A comprehensive design program for one of the world’s most powerful brands.
From continent to continent and store to store, Nike wanted to create a customer experience that was both cohesive, but also characteristic of each store’s unique location and culture. While branding is essential, so is understanding the heart and soul of your customers. You don’t promote hockey heroes in a city where soccer rules.
Nike commissioned us to implement an extensible, systemic approach for NikeTowns worldwide. We produced a comprehensive design program that included redrawing the famous Nike logotype, information graphics, product displays, banners, point-of-sale displays, signage and packaging—all culminating in a singularly branded NikeTown retail experience anywhere in the world.
Identity and Retail Design
NIKE CREATIVE LEAD
Tom Ancona, Global Creative Director
Branding Visual Design Information Design Environmental Design Photography Packaging
Refining a Cultural Icon
The original mark was developed shortly after the company was founded and has been re-adopted on everything from clothing to massive exterior building signage (which we helped design as well.) This new work included redrawing the famous Nike logotype, optimizing it for legibility and digital media needs.
More Than Just a Pretty Picture
“Tell their story” was our mantra as we built storewide graphic programs that supported 297,000 sq./ft. of Niketowns in Honolulu, Melbourne and Toronto. We strove to connect customers honestly and emotionally to athletes they know and love (instead of just featuring meaningless beauty shots.) Our work inspired loyalty by sharing and showing customers their heroes’ accomplishments.
A Flexible Toolkit
Large panels identifying specific sections of the store illustrate our retail design system. The system incorporates photo imagery and product information in a framework distinctive to the Nike brand. The system’s built-in flexibility allowed Nike to implement the graphics over a vast array of formats and messaging needs.
Good Design is Good Business
One of the challenges in designing a branded program is developing a system that’s both consistent and flexible. For Nike, each sport category deserved its own distinct personality. Nike Basketball speaks to their customer differently than Nike Golf. We determined which elements would be consistent, which unique, and in what proportion. In doing so, we implemented cost efficiency through a shared set of ‘graphic rules’ that respected individual customer preferences.
From Town Square to Pavilion
Part of the dance in designing a cohesive customer experience was in managing the transitions between the common areas, known as the “square”, into a specific sports category, or “pavilion”. The square needed to powerfully communicate Nike’s values and at its’ most basic level direct people where they wanted to go. Pavilions, on the other hand, had to speak to a particular demographic while not being completely reinvented each time.
Real Life Heroes
The program was designed to alternate between using big, bold colorful hero shots and gritty black & white images that championed athletes in a photojournalistic way.
From Big to Small
The success of the retail graphics called for an extension of the system into shopping bags and packaging. Using the same system elements, these items focused on general Nike branding and store identity.
Hall of Fame
Extending the graphic system to its most structural elements, we inlaid steel commemorative placards throughout the stores’ concrete floors.