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Home-office store Final design assignment SS 2011 Agata Pilip Piet Zwart Institute for Postgraduate Research Interior Architecture and Retail Design

homeoffice store. final assignment.



Home-Office Store Design Task and Briefing

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Market Research Growing Amount of Self-Employed Growth of E-Commerce New role of social media Conclusion Competitors: Rental Unit Competitors: Service Unit Competitors: Store Unit Competitors: Web Unit

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Branding Target Group and Brand Analysis Superfair: brand mission, vision and promise Superfair: sub-units Communication - graphic language Advertisement posters Packaging and in-store communication Internet and new media

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Design Location: Nieuwe Binnenweg - Rotterdam West Moodboard Design ideas Window display Circulation and organization within the store. Store plan SuperShop area SuperService area SuperRental area

homeoffice store. design task and briefing. 4 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Briefing: We want to set-up a new home office store formula that supports small artisan and designer brands by delivering easy e-commerce solutions and offering them a wide range of additional services. We are looking for a concept on how to position the brand on the market and how the new store formula will reflect the brand values.

Marketing goals: Starting a new business and introducing it to the market, we want to set some marketing goals to clarify the path that our endeavour should follow. First of all, we want to building up a strong customers network, we want to offer them a platform for networking and getting in touch with each other and want to deliver them solutions that are easy to use and to adjust for their business ideas.

Design assignment: Develop a new service retail concept for a Home Office Store which provides customers and self-employed people with many services. The format is around 200 m2 and is located in nearby city centers.

The formula is service driven and will provide customers with the following services: - rental services - flexible workspaces - copy and print - wrapping and send off - post and packages - courier services - telecom - office supplies - mailboxes - pick up point

The new formula will be optimally distinctive in a saturated and amorphous branch. The on-line discipline must be an integrated component of the retail concept to be developed.

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market research. trend 1: growing amount of selfemployed. 6 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Market Research

Growing Amount of Self-Employed

Researching the market we spotted three trends and tendencies that lead us to conclusion, that the target group that we choose a very promising one and is certainly makes sense to address this group.

permanent jobs started to work for themselves. This form of working became very popular. In NL the tipping point of the increase found place around 2007 and now it’s more steady, but still increasing1. Regarding to the FreelanceSwitch’s survey conducted among over 3,700 freelancers around the world, the most popular field

Due to financial crisis, where many vacancies were reduced, suspended or canceled, many people who lost their

of expertise in this group of people are all kinds of creative occupations2. This tendency is effecting also in increasing number of socalled co-working spaces where freelancers can rent a desk, like Seats2Meet ( in the Netherlands, Betahaus in Berlin (photo below) or Combinat 56 in Munich. 1. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek Netherlands / 2. The Freelance Statistics Report. Aaron Cruikshank, Rockable Press 2008

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market research. trend 2: rapidly growing ecommerce. 8 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Growth of E-Commerce On-line sales seem to become a rapidly growing part of the retail marker. Let’s take the books retailer Borders Group: in spite of their recent bankruptcy, they can claim e-commerce as a bright spot in an otherwise dour year financially in 2010. In their case the e-commerce sales in this year grew 19.5% as samestore sales decreased 10.5%1. There is already a very strong player on the books retail market: Amazon’s sales grew up rapidly, while physical chain

stores of other bookseller’s sales decreased. Also eBay, very popular C2C e-commerce solution, grows rapidly: sales on eBay rise 8.5%, its revenue increased 15.9% and profits jumped 19.6% in the first quarter of 2011.1 This all shows that the e-commerce increases and with it the need for good sending and courier services is steady growing. Those tendencies reflect also in the development of postal services:

After dropping from 0.5% in the first quarter of 2008 to 3.4% in the third quarter, compared to the same periods in 2007, domestic parcel volumes recovered 1.1% on a year-toyear basis in the fourth quarter. Experts say the increase could be due to record e-commerce sales during the last quarter of 2008 or strong resilience of online sales to the crisis observed in several countries.2 1. 2. Universal Postal Union Press Release Thursday 02 April 2009 |

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market research. trend 3: new role of social media.

10 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

New role of social media Asked what would they do with 15 minutes of free time, the group of 18-25 years old would spend it checking out their favourite social networking sites (45%) than watching TV (9%), reading (6%), playing video games (5%) or talking on their mobiles (4%) 1. But they are using those social media platforms not only to “socialize“ with each other or find new friends. 35% see social networks as one of the key places to discover a new band, pop star and DJ and 13% say that social destinations were the best place to look for creative ideas, or to plug into the more trendy, unusual

and bizarre aspects of global culture.1 Moreover, many now see social media as a way to put their commercial, creative and cultural skills to profitable effect. 12% states, that they already made money using social media, and 14% users of MySpace are keen to create money-making sites or schemes. A good example of it is the person of 20-years old Paul Griffiths, who build up the empire of his brand Babycakes using Myspace: ‘In 2007 I started designing t-shirts. For my first sale I placed an order for 200 t-shirts to be printed and I’d sold all them through my MySpace page before they were back

from the printers. That’s how Babycakes was born. Since then I have processed 10,000 orders across the world.’

Those facts lead to the conclusion, that social-media become ‘culturpreneurial’ platforms that are increasingly used to manufacture, market, distribute and retail brands, products and services. As Raoul Shah of Exposure, a PR and marketing specialist, says: ‘The brand is alive and kicking www.mys – it’s just no longer only controlled by big corporationsSince Mar 2 and traditional media outlets.’through M

‘Internet stars are the next rock stars.’


company to MySpac meeting h

1. MYSPACE 08 : PEOPLE. CONTENT. Aged just CULTURE. Report by The Future line has so Laboratory, London 2008 claim to b 2. THE TRIBE : SLASH / SLASH work on p Generation by Sarah Bentley/The Future line. Paul Laboratory, London 2008

‘In 2007 I started designing t-shirts. For my first sale I placed an order for 200 ‘In 2007 I was time I started t-shirts to be printed and placed an orde sold all them I’d sold all them through my were back from MySpace page before they was born. Sin orders across were back from the printers. I’ve moved int That’s how Babycakes was outgrown – an in New York, born. Since then I have says. ‘I’ve emp processed 10,000 orders my mum is go across the world.’ Griffiths has a Paul

which appear on MySpace. ‘ Griffiths (20) a day but only Agata Pilip | the 11 coolest My get a special c clothing and f

market research. trends conclusion.

12 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Conclusion - Target Group Observing the mentioned market- and social trends we came to the conclusion that we want to address our storeand brand formula to a group of self-employed creatives, who maintain or want to start a small online retail businesses (mostly oneperson brand) and promote it using web tools, i.e. social media. Especially the group of socalled Slash/Slash generation will become the focal point of our interests. Who are they? Slash/Slash Kids are creative multi-skillers and ‘culturpreneurs’ who define

Products and services the DIA (Do-It-All) mindset. They don’t just design clothes but style, DJ, present and act and have no qualms about self-promotion and putting their image ‘out there’.1 To step towards the needs of our customers and following this multidisciplinary approach, in our home-office store we need to offer wide range of services and product that will make creating, producing, distributing, promoting and retailing their products easier and more simple, online as well as in physical space.

To lead the customer through the whole range of offered products and services, we divide them in 4 subunits: RENTAL UNIT: flexible office and meeting spaces, and also equipment SERVICE UNIT: postal, wrapping, sending, printing services SHOP UNIT: retailing of office supplies products, retail boxes to rent WEB UNIT: webshop and networking platform

1. THE TRIBE : SLASH / SLASH Generation by Sarah Bentley/The Future Laboratory, London 2008

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market research. competitors. To step towards the needs of our customers, we need to offer them wide range of services and product that will make creating, producing, distributing, promoting and retailing their products easier and more simple, online as well as in physical space. The home-office store is a hybrid of existing store formulas and services, so to illustrate better how the subunits should work, I will illustrate it with examples of existing competitors and personas – scenarios. 14 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Rental Unit We will offer to our customers a range of rental opportunities. Independent designers can rent here not only a flexible work space, a conferece- or meeting room, but also all kind of equipment, like projectors, lighting equipment, cameras etc. The owners of retail brands have the possibility to rent small storage spaces to store their stock for a short period of time.

Competitor: Werkhotel (Rotterdam) is a complex of creative spaces to rent, with smart price –concept “a la carte“ but it is too anonymous, offering small variety of services, impersonalized – this will be different at our store.

Persona Scenario: Michael, 34, IT-specialist Needs: Mostly works for clients in their headquarters, but sometimes needs to host smaller clients - for this occasions he rents a meeting space in home office store. Needs to print invoices for his client and re-order stationery for himself from time to time. He has a very a busy schedule and needs a (ideally: online) tool to maintain it. Uses: meeting boxes rental, printing services, rental of equipment (projectors for presentations), office supplies, website – calendar function

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market research. competitors.

16 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Service Unit Independent creatives, while marketing, promoting and retailing their products, need to use many services; our homeoffice store comes torwards their needs and provider them with all they need. To sell products online, our customers need postal and wrapping services in the first line. They have also posibility to customize their packaging and wrapping with their brand’s logo, order stationery, print their marketing material or retail items (if it applies to their brand’s profile).

Competitor: TNT (Rotterdam) offers wide range of send-off, banking, retail services. Very clear visual communication and customer-friendly interior, but too much space there is dedicated to office supply retail - for specific products people tend to go to specialists shop.

Scenario: Kate, 32, art historian and PhD student, mother of a 2-year old Needs: She loves books, clothes and original accessories, but since her little girls was born she has barely time for shopping. She likes shopping online and orders loads of books on Amazon. For her PHD she needs to make lots of quick prints and sometimes she needs an additional equipment for her research. Uses: mailbox services, printing services, renting (photo equipment), buys designers items from “retail boxes“ when she is around

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market research. competitors.

18 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Store Unit Retailing their products, our customers use most often some internet platforms or websites. But why not to give them the opportunity to show their products in a physical retail space? At the home-office store they can rent so-called retail boxes for affordable prices to show their products to broader audience. They can also buy office supplies and arts and crafts materials for themselves at the home-office store.

Competitor: The Hubshop (Rotterdam) is a concept based on this retail boxes to rent where small scale entrepreneur offering products or services ‘with a good story’ can be displayed. The idea is smart and attractive for young brands with small financial resources, but there is no other reason to go then buy some small stuff, which makes the number of visitors very limited.

Scenario: Steve, 25, graphic designer, DJ, event promotion specisalists, runs his own T-Shirt brand (on-line sales) Needs: Comes to home-office store approximately once a week when he really wants to work intensively or meet a client/peers. He sends out the t-shirt orders quite often within a week, that’s why he rented a small storage space in the home office. Uses: rents a retail-box, buys copics and other artistic pens and sketching material, uses printing services, send-off services, wrapping services (with customized packaging option) and easy to customize web-shop on the internet platform

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market research. competitors.

20 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Web Unit The key to successful e-commerce is a good and easy to use website. To build one it usually takes time, money and skills. Also the online-payment process can be complicated if not supported by professionals with wide IT knowledge. We want to offer our customers a easy-to-custom webshop templates. Beside of that we would like to build-up a strong community of creatives around it.

Competitor: is a website that helps young creatives to retail their art: easy to set-up a webstore without specific IT skills; smart name; promoting small brands but they don’t offer any physical retail space.

Scenario: Julia, 28, fashion designer, writer and blogger Needs: She is a member of a fashion-designer collective and within the collective, besides of designing, she does also the PR- and communication work, so she makes use of website networking platform. She sells her designs online. Uses: e-workshops and network platform, webstore, sending out services, sometimes flexible work space

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branding. target group and brand analysis.

22 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Target Group Our main target group are self-employed creatives, who maintain or want to start a small online retail businesses (mostly oneperson brand) and promote it using web tools, i.e. social media.

To set-up brand values and define the brand-attributes, I used a popular retail branding tool: the Kapferer Model (a.k.a. the brand prism).

The values and attributes set and described in this model are result of interviews conducted within small-scale designentrepreneurs and designers trying to market their brands.

physical facets

- Home-office store and flexible work spaces - Open

- Inspiring - Friendly - Lighthearted - Approachable - Funny


- A place that makes the products accessible and gives them a “cool“ touch

- Creativity always comes first - Not afraid of being different


- In his/hers late 20ies-30ies - Trendy and fashionable

- Innovative - Creative - Non-conformist - Openminded




Picture of sender

culture (values)


Picture of receiver

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branding. brand, mission and vision.

24 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Superfair - we are your everyday hero The new store formula, a hybride of office- and retail space, creative hub and online platform, will be named Superfair. The first part of the name -‘Super’ - indicates something of high value, something extraordinary or even having superpowers (home

office becomes a superhero for the users, brings great help for the starters). ‘Fair‘ – is a physical place where people exchange goods or meet and enjoy themselves. It can also mean ‘according to the rules’ and underlines fair competition between the users. ‘Fair‘ also brings to mind good value for money.

Superfair is not only a homeoffice store. It’s a network of creative people developing their ideas into products with a true story behind it.

Brand mission

Brand promise

We support young creative entrepreneurs by offering them wide variety of products and services, easy to operate and simple to maintain, customized for their needs, for fair prices.

For us your creativity and talents always come first. Whatever you need to make your creative vision come true – or even you didn’t think you need – we have it!

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concept. brand’s subunits.

26 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Superfair - subunits To step towards the needs of our customers, we need to offer them wide range of services and product that will make creating, producing, distributing, promoting and

retailing their products easier and more simple, online as well as in physical space. To make the customers find quickly services they need,

the brand has been divided into four sub-units. Every unit has a significant colour, being used consequently in printed communication, as well as within the store.

Offers wide range of services: postal, wrapping, sending, printing etc.

It’s a unit that offers wide variety of rental services.

post-box, pick-up, sending, courier;

rental of flexible office spaces/desks;

wrapping and packaging with a possibility to customize the packaging;

rental of meeting spaces; movable goods like projectors, cameras, laptops;

scanning and printing in different qualities.

small storage spaces Project Name


You have creative mind and translate your ideas into products with a true story behind it.

about contact log-in

We are your everyday superheroes. And yes, we have superpowers. We will use them to support you as for us your creativity always come first. superjobs design webdesign fashion branding supercart what’s that? create your own terms and conditions network blog

It’s a unit that includes all retail areas in the shop. retail display boxes for rent where creatives can present their work; office supplies, stationery (also customized), all kind of d-i-y articles an tools (mini emboss machines, mini letterpress, mini silkscreen devices).

Is an internet platform. social network of creatives and micro-scale retailers; Sketch #: Resolution: Rating

easy to customize and maintain webshop; advertising new job opportunities, blog informing the users about newest trends Agata Pilip | 27

concept. brand communication.

28 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Communication - graphic language The tone of voice of the communication will be informal. It will reflect in using of informal language. Inside the shop and on the promotion material are used quotes and sentences that are smart, wise and funny and also motivating. The graphic language will be “cool� and retro, using retro

colours and bold, stylized retro typefaces. The repeating motive of a super-hero will lead the customers through the whole communication, beginning with printed material and ending with the interior of the store.

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concept. promotion campaign and media presence.

30 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Advertisement posters On the advertisement posters, kept in simple corporate colours, will be shown super-hero characters with simple tag-lines reflecting brand promise and values.

Besides of those tag-lines, name of the store and eventually a website address/ QR code, there will be no further clarification on the character of the business. Posters should evoke

curiosity and a “buzz“ people will start to talk about them which will create the “word of mouth“ promotion around Superfair.

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concept. packaging and in-store communication.

32 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.



The packaging, price tags and similar material will be designed according to particular sub-division housstyle. It will use a superhero symbolic, language and style to make the customer getting a feeling of gaining “superpowers“ while working at Superfair.

The relation between customers and staff-member is one-to-one. Employees of Superfair wear t-shirts with a superhero emblem to highlight their willingness to help and support the customer by everything he/ she needs.

Like a superhero I’m always there for you, anytime you need me...

...or just for a friendly chat about what is going to be the ‘next big thing’ in arts, film or music!

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concept. internet presence.

34 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Internet and new media The crucial role in Superfair business plays it’s website and the community build around it. On the website the customers can find all details to each Superfair sub-units, as well as join the community of other creatives to collaborate, co-work, network with them or just to get together on a social level. They can also setup and maintain their own webstore, put or read job advertisements, join design contests etc.

Project Name

Next to the website Superfair will offer a smartphone application, with a calendar function, access to the webstore and Superfair network. There is also possibility to scan the physical environment of the store and check with the application, who is in the store on a particular day what is their occupation.


You have creative mind and translate your ideas into products with a true story behind it.

about contact log-in

We are your everyday superheroes. And yes, we have superpowers. We will use them to support you as for us your creativity always come first.

design webdesign fashion branding what’s that? create your own terms and conditions

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design. location.

36 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Nieuwe Binnenweg - Rotterdam West. The first branch of Superfair will be open in Nieuwe Binnenweg in Rotterdam. This part of the city developed recently into a creative hub and a hip creative area, while retail spaces are still affordable there.

Many creative freelancers have already now their creative studios there or tend to work in local bars and cafes (UEB West, Western Pavilioen). There is also a co-working organization HUB located in this neighbourhood, as well as many design- or

vintage boutiques, ecological supermarkets and art galleries. The area develops certainly into lively and popular environment which makes it a perfect place for Superfair to be located.

HUB Rotterdam

Centrum of Fine Arts


urban espresso bar HUBShop Rotterdam

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design. moodboard.

38 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Moodboard Because Superfair sub-units are very strongly defined by their colours, and also art supplies tend to have strong and vivid shades, the rest of the environment will stay as neutral as possible.

On this background, the colorful elements will lead the customers within the store, making it easier for them to find themselves among the wide range of services and offered products.

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design. store design ideas.

40 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Store design

To stay consistent with the superhero idea and character of the brand, the store should reflect the same. The stylistic that brings superheroes to mind is the “futuristic“ one, but futuristic rather in the sense how people imagined that in the past, like in “Star Trek“ or “Jetsons” movies.

Many round forms, integrated wall furniture, colorful and round-shaped lighting, flush surfaces.

Fixtures concept: The display fixture for art supplies (above) is a simple piece of furniture, with a “plate“ where pens and pencils are perfectly displayed. In the lower part there are drawers for bigger sheets of paper.

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design. store window.

42 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Window display The shop window’s glazing is very generous, lets a lot of daylight inside and enables the passers-by to have a glimpse in the interior.

To make the interior not appearing as too dark (the “black hole effect“), there is a significant lighting element placed in the shop area, relatively near to the

entrance, that attracts people who are passing by.

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design. store plan.

44 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

Circulation and organization within the store. The sub-units of the store are divided into three parts and follow in very logical order. Directly by the entrance there is the shop area, with the artist’s products on the left and art supplies on the right. It enables people who are going to use only this space (buy something while passing by, just take a look

on the displayed items), not to disturb by working, meetings and presentations of Superfair members, who sit in the furthest part of the store (in the Super Rental Area). In the middle, just in-between both sections, there is the Super Service area, with post, wrapping and printing services. It will

be used by both groups of customers: regular creative members working in the store, as well as by people coming to the store with the intention to copy, print or post something.

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design. store plan.

46 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

printing and copying devices are integrated into the fixtures

in this division wall are displayed the products/ equipment that can be rented

“working area“ - a flex-desk or permanent workspace can be rented here

here the small retail brands owners can store their stock that is waiting for shipping

round-shaped display boxes of different size can be rented by small brands to display their products in a physical retail space

meeting rooms in the very back of the store can be used for business meetings/ presentations

Entrance Area

Superstore offers wide range of arts and crafts supplies and is easy reachable from outside

the only counter on the store contains post and wrapping services. Customers have the possibility to order a customize stationary or wrapping papers.

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design. supershop.

48 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

SuperShop area At the very front of the SuperShop area and on it’s wall have been located so-called “retail boxes“ of different sizes. They can be rented by artists (rental price depending on the size) to display their products. In the middle of the area a wallintegrate fixture can serve as a display table. Over the table a lighting element and

glowing signage inform about the use of the space and attract the passers-by. Super Fair tag-lines made of electroluminescent wire are placed in the higher part of the wall within the whole store to give a cool and motivating touch to the interior.

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design. superservice.

50 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

SuperService area SuperService area consist in the biggest mart of a counter where customers can post letters and packages, pick up their parcels, let their products be wrapped and shipped from.

On the left side of the area, there is a print and copy area where passers by as well as regular users of creative work spaces can use.

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design. superrental.

52 | Superfair. Home-Office Store.

SuperRental area The Rental area consist mainly of desk-for-rent workspace and meeting rooms. This area is a little bit more quiet and separated from the rest of the shop by the counter on one side and a division wall (containing torent-equipment) on the other side. At the very back of the area there are also storage

spaces for the customers who are about to ship their products within particular amount of time but are still collecting orders.

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