Branding a One-of-a-Kind Retail Experience

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The irreverently named …,staat Creative Agency conceptualized every aspect of an innovative Amsterdam food retailer, from the letterhead to the shelves.

There’s a pleasing symmetry between the services offered by …,staat Creative Agency (that’s no typo; there’s three periods followed by a comma) and grocery store Bilder & De Clercq: a package deal, with every detail taken into consideration.

Bilder & De Clercq applies this concept to food. Its idea, poised to revolutionize the way groceries are sold, was to package raw ingredients – not prepared meals – in specific quantities pre-measured for recipes that serve one or two people. No more buying a bouquet of parsley when a recipe calls for only two sprigs.

So when the retailer called on …,staat, it asked the design firm to consider every facet of that unique shopping experience. The new identity – comprising logo, colour palette and house typefaces – defines the interior of the shop, at the intersection of Bilderdijkstraat and the De Clercqstraat in an upscale residential neighbourhood in west Amsterdam. “Initially the store’s name was Grocerease,” explains …,staat strategy director Michiel Steyn, “which explains the idea perfectly: groceries made easy. However, we had a hard time using it because it seemed like too much of a ‘paper concept’.” So the creative agency suggested its client change its name to reflect its flagship location – and the client agreed.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a wide cafe counter surfaced with hand-crafted verdigris-coloured tiles, following the palette of light greys and blue-greens, black and white. Throughout the store, clean-lined custom shelving and two-tiered tables offer a chance to browse the packaged ingredients, as well as kitchen utensils, and breads, wines, and other delectables. The painted concrete floor, various wood and copper fittings, and an assortment of vintage industrial lighting add a sense of gravity and tradition to the interior’s otherwise breezy sophistication.

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