Creativity first – the fresh-air, life n soul of B2B blue skies
NG Signs Creativity In Retail… The London signwriter.com | By | Nick Garrett the London Sign writer.com
Creativity has always played a huge part in attracting clients through the door in retail. With web domains loading servers with new products and conventional media supplanting brand ID the space remains for a dynamic role for the creative sign designer.
Above: The retro grunge sample board that has just landed a major new brand contract for NGS
NGS are active in the area of new trend and product development and work closely at all stages with our clients. With a multi dimensional design background Nick Garrett brings together knowledge from product development, pure graphic design, magazine and page design along with the essential understanding of the sign and VM solutions.
Applying a creative logo to an interior retail display is a fairly straight forward process but moving a logo and brand ID from the screen to a large exterior surface area requires a different skill set – the ability to change the design in order to override perspective and foreshortening issues in the real world setting.
NGS assist architects and designers on project and add vision to the successful mix.
NEW BREED BRANDS
Another brand whose ethos has successfully channelled into Visual Display is Dover Street Market, the hybrid London store famed for it’s creative collaborations and avant-garde fashion following when (on behalf of Art-loving restaurateurs ‘Les Trois Garcons’) they created ‘Future of Black’.
A 2.5m exotically configured, sculpted octopus window installation inspired by the unusual antiques and visual curios (including a decent amount of taxidermy) which typify LTG’s style ‘Future of Black’ not only providing an arresting front-piece but made the budding synergy between the store and it’s temporary tenants clear for all to see.
The visuals are one layer, playing the space to simultaneously articulate a developing language, thus giving the project legs, is another.
The crux is that Visual Merchandising as a discipline now has everything to do with the visual and less (at least directly) with merchandising. The more luxury the brand the more evident with stores like Barneys in New York, producing Christmas windows for 2009 without a single piece of product on display, proving that communicating brand message through store space is the focus, far outweighing the product itself.
Above: New visual logo (Food Beverages) for leading Brand UK
I have seen just how creativity can transform a business… so have you. We live it -proven. Think of a high street retailer and you’ll visualise Next, BHS or Ikea.
Apple is a great example of a design led company emerging out of product obscurity just over a decade ago and on the back of a huge creative push turned it around. The exquisite taste of Steve Jobs himself has long been a matter of doctrine in the tech world. Kevin Kelly’s remarks after his death expressed the general sentiment:
“Steve Jobs was a CEO of beauty. In his interviews and especially in private, Jobs often spoke about Art. Taste. Soul. Life. And he sincerely meant it, as evidenced by the tasteful, soulful products he created over 30 years.”
For someone who thought that taste was connected to originality, one can’t help noting that Jobs’s taste was derivative in the extreme; he attempted a mid-century minimalism very much in the mold of Dieter Rams, for many decades the chief designer at Braun. (Rams’ influence came to Apple largely through its own chief designer, Jonathan Ive, who has long acknowledged the debt.)
Above: RAMS 50’s design genisis
WORDS THAT FIT
Typography is a craft going back thousands of years and has developed a great deal since that time. Theories have been developed as to how to best communicate through letterforms, especially when an idea needs to be transmitted as easily as possible. As Bringhurst explains while introducing the first chapter of his timeless “The Elements of Typographic Style”: Typography exists to honour content.
Regardless of the word count, the typographic experience can be as emotional as any pictorial masterpiece. This notion is beautifully exemplified by the “Coming Together” campaign for FontAid by The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) in support of relief efforts following the 2010 disaster in Haiti. The project—a font consisting of hundreds of ampersands designed by contemporary typographers—showed that despite the common saying that “a picture speaks a thousand words”, sometimes all you need is a handful of letters… or indeed, just a single character.
The “Coming Together” typeface shows us the power of a single character.
People sense a new reality of fresh creativity and visual risk taking. Typography is a key protagonist and tool in conveying multi layered meaning: creativity embodies and typo spells it out… we are today largely a literate retail driven race with a love great design at every and any new point in the chain.
Over the past decade NGS have injected creativity to a number of venture businesses with huge positive results: Jatex International was a clear example where Brand ID and product development enabled the company to attract a new core clientèle.
Adding sustainable creativity to a marketing program is literally adding business depth and volume… it can be a tremendously enjoyable process. The fruits are a plenty. Of the businesses that are moving ahead I challenge you to find one that has shed it’s attention to design to success.
UK is a hub of creativity and guess what… the awe of the world! We intend to write it on the wall, window or wherever.
NGS Creative Graphics and Signage
For more articles, “Unique Selling Point In Retailing”.
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