The consultancy began work on the project around two years ago, having previously worked with Kite chief executive Asad Hamir on designs for his franchised o2 stores.
Fourmation was responsible for Kite’s naming; sourcing the frame designers, manufacturers and components; branding; interiors; website and packaging. The high level of brand engagement and product development saw the consultancy given equity in the business.
Chris Bell, Kite co-founder and Fourmation creative director, says, ‘We wanted to redesign the eyewear retail experience and flip it on its head.’
Bell says the name Kite was chosen due to its suggestion of colour, alluding to the frame designs on sale. He explains, ‘It’s very literal – kites are made from a minimal amount of material, but they’re strong and light and you look up to them. The branding fell off the back of that.’
The ‘exceptionally simple’ logo is used with a word-mark created using a bespoke typeface. The logo itself uses a 45-degree angle pattern with an embedded letter ‘k’, and can be tessellated to form a pattern on applications such as wallpaper, and appears on packaging and other touch points as an ‘identifiable symbol, but one that’s not too in-your-face’, says Bell.
The eye-testing rooms have been designed to appear more like spa rooms than traditional opticians, says Fourmation, and feature branded wallpaper and ‘rawer materials’ such as timber and steel.
The interiors of the branch, which is sited in east London’s Westfield Stratford shopping centre, have a ‘fashion retail vibe’, according to the consultancy. It looked to create this through features such as music and ‘Kite kiosk’ digital displays which let customers take photographs of themselves to share on social media, and ask their peers for advice.
There are also in-store style advisors and bottled carrot juice for customers.
Fourmation says, ‘We believe that eyewear is the first thing people look at and should be changed as often as your shoes. The only way this can be done is if we can create a product that not only looks awesome and is made to a very high standard, but is also affordable.’