IKEA Expansion Australia

The Brief

I was contracted for six months to support the IKEA Expansion team based in Sydney, Australia to create the design implementation guidelines for new IKEA stores in Marsden Park, Sydney NSW and in Canberra ACT.

The Work

I developed implementation guidelines for all communication within IKEA stores, including car park signage, customer guidance and in-store signage to navigate people strategically through the store, safety manuals, food handling guidelines and all internal communication.

The Challenge

The brand and communication material had to be compliant with strict regulatory and legal guidelines. It was challenging to bring visual creativity to the individual specifications of store’s architectural layout and taking into consideration the commercial direction of a store’s local area, which determines the product range based on the needs of surrounding residential and commercial spaces.

“Seeing the blue and yellow IKEA building block occupied by thousands of customers every day, navigating through the store with signs and images I thoughtfully planned to help them find their way through the store is very satisfying. It makes me happy to know my work contributed to the storytelling of products, ideas and concepts designed to inspire people to improve their lives and home environment.”

The Visual thinking

The IKEA brand style-guides presented design options and direction that I had to re-imagine and adapt specifically for the Marsden Park and Canberra stores. The visual thinking was multi-dimensional and dynamic where designs were created across different mediums from wall space to signage and brochure.

The Research

To gain a clear understanding of the purpose of pictures and signage, and where they would be situated, was essential in developing the guidelines for the installation of such items. It was important to know how signage would be ordered and produced so the guidelines would accurately instruct the team responsible.

The Thinking

I made it my imperative to understand each departments communication needs and concerns. I tailored the visual communication accordingly to ensure it met corporate and industry guidelines and standards.

The Planning

I first explored in detail the brief requirements by consulting with relevant people in each area. Then I developed ideas to approach each need and presented this information clearly back to the project team and area managers so I could progress these concepts as solid plans. I prepared clear guidelines that were easy to comprehend with ready-to-use artwork for the implementation team to review and put in place, including a list of required materials for installation.

The Process

Global blueprint documentation was provided for each area of the store that I had to understand then adapt for the two locations. Working to such international guidelines required experience and skill in planning and creating complex graphic implementation guides.
Working within existing global guidelines and within the international large team was required for such a massive project.

The implementation

Working across all departments to produce the brand guidelines and communication collateral meant it was vital to have clarity and accuracy of information needs for each business unit. I was also involved in the logistics and selecting suppliers for print and installation.
I used Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign) and Microsoft (Word, Powerpoint, Excel).

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