studio setup that drive the design.

           

So we take all of these elements and create a base fixture that in this case mimics the studio setup and its aesthetics:

Then we make various formats of that base module and create variations from it so we end up with a family of elements we can setup in different ways to respond to retailer needs:

A Retail Gondola

A Back Wall

The goal is for a customer to easily recognize the heritage or root of a brand to be able to develop an affection to the brand story.

Successful brands translate their story into every aspect that touches a consumer, whether it be direct communication, advertising, product, packaging or the retail environment.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

case study: branded design – the genetic code / part 1

The brand and “its body”

I often get asked how we develop retail design concepts for brands that need to retain their identity in multiple formats and locations. “What is your approach and process?” I’m asked.

The first part in the design process is finding the brand’s genetic code – the identity – so that we can build the design around it. Our task is to develop a “face” for a brand in the beauty and luxury industry. We then use the “face” of the brand to develop concepts for environments – concepts that can be translated into multiple retail formats, from small department store kiosks to full size retail stores.

Example: smashbox cosmetics was born in a photostudio. The esthetic of a studio set is the driving DNA behind the brand.Example: smashbox cosmetics was born in a photostudio. The esthetic of a studio set is the driving DNA behind the brand.

A brand’s DNA, the genetic code that created the brand, is what defines it and sets it apart. Often, this code has been altered or watered down over years of brand development. This comes naturally with management changes, brand extensions, and global expansion. If you dig hard you can usually trace the origins of the brand, which are the key elements that made it unique in its origin and eventually made it successful. To create an effective physical design to represent a brand, which can live independently of size and location, it must be close to that original DNA.

Think of it this way: the DNA code is in the brand, and the body is the physical retail space created by the brand’s code. The code is the smallest common building block that is embedded into any design expression. It becomes the common thread in all the design formulations to come.

The power of a brand is in its core message and we use it as the driving idea behind any aspect of the branded design.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,