Valencia-based CLAP Studio brings multiple disciplines to bear when creating work for clients. Often, as it was for their Little Stories children’s footwear store project shown here, the end result looks like interior design. However, long before that design is created, careful, methodical thought is given to communication and marketing strategy. We asked CLAP Studio partner Angela Montagud about the process.
The interior of Little Stories shoe shop in Valencia, Spain designed by CLAP Studio. Photo: Daniel Rueda.
MOCO: It appears your studio is a one stop shop for branding, graphics, interiors and object design. Are you trained in all of those disciplines? Where do you start?
Angela Montagud: CLAP is made up of teams dedicated to specific disciplines. On the one hand, there is the design team that develops graphic and interior design. On the other, there is the communication, analytical and strategy team dedicated to create communication strategies adapted to each client. But these disciplines are often intertwined in many projects.
For example, to carry out an interior project for a brand, we need to start with a benchmarking and after that we draw up a strategy, this is done by both design and strategy teams. The same thing happens when we have to carry out a specific marketing campaign which needs strategy, analytics and a lot of design.
We started CLAP with product and interior design. Our first project were the Offices we called ‘La Fabrica de ideas’, 300 square meters in which we designed both the interior and the furniture (except chairs). A great opportunity that we took advantage of.
CLAP Studio’s Angela Montagud and Jordi Iranzo. Photo: Pedro Jareno.
MOCO: Can you give us an example of a strategy you chose for a project?
Angela Montagud: This is a short question with a long answer. To explain a strategy we need to explain the background.
For example, for our ‘Little Stories’ project we started with a clear name, given by the client, to develop all the branding, interior design and website. For the first step – branding – we carry out different workshops with clients to get to know their business and product better. Little Stories was created with the aim of being a shoe store (selling Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc.) for children and babies that could also, in the future, be a platform for house brand collections or collaborations with other brands. Once the benchmarking was done and the brand values clear, we concluded that,
1. Little Stories must be a brand of brands. This means that it must be a brand with enough character and personality to be recognized and easily remembered, but, at the same time, it must also be versatile and flexible enough to let other brands be the real protagonists of its business.
2. Little Stories must be an adult-looking brand but with a child’s soul. It is a business that sells products for children but the final buyer is the adult.
3. Little Stories will not compete with Nike, Puma or Adidas but it must be up to the brand image.
After establishing these conclusions, the strategy we followed was to create a brand that meets these three premises: versatility, game and simplicity. For this, we used a black, friendly and simple sans serif typography. But in addition, the identity of Little Stories is completed with a system of lines that gives versatility to the brand. These lines allow the communication of Little Stories to be unique and original despite selling products by other brands with a lot of character and personality.
We believe that in every design, created for brands and companies, there must be a strategy or a reason why we create something in a certain way.
The winky “t” and curved lines of Little Stories.
MOCO: The winking “t” in “Little” is clever. How did the brand inform the interior design, in other words, how did versatility, game and simplicity apply to the interior design?
Angela Montagud: For the interior design of Little Stories these three values or key points are reflected in different ways. The interior is a 70 square meter space, therefore versatility was paramount. For this purpose we designed movable floor furniture, seats and stands, and magnetic plates for the exhibition of the product on the walls. This design allows for changing the distribution of the entire store whenever necessary giving infinite possibilities to the owners to highlight products or other according to their needs.
Magnetized display shelves allow for rapid wall display reconfiguration. Photos: Daniel Rueda.
Simplicity is achieved by creating a clean space, we only leave the necessary elements, where the predominant color is white. Having already defined the color and shapes of the Little Stories brand, we know that the brand colors are the primary colors and white. In order to achieve a clean space, we move the color to the ground, lines on the floor, and ceiling, tubes, leaving the areas at the height of the human eye painted in white so that the exposed product is the one that stands out. Simplicity is also achieved by using simple shapes that are easy to recognize for both adults and children, in this case the shapes are the circle and the arcs, which arise from the creation of the Little Stories brand image.
A system of lines, visible on various surfaces and in various objects inside the store extend to the outside of the store. Photo: Daniel Rueda.
The game in Little Stories starts on the outside. We apply the graphic of the brand on the facade itself creating silhouettes that drive the imagination of the little ones. Once inside, these graphics are displayed on the ground creating a path to follow from the entrance to all corners of the store. It’s fun to see the surprise and excitement on the faces of the children when they go inside Little Stories and we see how they interact with the design, from the mirror to the stands that they often climb like mountains.
Curved mirrors and tube shaped lights are an extension of the curved lines of the branding.
Photos below: Daniel Rueda.