Ankorstore is a new wholesale online marketplace that connects independent retailers and brands.
Founded in July 2019, it has attracted substantial investment and now works with 250,000 retailers and over 20,000 brands. Ankorstore approached Pentagram to create a strategy and brand identity framework that would both raise its profile and support its future plans.
Ankorstore aims to make it as easy to start a shop as to make a blog or website. It provides a supportive platform where independent retailers and brands can meet, trade on better terms, and benefit from Ankorstore‘s cutting-edge technology, tools, finance and logistics.
Acknowledging the symbiotic relationship between retailers and brands, Pentagram’s strategy championed the idea of ‘rewilding retail’ by creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem where both retailers and brands thrive while remaining independent and staying competitive.
To illustrate the amazing breadth of products available on Ankorstore, the design team developed an eclectic and rich style for the visual identity. This includes 3D digitally modelled objects and real-world retail environments, blurring the lines between the digital and physical experience of the brand and echoing the company’s diverse products and retailers.
As part of the overall identity, Pentagram also created a comprehensive brand framework for Ankorstore, which will support its plans to expand the brand beyond just retail and into other areas, such as delivery (Ankorship), finance (Ankorbank) and physical spaces to rent out to fledging businesses (Ankorstart).
The new visual style uses a flexible colour palette featuring a set of clean brights and pastels, which can be used in many different combinations. Typography is kinetic, bold and modern while remaining approachable, with Grilli Type’s geometric GT Walsheim used throughout. This forms the basis of Ankorstore’s wordmark, which features a distinctive leaf-shaped letter ‘r’. 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. It also acts as a unifying element that will work across Ankorstore’s planned brand extensions.
The design team developed a library of eight different aperture shapes, reflecting its presence in the real and digital worlds. These act as portals into the world of Ankorstore. 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.
The design team also created a library of 3D digital objects across all of Ankorstore‘s on- and offline communications. These feature an eclectic mix of products from the home and living, beauty and sports portals and give a small glimpse into Ankorstore‘s extensive range of products.
Products are shown together in clusters within the different categories and mixed together to show the diversity found within the Ankorstore ecosystem. A key part of the visual identity is ‘augmented retail’, where the 3D objects are placed into real-world environments in the form of retailer shops or brand spaces.
Product photography plays a key part in the Ankorstore offer; crisp and colourful, it reflects each brand’s unique personality. Shots of shop owners are friendly and naturalistic, with interior shots showing beautifully curated but still welcoming spaces. Messaging is centred around variations on the key idea of ‘rewilding retail’. Both on- and offline communications feature the augmented retail elements combined with product and retailer photography.
After a difficult few years for retail, Ankorstore is putting the power back in the hands of the independents. Pentagram‘s new brand identity will help it realise its vision to build a thriving ecosystem for retailers and brands and create a framework that will enable it to fulfill its ambitious plans for the future.