Interior Branding: What it is, and why you need it.

When you set about designing a physical space, brand comes first.

Interior branding is a brand led approach to interior design. At the end of the process every detail from signage and way finding, to finishing materials, lighting and colours will be delivered - on brand. For example, if you are a sustainable company, it would make sense to reflect your culture through recycled or reclaimed materials; if you are a fast food restaurant, you need a layout that enhances the customer convenience. These are the design choices that make your identity a reality in the physical world, impacting the impression you make on clients, customers, and staff. Ultimately, your customers will come to associate the quality and consistency of the interior branding with your product.

Frankie's Bar Design Concept

Burger restaurant 'Frankie's' by Studio Creatias & Samaruc Estudio in Valencia is an excellent example of visual branding and interior design combining to rise above the competition. A fancy interior for the Frankie's 'Fancy Burger' promise. The external sign is an attention grabbing art concept in itself, which is reflected by the outstanding interior and will assuredly have an overwhelming impact on whether visitors return or choose to visit one of the other branches. Plus, this Frankie's venue is guaranteed to appear all over the socials of enthusiastic customers come advocates.

Frankies Bar, Valencia.

"The Fancy Burger" by Studio Creatias.

Whether it's hospitality concepts, retailers or offices, business owners are increasingly recognising how important the link between brand and interior really is. Yes, the big boys have been on top of this for a long time, but these days customers expect a lot more from every type of business. Added to this, new-to-market concepts need a highly competitive pitch with which to win funding, and are unlikely to risk missing a step when it comes to their space design, which has led many established companies to feel they must catch up to stay relevant. Interior branding has never been more important, the real question is, how should you go about it?

Our approach

We founded Smith & Devil to help exciting businesses improve people's lives, the physical spaces we all spend our time in represent the most direct way we can do that. Our creative studio and interior design team all come from a branding background, and our build/install partners operate as an extension of our team. Together they are extremely passionate about designing and building meticulously thought through customer experiences. We can combine our services to provide one seamless process that adds the maximum value to a project, or collaborate with an appointed interior design team to agree and deliver shared goals.

1. Reason for existing

Every business exists for a reason, whether that's solving a problem or promising a particular kind of entertainment. It's one thing to be a bar with mini-golf in it, it's another to be creating a fan experience for music enthusiasts, a member's club experience without the membership fee, or a New York pizza by the slice concept. Whether it's deep and meaningful, industry changing, or simply about the product itself, your reason for being is the foundation upon which every detail is built.

Pop Golf: The ultimate playground for pop lovers.

2. Brand pillars

This is the DNA of a brand that sets it apart from the competition. The personality we define at this stage will be hard wired into every consumer touchpoint, whether its' a website or the materials you design a venue with. This way you can create a coherent and consistent visual communication that attracts customer and keeps them coming back for more.

3. Interior branding research & concepts

Once we have our brand we turn to the physical space. At this point our goal is to identify a visual direction and interior layouts that all stakeholders are aligned on.

  • First we explore the space, defining the scope of materials and design issues as well as the client design ambition.
  • Second we curate mood boards to outline the feel, tone, and mood of potential design concepts and how they are
  • Thirdly we produce sketched venue layouts to explore how the space might best be used.

Mood board sample.

4. Spacial coordination

This is where a coordinated design really takes form. Continuing on from a settled concept design, the project is drawn up more clearly in CAD and developed alongside structural design, building services and a cost exercise. Here we will considering every aspect of each are of the venue until we can present 3D renders of the interior and exterior for client sign off.

3D render sample for The Park RVA.

6. Technical design

The final design stage is where the detailed application of brand into interior design is finalised. Not just the colours, materials, and signage, but the detailed touch points that inspire a customer to take a photo, an action or tell their friends. Alternatively for staff it might include ways to make them feel valued, or to reinforce the company ethos and culture. Not only do we deliver updated renders and a final specification for build, but the full pack of detailed user experience touch points that polish a project to perfection.

Construction issue sample.

7. Fit-out management

We have the build partners to continue the project through to fit-out and installation. Alternatively we work alongside your contractors to ensure the project is delivered on brand and as planned. It's important to have a design guardian to ensure that the space achieves its goals, delivering the desired customer experience, landing the brand personality and hopefully winning awards!

Once your venue is open, we are also able to help with content creation, website design, creative marketing, and social media.

Contact us today to explore how we can make this happen for you.

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