Silpo is a Ukrainian retail corporation that operates a chain of grocery stores. It has 241 stores in 60 cities in Ukraine. Silpo commissioned ILL&MATES studio to create a compelling visual story for a new Silpo grocery store in Lviv, Ukraine. The client had interior design mock-ups for facing materials and equipment. ILL&MATES part was to design a delightful experience beyond traditional grocery spatial design to bring playfulness to mundane errands and create relationships between the brand and people.
As an art director at ILL&MATES studio, I worked on designing a beautiful experience that included defining main touchpoints, crafting a story, art concept and visual styles. I built and led a team directing the development of art concept into final art layouts. My responsibilities also included communication with the client and advocacy for design decisions.
Eclectic style as a bridge between famous story and modern interpretation.
We decided to choose well-known story Alice in Wonderland as a theme for the store concept to have a space for weirdness and integration of food products. I explored the visual representation of the novel across different media like books, comics, animation and movies to understand where and how we can break conventions and stereotypes.
My main goal of crafting the art concept was to come up with fresh visual aesthetic and keep the connection with original book graphics to highlight the heritage of the story.
The result was an eclectic combination of different styles and techniques:
Why the Queen is a strawberry devil?
It was important to use characters from the books to give a hint of an original story, but also reshape their personalities to offer the viewers something different. We worked a lot on deciding what to exaggerate and what to play down, which features for example were signature ones that would catch people's attention easily. In addition, we integrated theme of food with our character design.
Three months, three illustrators and 1895m².
One of the main challenges was to create illustrations for huge wall sizes. Hand-drawn illustrations were divided into pieces and each piece was drawn separately, scanned and then assembled into tone entire illustration. Even with vector illustrations, it was challenging as photography was integrated into visuals and scale had to be 1:1.
We made design for store sections, cafe, grill bar, navigation and promotional materials (chess and playing cards). We used lettering for quotes and costumed font for navigation.