2D & 3D – Retail landlords want to see it at the pitch! But why?

3D restaurant interior render by Grapes Design
This week I met Dunk Design’s 3D Partner. That’s an “Interior Designer” to you and me. But I won’t even joke about it, as my idea of what happens to allow a retail or hospitality brand to come to life, was a long way from what’s actually involved. It was fascinating watching Duncan and Darren working together as 2D and 3D design merged.

Darren Grapes of Grapes Design has worked with Dunk Design on a number of projects. Together their teams have worked with graphic design and interior design, to deliver the optimal brand solution for longevity.

Is it ironic that both their names begin with D?

Anyway, the normal creative process was taking place in front of me, but so much more was really happening. A conversation around access, capacity and even licensing restrictions was taking place, all while the brand remained the focus. I was impressed. Everything from how the service patterns were developed alongside the menu design and POS; to how that worked graphically and with texture, materials and even noise levels.

Apparently it all needs to come together at the outset – definitely as part of the landlord pitch – to ensure the long-term success landlords are seeking for their sites. This is why the graphic design team works across all elements of the 3D design, to ensure the brand concept has every chance of establishing itself with minimal difficulties.

Darren and his team at Grapes Design have developed some amazing sites, including the likes of Dirty Martinis, The Golden Bee in Shoreditch and Pandora’s flagship UK store on Oxford Street! Truly cool!

They have an indepth understanding of what’s required to make a brand concept work in 3D, even down to what landlord restrictions are likely to affect it – and he employs that to ensure success for brand and landlord alike.

For instance, all day trading can mean some practicalities must be in place to protect the brand. He explained why understanding things like access can be crucial to the design process.

“Believe me, if you have an all day menu, you don’t want your evening stock arriving at lunchtime with no rear access.”

“That beautiful front door – the eyes to the soul of your brand – all of a sudden starts seeing traffic that really should be out the back.”

“If you can show a landlord that you’ve considered all aspects of the brand in your concept application, you stand a much better chance of meeting what are increasingly high standards and ultimately LONG TERM success goals.”

Hearing more about the role “design” can play in securing sites for hospitality has been fascinating. It would seem that the old adage of “fail to prepare and you prepare to fail” is never more apt.

So as casual dining continues to grow rapidly, competition for the best retail sites is heating up. But for those brands looking to bring their concept to life, Duncan has some sage advice.

“Form and Function Pam! Form AND Function!”

**You can meet Darren and the Grapes Design team at The Restaurant Show, happening from the 5-7th October, Olympia, London. I’ll be there too! Lovin this brave new world I’m learning about.

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