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Åhléns by Happy FB

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity, shopping bags, packaging and signage by Happy FB for Swedish retailer Åhléns

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.

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Kaiyo by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity and brochure design by Pentagram's Natasha Jen for furniture resellng platform Kaiyo

Kaiyo, formerly Furnishare, is an online platform for the reselling and buying of used furniture, currently available in New York City and New Jersey, but with the intention to expand this internationally. Kaiyo picks up, inspects, cleans, photographs and uploads furniture to its online catalogue, easing the difficulties of selling secondhand online. It is part of a growing up-cycling movement, challenges the notion of seasonality promoted by large furniture retailers and was created in response to the approximately 8 million tons of furniture that ends up in American landfill each year. Eco-modernist, good design available to everyone, reuse and longevity are central to Kaiyo’s positioning. This was developed by Pentagram partner Natasha Jen and team, alongside naming and graphic identity which runs across website, brochure, van livery, tote bag and box tape.

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Aurlands by Heydays

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logo design, branding and packaging designed by Heydays for Norwegian shoemaker Aurlands

Aurlands is the oldest running workshop for handcrafted shoes in Norway. It was founded in 1907 by shoemaker Nils G. Tveranger who, following time in America training as a shoemaker, went on to create the world’s first Penny Loafer in 1926. This, subsequently, became an enduring unisex fashion icon across Europe and America.

Aurlands continues to build on this legacy, crafting high-quality and sustainable shoes, and maintaining classics, alongside The Penny Loafer, such as the Norwegian welt and Norwegian split toe, names that refer to the way leather meets in their construction. Although distinct, each shoe shares the same attention to detail, the craft of their build and care given to both functionality and longevity.

The Aurlands brand is an enduring story of a Norwegian influence on the international shoemaking community. This story continues in their rebranding, created by Scandinavian design studio Heydays. This sees the introduction of a new wordmark and container, a bespoke typeface–Aurlands Display designed by Ellmer Stefan, lifestyle photography from Lasse Fløde, package design and soon to launch website.

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