Finnish store Måll reveals retro branding

Chris Bolton’s designs for Måll, a new retail destination in Finland, reference its commitment to circularity

Måll, a multipurpose space in Karjaa, Finland, has collaborated with Helsinki-based designer Chris Bolton on a new identity. Located in an old grocery store, Måll is composed of two vintage shops (Roomage and Fruit Market), a plant-based cafe, and an art exhibition space. The founders were looking for an identity that could encompass their circular system and progressive ethos, as well as bring vibrancy to their communications.

“The entire identity started from the idea of circularity (circular economy of vintage furniture, vintage home accessories, and vintage clothes) and the up-cycling of the retail fixtures that were sourced from old stores and painted to bring them back to life,” explains Bolton. “The store owner put in a huge effort to keep this in mind for everything within the retail space.”

Using this as his visual foundation, Bolton developed an identity that explores the versatility of the circle – a simple shape which can represent many things, and be adapted to suit a wide range of contexts.

First and foremost, this thinking was applied to the Måll wordmark, which contains the Swedish letter ‘å’ with an overring. Bolton chose to play on this feature, exaggerating the size of the circle above the letterform and emphasising the focus on circularity within the brand name itself.

The circle reappears across various touchpoints, including outdoor signage, posters, bags and coasters. It is flattened, mirrored, repeated, divided, and overlapped to transform a straightforward element of the branding into something more playful and intriguing.

The custom typeface for the identity is even composed of rounded letterforms that speak to Måll’s friendly, forward-thinking approach. “The form language of the logo has a roundness to it and creates compact elements that can be used in a bold manner,” notes Bolton. “There is some reflection too of the 60s and 70s, during which time many of the vintage items sold in Måll were produced.”

The two individual stores found in Måll have their own logotypes but are linked typographically to help unify them under the wider Måll identity.

Elsewhere, the colour palette consists of three primary colours representing the three different areas within Måll – the vintage stores, café, and exhibition space. Blue, yellow and red give the identity a retro feel, but also nod to the “positive energy of a store being opened in an old supermarket space which had been vacant for some time,” Bolton explains. “By choosing bright colours, creating a bold logo and the circular forms, I could bring some vibrancy to the identity.”