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.
Osofor will be a digital-first and lab-grown diamond jewellery business able to create stones of any shape and cut. It will offer a modern and sustainable luxury brand to those who desire the material qualities of diamonds without the environmental and sociological impact. Osofor intends to distinguish itself further by fusing enduring aesthetic desirability and artisanal practice with experimental materials, unexpected production processes, a highly-personalised service and a “beautifully-designed immersive online experience”.
The business is currently at the stage of product development; working with scientists, material technologists and inventors to develop a carefully-crafted launch collection. Paul Belford Ltd. was commissioned by Osofor to develop its graphic identity. This is characterised by a variety of cut stone-like symbols, faceted stationery and an animated visual gesture online that refracts the white light of an uppercase sans-serif logotype. This links website splash page, business cards, letterhead and packaging.
Opinion by Richard Baird.
Maison De Greef 1848 is a high-end luxury jewellery brand, expert watchmaker and retailer that opened its first shop in 1848 at 24 Rue au Beurr, Brussels. Shortly after De Greef became the official clockmaker for the Belgian National Railway Company and then the supplier of pocket watches for the Belgian Navy.
The brand has built an enduring legacy and weathered many changes over its 170-year life. It remains a family business and is in the hands of its seventh generation. This new generation worked with Base Design to rethink the clichés of the market and develop a new graphic identity. This is characterised by a bold simplicity of type and in words, a contrast of colour and a conviviality of image, and included stationery, packaging, bags and website design.