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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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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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