Sell structure

Branding and graphics are as integral to an interior as the fittings, furniture and lighting. But they often get overlooked. Design Week inspects three new spaces – a Far East-inspired lounge bar, an upmarket travel accessories shop and a French fragrance


Identity and graphics: Output

Interiors: Macaulay Sinclair

A late lounge venue in Nottingham, Geisha is inspired by the Far East – ‘Kyoto temples, Shinjuku neon, Yakuza tailoring, Roppongi girls and Love Hotels at 3am’, according to its owners. It opened earlier this month in the city’s Lace Market.

A vibrant plum blossom graphic motif in shades of orange, red, pink, yellow and white adorns the interior of Geisha, contrasting with jet black surfaces illuminated by magenta neon. Plum blossom was chosen as a symbol of purity and the fact that, in Japanese culture, it represents ‘the birth of something new’. Elsewhere, graphic interpretations of koi carp fish are designed to symbolise ‘strength, bravery and vitality’.

The koi carp and plum blossom signatures feature across all promotional literature, with an individual blossom on menus; behind the bar against a white backdrop of a graphic bamboo motif; in the toilets above sinks; and as part of two giant Far East-inspired glass mosaics across one wall each in the seating area, created using Bisazza tiles. Sinclair’s interiors include private booths furnished with black suede sofas and kimono fabric cushions.

Terre d’Oc

Branding, graphics and interiors: in-house at Terre d’Oc

Based in Provence, France, Terre d’Oc is a home fragrance brand. The company has just arrived in London with two stores in prime retail locations – Marylebone High Street and King’s Road – which opened earlier this month. The UK interiors are a first for Terre d’Oc. In France, the brand isn’t sold in independent stores like this, rather in specialist, multi-brand shops.

Key to the branding of the new interiors are bold, Provençal-style graphics applied to highly colourful packaging, and giant, complex wall murals, both designed to contrast with the more minimalist interiors. All packaging and branding is undertaken in-house, under co-founder and creative director Valerie Rouband. Graphics on incense stick packaging, for example, feature bright floral interpretations of the scent of each stick, and 16 of Terre d’Oc’s best-loved fragrances are wrapped in bright Cellophane.

Dotted throughout the shop are plain glass doors on to small recessed windows. When the doors are opened, the smells are released. Relaxed seating areas offer fragrance testing, which allows customers to smell scents without them mingling in the air and overwhelming the store.

Heidi Klein

Interiors and graphics: HMKM

The basic store branding for year-round, upmarket travel shop Heidi Klein aims to lend weight to the store’s laid-back ‘beach shack’ vibe and reflect the handmade personality of the store interior, according to HMKM director of graphic design and art direction, Colin Melia.

A distressed logo, applied as a detail to windows, nods to old-fashioned passport stamps and appears in a variety of different guises, with words and phrases such as ‘Have a wonderful time’ and ‘Thank you’. Printed stickers with the Heidi Klein marque are applied to plain paper bags to customise them cheaply – all lending the store the off-the-cuff feel of buying ‘from a beach hut’, says Melia.

Heidi Klein’s second London store opened earlier this year in Chelsea, spread over two floors and twice the size of the original Notting Hill shop. Natural materials including stone, sand, raffia and bamboo feature throughout.

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