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A Study Of How Branding Drives The Interior Design Of Retail Stores

916 words - 4 pages

With quote on the importance of Interior Design within retail environments ever increasing, the question of what drives design in this instance is often the branding of individual stores. In order to confirm this hypothesis, I will conduct a literature review of recent collaborations within interior design and retail companies, before undertaking a critical case study of high end store Anthropologie, recording photos, observations, and customer and staff opinions to explore the effect of branding on the interior design of their stores. Finally a study of semiotics within retail environments will be particularly relevant to this topic as it investigates the use of visual communication in retail design. This should help inform my research as to why certain colours, signs, symbols, both visual and subconscious, have been used in branding to drive the interior design of these retail stores.
Literature Review
In exploring how branding affects store design, Eleanor Curtis (2006, p. 9) goes as far to say that “interior display became the critical factor that would encourage the sale of one particular brand over another” within Department Stores. I.e., strong, characteristic interior design which fully reflects a certain brand will make it distinctive among its imitators and competitors. Lynne Mesher (2010, p. 10) supports this idea, claiming that; “The brand is the starting point and the building or site often comes later.” This enforces just how crucial the idea of branding is to both the fashion and interior/architecture industry; highlighting that the concept of retail design centres on the notion of branding before all else. Pierre Martineau (1958, p. 47) further champions this idea; “Economic factors will always be important. But unless the store image is acceptable to the shopper, price announcements are meaningless.” This is particularly true of large Fashion Houses such as Louis Vuitton and Prada who have experienced dilution to their luxury brand names in the past by becoming mass marketed, and hence losing their exclusivity (Curtis, 2006, p. 11). Therefore, they enlist top name, signature architects to bring back the high quality status to their name by re-housing the brand with innovative and beautiful interior and exteriors. In this way, the architecture and interior design can be seen as a direct extension of the fashion brand (Curtis, 2006, p. 6) and not just a backdrop on which to display the items. Finally, this is demonstrated through collaborations between fashion designers and architects whose styles are similar and therefore compliment each other’s designs. For example, Giorgio Armani and Claudio Silvestrin, both fans of clean cut minimalism within their own disciplines (fashion and architecture), teamed up in 1999 to create a retail interior based on the Armani brand; Silvestrin has since designed over 27 stores worldwide for Armani (Curtis, 2006, p. 9). This highlights the success of a design which has been...

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