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Summerhill Market by Blok, Canada

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logotype, illustration and notecards designed by Canadian studio Blok for Toronto based boutique grocery store Summerhill Market

Summerhill Market is a family-run business, managed by the third generation, with premises on Toronto’s Summerhill Avenue and a smaller location—a floral boutique—on Mt. Pleasant Rd. The store has 200 employees, a butchers, bakery and deli, a BBQ in the summer and offers a variety of catering services.

Summerhill Market is admired for its high quality products, and its ability—since 1954—to consistently redefine what it means to be a boutique grocery store. Its commitment to quality is reflected in its extensive range of own-brand products, developed by an in-house executive chef and a team of 80.

With the intention of giving the store a more contemporary voice whilst maintaining its warmth, Canadian studio Blok developed a new brand identity of pastel colour, sans-serif type, moments of illustrative texture and a labelling system that links an extensive line of own brand products. As well as this, Blok also delivered assets that included business cards and stickers, packaging design, branded tote bag and notecards.

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Blå Bär by BVD, Sweden

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and bags by Swedish studio BVD for Blå Bär, an Osaka-based retailer of Scandinavian goods

Blå Bär (Swedish for blueberries) sells a variety miscellaneous goods from Scandinavia from its store in Osaka, Japan. These include, but are not limited to, glass and kitchenware, soft furnishings, ornaments and jewellery. Many of these could be described as having something of a shared Scandinavian simplicity of form, lightness of colour, natural material quality and cheerful character in pattern and imagery. These are displayed within a well-lit space that blends white walls and shelves, a light wood floor and storage, with the blue of its brand identity, created by Stockholm-based graphic design studio BVD. This appears as a solid matte colour wall, glossy counter, pattern detail and display case, and runs across the store’s packaging.

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Artek Helsinki by Tsto, Finland

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity and shopping bags by graphic design studio Tsto for furniture and homeware store Artek Helsinki.

Artek is a Finnish furniture and product design business and retailer with a flagship store in Helsinki. It was founded in 1935 by architect Alvar Aalto and wife Aino Aalto, the arts promoter Maire Gullichsen and art historian Nils-Gustav Hahl.

Artek grew alongside and shared many of the qualities of the  20th century modernist movement, blending art and technology, and making the most of improved technical expertise in mass manufacturing to produce well-crafted and functional products from good quality materials for everyday living. The company has remained true to these values, and its 2nd cycle initiative, a platform for reselling Artek furniture, is a testament to the aesthetic and material longevity of its products.

Artek worked with Scandinavian graphic design studio Tsto to build out the visual identity system of their flagship store, Artek Helsinki. The studio’s approach layers this system with additional type, illustration created from the partial forms of Artek’s product range and establishes a new set of visual guidelines. This runs across and links tags, stationery, business cards, packaging, magazine covers and shopping bags.

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