On the one hand we have a functional environment, in which every space is measured and exploited, with a permanently accessible wide range of products on offer, and with continuous and incessant stimuli. On the other hand we have a simpler environment, with less on offer and fewer stimuli, and where choices are made more freely and with more awareness.
It is not difficult to realise how each of these environments impose different rules and demand different behaviour, both regarding the people that visit and the products that are presented. What are these rules and what expressions do they generate?
In organised large-scale outlets every product has to stand out, even in situations of standardisation. On a shelf where all the tins of legumes show images of perfect vegetables, in order to not seem less inviting one must find a way to attract, by showing images of perfect beans which are just as perfect but different from the brand alongside. The idea of simply writing “beans” and leaving the client to decide on the quality is a recipe for disaster!
In the so-called “selective channels”, in other words delicatessens and traditional shops, the reduced competition and the increased readiness of clients to put their trust in the shop-keeper and to seek rewarding experiences allows brands room for different approaches, of less impact, more seductive and often more refined.
One of the rules is to express oneself through subtraction, removing visual elements rather than adding them, reducing dimensions and leaving empty space, thus creating feelings of calm and positive sensations in the observer.
Another rule is to not use photographs or large-scale representations of the product, preferring, at most, illustrations and drawings. All of this can be supported by the use of more sophisticated and natural materials, such as natural, opaque paper, and the use of patterns to enrich surfaces without the use of images.