Wow, what a package!

The largest department store in the Nordic countries, Stockmann, decided to renew its visual identity by renewing its packages. This was accomplished in collaboration with Pyroll. The new graphic identity of the packages can be seen at all Stockmann department stores.

Stockmann’s new visual identity was introduced to the consumers alongside with the 2010 Christmas packaging. During 2011, also the carrier bags of the department stores and the packages of Stockmann Delicatessen were given a new graphic identity. Stockmann’s Purchasing Manager Sami Saarinen says that all Stockmann department stores’ standard printed materials were renewed in Finland, Russia, and the Baltic countries. This included more than 100 products.

Design must stand the test of time

According to Saarinen, the purpose of the packaging renewal was to create a new, unified visual identity. He lists a number of important facts that needed to be considered beforehand. ”Design must stand the test of time and be usable during different seasons. The package itself must be correctly sized and as well suited for its role as possible.” In his opinion, a good package supports and complements the product visually. Furthermore, its materials and features are correctly selected. ”The usability and properties of a good package correspond to the set goals”, he sums up.

Saarinen tells that the new visual identity has received a lot of positive feedback. However, there has also been some criticism. ”Some people have expressed their support for the old visual identity”, he reveals. It goes without saying that such a sizeable renewal will divide opinions. ”In any case, it is great that people have opinions”, Saarinen states.

Stockmann is a trailblazer

Stockmann’s packaging renewal was carried out by the design agency Kokoro & Moi. Before the actual design work, they conducted thorough background work during which they surveyed the operations of other leading department stores in different parts of the world. ”After this we familiarised ourselves with Stockmann’s great archives, which contain the history of the company’s brand identity and package materials from the last 100 years”, Kokoro & Moi’s Creative Director Antti Hinkula reveals.

Hinkula mentions that their design concept stemmed from Stockmann’s vision of being Europe’s best department store. ”The old packages had served the department store for a long time, but now it was time to renew them to correspond to this vision. The visual identity and usability of the packages must convey a message of an international trendsetter and trailblazer”, Hinkula explains. ”Stockmann has always been a pioneer in Finland. During the course of time, it has introduced, e.g. the escalator, TV broadcasting, bicycle, Coca-Cola, skateboard, and sun-dried tomatoes to Finns”, he lists.

The new, fresher identity

Stockmann’s goal is to provide the ultimate shopping experience for the quality-conscious and internationally-minded client. According to Hinkula, this concept was on the background of the packaging renewal. The idea was to create a modern, high-quality international visual identity. Kokoro & Moi wanted to modernise it boldly, preserving some parts of the familiar and cherished Stockmann. Hinkula says that they wanted to maintain Stockmann’s well-known brand elements, the logo and the green colour. ”Our goal was to create something new and fresh utilising these elements”, he points out.

Kokoro & Moi wanted to freshen up Stockmann’s visual identity. The green colour was dominant in the department store’s old packaging repertoire. ”We added a lot more white surface on the packages and brought out the colour in patterns, the logo, carrier bag handles, and other details. We also added a carefully selected palette of other colours next to the green colour. They are visible, e.g. in gift packages and children’s packages”, Hinkula states.

According to Hinkula, it was also important to consider many other things in addition to visual attributes. ”A large department store needs vast quantities of packages, and thus cost-efficiency must also be considered in all aspects. The packages must also be timeless and reusable in different purposes”, Hinkula explains. ”We must also take sustainable development into consideration as well as possible when selecting materials and printing technologies”, he emphasises.

Pyroll – a familiar and reliable partner

Pyroll was selected to create the packages. Saarinen says that the selection of the partner that best supports Stockmann’s operations was based on tendering on price and the evaluation of the total service package. Many partnerships remained the same. ”Pyroll was already an old partner of ours in these product areas”, Saarinen says.

Pyroll makes carrier bags, bread bags, wrappings, paper and speciality bags, as well as pastry boxes for Stockmann. ”Carrying out this change with a familiar and reliable partner seemed like the best choice”, Saarinen says about the decision to select Pyroll as a partner. ”The price-quality ratio of the products, the extent of services, and the customer satisfaction among the mail order customers also had an effect on our choice”, he explains.

Stockmann nominated in the Design of the Year competition

Stockmann’s new packaging concept has been nominated in an international design competition. The Design Museum of London has announced the 2012 Design of the Year Award 2012 nominations, and Stockmann’s new graphic identity has been selected to compete for this esteemed award.

Innovative design from all over the world

The nominees have been selected by international design experts, so the level of the competition is very high. The long list includes innovative design from all over the world. There is no point in naming any favourites but it is worth mentioning that the list of nominations includes, e.g. the Boeing Dreamliner airplane and the wedding dress of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The competition has seven categories, and Stockmann was nominated in the Graphics category. In addition to Stockmann’s packaging concept, the category has 16 additional nominations, among them, for example, books, videos, and websites. The other categories are: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Product, and Transportation.

The winners will be announced on April 24, 2012. The jury will select seven category award winners and the overall winner of the Design of the Year Award. All the nominations can be seen in the Designs of the Year 2012 exhibition in the Design Museum of London from February 8 to July 15, 2012. The award will be given for the fifth time.