Online wholesale marketplace Ankorstore has collaborated with Pentagram partner Angus Hyland to create a new brand and ecosystem which better connects independent retailers, creators and brands in order to let them thrive.
Initially founded in 2019, Ankorstore works with over 250,000 retailers and more than 20,000 brands. But with its sights set on connecting even more outlets and creators, the company approached Pentagram Partner Angus Hyland to create a strategy and brand framework that would raise its profile further.
Part of Ankorstore's ongoing ambition is to make it easy to start a shop, such as a blog or a website. This will give independent retailers a platform to sell from and connect with brands on better terms. Retailers and creators will also benefit from Ankorstore's cutting-edge technology, tools, finance and logistics.
To cover all these bases, Angus and his team championed the idea of 'rewilding retail'. Or in other words, they wanted to create an ecosystem where retailers and brands could show off their products, grow their business, remain independent and yet still stay competitive in the cut-throat world of retail. No small order.
In order to achieve these goals. Ankorstore needed to illustrate the wealth of products it boasted. Your regular iPhone snap taken to flog gear on eBay simply wouldn't cut it. Instead, the design team developed an "eclectic and rich" style. This involved 3D digitally modelled objects which dance across displays in a delightfully dizzying whirl. Coupled with real-world environments, the boundary between a digital experience and a brand's physical products starts to blur.
A framework was also developed by Angus and his team in order to make sure that Ankorstore remains scalable. With the site's plans to expand the brand beyond retail and into the worlds of delivery, finance and renting, this framework will likely prove to be crucial in the years ahead.
In terms of the look and feel of the rebranded Ankorstore, Angus made a new visual style guide which uses a flexible colour palette. Made up of clean, bright colours and pastels, these cheery, soothing hues can be effectively used in myriad combinations in order to keep the platform unique but uniform.
Kinetic typography is also a key component of the rebrand. This lettering proves to be bold and modern while also remaining approachable, which is a good reflection of Ankorstore itself. Grilliype's geometric G Walsheim is used throughout the brand identity, and it also forms the basis of Ankostore's wordmark. Take a closer look, and you'll spot a distinctive leaf-shaped letter 'r' in the logo.
"This natural form is echoed in the Ankorstore symbol, which is used as Akorstore's social media icon and represents many different elements coming together to form the growing ecosystem," says Pentagram. "It also acts as a unifying element that will work across Ankorstore's planned brand extensions."
Bolstering this kinetic typography is a library of eight different aperture shapes. These were created by the design team to reflect Ankorstore's presence in the real and digital worlds. "These act as portals into the world of Ankorstore," adds Pentagram. "Used as graphic devices throughout the identity, these shapes help give a sense of depth to images and act as markers for category portals on the website."
It's also a design portal that can be stepped through both ways. Thanks to the spectacular product photography, Ankorstore can show shoppers what to expect and give retailers the space to display their personalities. Interior shots of shops, along with snaps of their owners, are all beautifully curated to make a welcoming online space.
Accompanying messaging centres around the key idea of 'rewilding retail'. Whether on or offline, the communications feature the augmented retail elements combined with product and retailer photography.
The new ecosystem promises good times ahead for Ankorstore and helps it weather what has been a difficult few years for retail. Now equipped with a fresh, welcoming new identity that has room to thrive, Angus and his team have succeeded in creating a framework that truly works fr everyone.