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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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The Architect’s Bookshop by Garbett

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logo, business cards, bookmarks, signage and tote bags by Australian studio Garbett for The Architect's Bookshop

The Architect’s Bookshop is a new design-focused retailer, located in Sydney’s Surrey Hills, devoted to the books of architecture and interior design, landscaping and urban development. The space was conceptualised as being more than a bookshop but a place to take time out to browse, a chance to engage with the material and form of the books, and as a place for those interested in all things related to the built environment to meet and engage in informal conversation and design discourse.

Australian design studio Garbett worked with The Architect’s Bookshop to develop a visual identity that would capture the spirit of the space, the positioning ‘a place for architecture lovers’ and comfortable with and distinct from a material and graphic sophistication of architectural publishing, channelling the universal, enduring and immediate form language associated with architectural structure and book reading. This project covered, alongside logotype, tote bag, bookmark/business card, bookstands, signage, price stickers, gift cards and art direction.

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WeWork by Gretel

Opinion by Richard Baird

New visual identity designed by Gretel for New York-based co-working business WeWork

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in New York, WeWork began as a workspace provider and has grown to offer a broader infrastructure of community management and support, event programming and virtual network management for small and large businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers.

With significant and rapid growth WeWork worked with Gretel to align its visual identity with its purpose. “Framework”, a graphic route that functions as a visual metaphor for WeWork itself, replicating its activities and behaviours, is a responsive and dynamic structure that responds to any spatial format in new and interesting ways, on screen and in print, governing and linking, alongside a simple colour palette and imagery, all of WeWork’s communications. These include small and large format posters, signage, magazine and website design.

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