Theo Chocolate Retail Signage
Theo Chocolate Retail Signage System
Developed a functional, on-brand and elevated signage system from physical configuration to graphic design.
As Theo Chocolate has grown and expanded over the last several years, it was time for the retail store to get a lift and become the flagship location of a national brand. I worked with the retail and visual merchandising team to build a strategy for a cohesive and elevated retail store experience, including determining the signage needs, configuration strategy, materials, and direction for the overall aesthetic direction.
To start the project, I met with the shareholders involved to hear their vision for the project. This information, combined with input from the retail team, is what I used to create the goals and roadmap for the project.
Create a signage system that is cohesive, clear, and on brand.
Allow products to shine by keeping signage from competing with them.
Use signage as a tool to help customers both find what they are looking for, and discover and learn about things they may not have seen before.
Elevate the overall look and feel of the retail store's aesthetic.
Create a functional system and that is easy for retail staff to implement and maintain.
Determining the configuration:
Because the products, prices and events going on in the store are always changing, the system needed to be flexible and easily updated. On the other hand, to create something that felt elevated, refined and finished, we wanted to make sure the pieces felt sturdy and permanent.
Additionally, with a large variety of products and information that needs to be displayed, we knew we needed a system with various options so that every piece would have an ideal option for display.
I presented a variety of options to my team and these sketches show the direction that was chosen.
FINDING THE VISUAL DIRECTION:
I initially explored 3 visual directions for the signage:
1. Based on the redesigned Theo website, modern, bright, bold colors, lots of poppy photography
2. Based on the Theo core brand colors, typography and illustration, featuring simple chocolate images for color and texture
3. A new sub-brand specifically for the retail store, clean and minimal, allows the product to take center stage while elevating the feel of the shopping experience
Ultimately, the direction that was chosen was a mix of elements from the different directions: an overall clean and minimal aesthetic, featuring bold type inspired by the website and mixing in core brand colors and photography.
the solution - PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
The final signage system design allows the products to be front and center by minimizing the amount of signage used overall and intentionally keeping signs from covering the products. Simple name/price signs mounted on wood blocks or held by metal frames and mounted to the shelf below identify products without competing with them for the customers' attention.
The signage is sturdy (mounted on heavy wood blocks or framed in metal) but easily changed and updated when needed.
Large hanging signs help customers find what they are looking for quickly, while tabletop menu style signage provides more information up close about what makes each product special.
The visual direction feels updated and clean, but still matches Theo's brand voice - friendly, warm and accessible, with lower case type and Theo's brown and blue color scheme. Because of the simplicity of the visual style, the products are able to take center stage in the store.
I wanted to include an additional piece that customers could use to learn more about Theo's ever-changing confection selection. These pieces are mounted to clipboards that customers can hold and read when deciding what they want to order. They feature the year round confections, with a changeable smaller seasonal menu attached, and contain descriptions of each of the confections.