Opinion by Richard Baird
Åhléns began in 1899 as a small mail-order business. Aside from it being one of the oldest it has also grown to become one of the largest retail chains in Sweden. By carefully collating a variety of items across brands and price categories, the retailer maintains its relevance today, understanding and responding to the many ways in which its customers have changed over its long history. Happy FB, the Scandinavian design studio behind Åhléns new visual identity, puts it simply “to Åhléns’ urbane and socially conscious patrons, shopping and sustainability are not contradictions. Inspiration and trends do not equate to use and discard. Premium can be inexpensive and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in quality”. The retailer’s new visual identity expresses this by taking the well-established Åhléns wordmark and single red and builds this out into a range of changing graphic expressions, imbuing a variety of touchpoints, material and digital, with more character whilst retaining a recognisable immediacy through simplicity.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Tea & Glory are loose-leaf tea experts and are described as the antithesis of fast-paced coffee culture. In the same spirit of ancient tea drinking rituals, the brand is interested in the continued promotion of slow-living, a lifestyle that seeks to place more focus on the small details and experiences of everyday life. With a desire to better express this position Tea & Glory worked with London-based design studio Socio Design to develop a visual identity, packaging system and interior signage that connects retail and hospitality experience, and that materially projects their ethos outside of the T&G space. Assets included loose tea pouches and boxes, takeaway cups and shopping bags. These are linked by a T&G logo, Klim Type Foundry’s Domaine Display, Sans and Condensed, a pastel colour palette, copper block foiling and a delicate pattern.
Opinion by Richard Baird
Felt is a coffee shop in Seoul with their own brand of speciality coffee which has been sourced by way of direct trade and roasted in Gyeonggi-do, a populous (relevant later) province of South Korea. They opened their first store in September 2015 and a second in October 2018. The team at Felt see every part of the coffee experience; its growing, harvesting, sourcing, roasting, preparing, branding, packaging and spatial experience as part of a total project, visiting coffee-producing regions to handpick raw beans, engage the quality control of professional green bean buyers, cuppers, roasters and baristas, in the creation of thoughtful space and in the commissioning of Studio fnt to develop visual identity.
Drawing on the experience of drinking the same coffee in the same space, a shared feeling but peripheral connection, Studio fnt worked with Felt to develop a visual identity and packaging for its coffee ranges. This is characterised by the simple and textural, and the precise and immediate, unified by a thoughtful and subtle concept, the use of intersecting lines and the demarcation and crossing of space.