Retail = Detail

Tchai explores new ways of visual communication

Have a look at these close-ups of DHL’s yellow logistic stripes, Skins Cosmetics pink elliptical shop counter, and Simon Lévelt’s copper coffee containers. All have intriguing details, almost resembling abstract art, yet instantly recognisable. They are part of a photo series Tchai recently commissioned from art director Mokum @ Salon d’Autonome and award-winning advertising photographer Jaap Vliegenthart. This creative team captured three shop interiors in such a way that you just have to look twice.

Shake it up

The images are part of a journey of discovery that we’ve embarked on to disrupt our own ways of working, and perhaps shake up industry practices in the process.

“It’s common to take interior photos from the entrance of a shop”, says Kim Tchai. “From this point of view, you’ll often get a very flat-looking result, as if all the furniture is squeezed onto one single plane. Plus, with all the products on display in the store, you’ll often end up with photos in which too much is going on. We started thinking of new ways to visually communicate our work and approached the creative team. They focused on details and also took shots from above, for interior photos like you’ve never seen before.”

Splashes of colour

Mokum explains the creative choices: “I decided to communicate the look and feel of each brand via the use of colour. Yellow and red for DHL, green and brown for Simon Lévelt, pink, black and white for Skins. The rest of each photo is slightly desaturated, making the brand colours stand out. This way I could accentuate details that would’ve otherwise been lost in the multitude of the shop inventory. There’s also a distinct ‘feel’ of shop design that isn’t captured in ordinary retail photography. All three series of photos have their own character, but if you put them side by side you see there’s a distinct art directional and photographic signature.”

Kim Tchai is thrilled with the result. “The photos make you start seeing familiar things in a different way, while also leaving something to the imagination. They leave you wanting to go and visit the physical store.”

Go and see it for yourself:

DHL – Van Baerlestraat 114, Amsterdam

Skins Cosmetics – Kruiskade 75-77, Rotterdam

Simon Lévelt – Ferdinand Bolstraat 154, Amsterdam




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