Publication: A.R.E.

Pint-size Retail

November 17, 2014

A handful of kids got a taste of retail branding in the recent creation of the ultimate lemonade stand at a busy Manhattan plaza, thanks to two A.R.E. members based in the area. Brand agency CBX worked with a team of 9- to 12-year-olds for two months to develop the concept, while Big Apple Visual Group manufactured and built the stand. The project was organized by 826NYC, an organization fostering creative writing skills in under-resourced students.

“Having the students plan with the professionals at CBX, execute, and then interact with the general public … will have a profound effect on these young people,” said 826NYC Founder Dave Eggers.

The students worked side-by-side with the CBX creative team on the business name and design of the logo, stand, signage, product packaging, and uniforms. The 10-ft.-by-20-ft. stand resembled “a tropical oasis hidden in the heart of New York City’s steamy concrete jungle,” replete with a treasure chest cooler for the product, palm trees, towering Easter Island statues, flamingos, penguins, a misting system, and “Welcome to Paradise” signage.

CBX sought “to energize the young creative minds of 826NYC and to enable them to see that their imaginations can be realized in a meaningful […]

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Local inspiration

October 29, 2014

Project: Duty-free shops, Muhammed V International Airport, Casablanca Design: CBX Completion: Spring 2104 (phase 1), Summer 2014 (phase 2) Size: 9,967 sf Retailer: IDFS

Inspired by Moroccan architecture most recognized by its royal arches,these duty-free shops give shoppers one last look at Morocco as they leave the country. Luxury purchases of perfume, wines, chocolates, and other international items become souvenirs of their stay in an exotic and storied locale.

Separate shopping areas (all owned by IDFS, Morocco’s oldest duty-free retailer) give the feel of shops in a bazaar, while architectural touches such as stylized courtyards and arches recreate the feel of traditional Moroccan homes or “riads.” Rendered in a modern style accessible to the most international taste, the stores feature a color pallet based on the local landscape: desert colors for the floors, rich ivory and sea blue for the accents.

LED lighting shows off the products to best advantage while large, warm pendant lights bring the scale down to human size and further recall local architecture. Overhead signs identify departments while internally illuminated display towers highlight logos of designer brands.

The first two stages of the fast-track project were completed in May and June. The third, a handbag shop, […]

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Airport Retail Takes Off

September 17, 2014

While the news about a thriving airport market is worth celebrating, the challenge for designers and retailers alike is striking a balance between two very different customers with needs that are essentially polar opposites of one another.

“We’ve got two core travelers,” explains George Waite, program manager at Columbus, Ohio-based Chute Gerdeman. “The rushed or hurried person who might be late or stressed on the way to a quick connection—maybe doesn’t have a lot of time, wants to have grab-and-go options, get in and out—vs. the more leisurely traveler. How do you entertain them, let them relax and enjoy themselves as much as they can in that kind of a situation?”

Catering to differing end users may seem tricky, but it need not be overly complicated. People carrying multiple pieces of baggage or traveling with children likely experience additional stress, so a few simple design decisions can go a long way to alleviate their tension, says Melissa Mizell, senior associate at Gensler.

“As much as we can make the airport environment and the retail and concessions environment as easy as possible to navigate, as clutter-free, well curated, with plenty of space to walk by with your luggage—all of these things […]

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