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Project Inspiration - 20/6/16
This week, our favourite projects revolve around the way different finishes are used within stores. Our first look at neon, shows how brands are using the high impact signage for more than just wayfinding, but continuing to utilise it throughout the store for both visual merchandising and informational purposes. Following, our look at both Pantheon Interiors & Retrokit showcase how different physical finishes, that wouldn't usually be seen in retail or in this type of product design, are creating exciting new interior projects for the retail market.
SH flagship store
SH have used neon throughout their store, for a high impact retail environment. Interestingly, most of the floor space is used for visual merchandising, rather than product display. This was a vision that formed part of the original brief to Fabio Marano, to create a minimal and multipurpose store.
On first place, they’ve achieved this objective. Creating a store so minimal has allowed SH’s branding to come across clearly, whilst focus is immediately drawn to spaces where products are situated, as they’re more densely populated than other areas of the store.
Whilst we love the visual merchandising throughout, the neon displays that appear throughout the store are a highlight. Initially used for high visibility icons & signage, once you take a deeper look within the store, you notice subtle neon elements cropping up within product displays, and most notably at the entrance to each floor (every escalator is accompanied by some lettering).
Used in this way, SH initiates a clear signal that neon is a call-to-action within the store, for either information or to display branding and prices. Plus, separating the colours out for distinct purposes, creates an extra layer of recognition for people visiting the store. See the full case study here.
Pantheon Interiors is a new venture creating luxury furniture aimed predominantly at the property development market. At the beginning of 2016, they approached us (Unibox) to collaborate, creating a range of occasional tables that would push the boundaries of our 25|25 system (disclaimer : no sales pitch - we promise!).
The collaboration allowed us to create some interesting shapes & designs, that previously we hadn’t seen an application for (yet). Our favourites included the hexagonal and triangular shaped tables, as they presented the biggest challenge, in terms of technical design for corners nodes, and manufacturing - to achieve the correct tolerances for each angle.
The finishes used complete the tables though. When we exhibited at the Retail Design Show, and Lux Live in 2015, we introduced the concept of using organic/natural materials with our products. This was our first commercial application using these interesting materials, including cork, marble, concrete, and wooden finishes.
The final challenge was the finish to the framework itself. All of our aluminium is created in a mill-finish (a dull grey colour), and then usually powder coated in a satin silver. This time, we wanted to test the possibilities using chrome, matt, and brushed finishes to the metal work. The result was incredible, and you can see the full range of finishes in our case study.
Our final project features some of the most interesting cabinet designs we’ve seen. Based in South Korea, Retrokit is an eyewear concept store that has based its design on opposite extremities.
What caught our eye, were the concrete clad showcases, that matched the walls’ original demolished appearance. The functionality of the boxes themselves is particularly clever, as each showcase is displays high value eyewear, security looks to have been integrated into the base.
We’ve been experimenting with using new finishes to retail displays ourselves, using a range of materials within our new 25|25 system, so to see a showcase using unusual finishes (and looking brilliant!) is exciting. See the project here.