Exceptional simplicity


Following the successful packaging designs we had developed for HEMA we were asked to develop HEMA’s  new communication style in 2006. HEMA’s reputation as a leader in the field of design and communication increasingly came under pressure by the rise of brands like H&M. Furthermore, there was the challenge to bring back unity in all manifestations. Due to lack of design management a huge sprawl had developed. The only limitation in the briefing was that we should not touch the logo.

Meanwhile, a beautiful brand essence was developed: ‘exceptional simplicity’. Based on this, we were able to address the entire visual identity. Including the logo. The old corporate logo was very recognizable, but worked only on a white surface, while we looked at the HEMA logo much more as a label and a indispensable part of HEMA communication. Moreover, we let go of the solid colors and have the logo to color along with communication and design. It did not only make HEMA  more colorful, but also saved millions (no additional printings on packaging).

Everything was handled. Not only the logo, but also the layout of all manifestations, the typography, with the characteristic lower case at the beginning of each title, the icon style and of course photography. With the help of these building blocks a very simple grid has been developed and guidelines aligned the thousands of expressions of HEMA. Simple and effective.
The entire operation was nominated for the Dutch Design Award and since its introduction in 2007, HEMA was the most popular brand in the Netherlands for eighth consecutive years (Eurib Top 100 Indispensable Brands).