Concept store Grocery gets a subtly contrasting identity

The new identity for the Danish store blends “technical and organic” cues informed by the range it offers

Creative studio Astrae has developed a new identity for Grocery, a concept store based in Copenhagen that’s known for offering a mix of utilitarian and playful apparel brands.

“It was very important for us to have an identity that could tell this story,” explains Nicolai Vg, creative director of Grocery. He says it was about balance, “not working too much within strict rules but to be able to push the boundaries of the identity going forward”.

“Being a multibrand store, Grocery wanted to allow the brands they carry to shine while subtly hinting at their own presence,” explains Astrae co-founder and creative director Carl-Emil Storm Gabrielsen.

“We aimed to create a third element, apart from the logotype and logomark, that could be used in situations where the Grocery brand doesn’t need to be the focal point.”

The new identity features symbols such as crosses reminiscent of the crop marks used when printing and editing images. “The crop marks serve this purpose by framing text and images in a recognisable yet understated way, providing a consistent but subtle branding element,” Storm Gabrielsen says.

These technical motifs are combined with loose, hand-drawn illustrations, creating a quiet contrast that nods to the store’s own variety.

This balance filters down to the typographic choices: Slussen Mono and Slussen Regular from Blaze Type. “As a monospaced slab serif, Slussen Mono has a technical feel, which aligns well with the utilitarian brands Grocery stocks,” Storm Gabrielsen says. “At the same time, it’s neutral enough not to overshadow the brands and products.”

The mostly muted palette also features accents of faded green and purple “inspired by sun-bleached signs and posters seen at supermarkets and kiosks, acting as a nod to Grocery’s name,” he adds.

The store’s name also inspired the printmaking workshop it hosted at a recent relaunch, which involved stencils and heat-sensitive paper – a process more commonly used for printing receipts. Astrae also helped to design the store’s first range of own-brand pieces, allowing the identity to live and breathe across different forms.

“When designing an identity for a store like Grocery, we must consider the store’s dynamic and evolving nature. Our identity needs to be flexible enough to accommodate the variety of brands they carry while maintaining a cohesive visual language,” Storm Gabrielsen says. “We’ve aimed to create an open and adaptable identity that can grow and change along with the store, ensuring that it remains relevant and engaging over time.”