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Retail Toolkit - Designing for Holism

Can brands establish a holistic narrative for different touch points, different categories and even different retail concepts? They can – it just takes the Village.

It’s an increasingly frequent occurrence to see spatial design studios taking over matters that go well beyond walls, and into product and branding design. Some are even protecting their holistic creative vision by doing all three in a single project – for example, take Note Design Studio’s product-branding-installation design for Swedish flooring brand Tarkett or, more recently, Snøhetta’s transdisciplinary proposal for fashion brand Holzweiler.
The Norwegian retailer wanted to create a seamless experience throughout every single touch point, from online to on-site. Snøhetta’s response came in the shape of a grid that could be used to set the graphic elements in the web store, but could also inform the layout of the storage space inside the fashion brand’s new Oslo headquarters and even the display elements of its flagship store on Prinsens Gate.

"Can brands establish a holistic narrative for different touch points, different categories and even different retail concepts?"

But the reason this holistic approach works so effectively is because, although it establishes a visual leitmotif throughout the brand’s properties, Snøhetta still left room for controlled deviations – for example, the video-based website can be easily altered, and users can adapt the colour palettes to reflect the themes behind any new collections.

Can any retailers with similar holistic aspirations apply this to their existing sales channels without having to start from scratch? Let’s just say it doesn’t take a village – instead, it just takes "The Village", Visplay’s showcase of its modular shopfitting systems. At the Weil am Rhein showroom, four distinct retail concepts for a fictitious brand are grouped together. But, by using a new Visplay product in each setup and weaving the four spaces with a sense of visual togetherness, Finnish interior designer Joanna Laajisto and a team of design specialists have proven that even disparate environments can still speak of a single narrative.



Publication date: 15.07.2019
Pictures: Roman Thomas