High Street Highlight

Up in Smoke.

Retail business Up in Smoke – selling American Candy and Vape Supplies – tasked us with creating an energetic store which would draw in customers on a Birkenhead high street. From developing their image to shop-fitting their premises we worked from a completely blank canvas.

We needed to create an over-arching brand – separating the two sides of the business but keeping them visually similar.

Rather than develop a logo we created a mascot – a cartoon dragon which is posed differently every time we use it. Sitting or flying, smiling or scowling, the dragon constantly changes on signage, flyers and video. This gives a strong corporate identity whilst ensuring the visuals always look fresh.

Before and after...

The premises had been empty for a while and needed considerable work to create a modern and inviting retail space. A deep clean and several licks of paint were required before we could start upgrading the shop and creating a bold new identity.

We kept the slat walls – which are perfect for constantly changing stock – and used vibrant vinyls to hide the antwacky laminate. Two colour schemes work really well together – half of the shop is deep purple fading to pink, the other half deep orange fading to yellow. The dragon mascot changes colour to match his surroundings – with the purple American Candy version licking his lips and his orange Vape counterpart blowing smoke. This creates two distinct zones whilst maintaining a solid and consistent corporate identity.

Neutral white glass display counters bridge the two zones to pull everything together. And a huge TV dominates the wall facing the door.

The telly shows a half-hour video on continuous loop, showcasing products whilst the dragon watches on. This offers opportunities to up-sell to customers and more importantly to keep them on the premises – the dragon is fully animated – tempting customers to hang around for a few minutes to see what he does next. Here’s a quick clip:

The shop frontage makes good use of the space available with a substantial 5.5metre x 1.5metre sign.

Two of the three windows are fitted with 2metre x 1metre contravision prints which make a big visual impact outside whilst having minimal effect on visibility inside.