The Strangely Good Branding of Provisions

Snapshot: In the bustling streets of Singapore, The Strangely Good are resurrecting the WW2 aesthetics of European & American Grocery Stores at P.V.S with a clean, refined edge.

Inspired by the Western World’s Provision stores from the 30’s-50’s, P.V.S wanted to create a shoe boutique that would supply footwear in a fashionable, cultural and utilitarian way; footwear is necessary, not just an accessory. Stocking renowned brands and high-end names, the quality of their products are consistently strong, durable and still timelessly fashionable. The Strangely Good came on board to design their branding. Having dabbled in a variety of progressive / regressive design projects, resurrecting “vintage” or “retro” styles without the predictable, tired stereotypes of “reclaimed” or “salvaged” materials, they were the perfect fit for P.V.S’s image of cultural heritage with a modern twist.

Red, white and blue. Primary colors, American colors, basic, simple colors – exactly what would have been used to print back in the day. It’s coherent, recognizable and reassuring – everything comes from the same place. It’s the color scheme that many European superstores took on in the noughties for their “own-brand” lines, most recognizably Tesco UK. There is an element of simplicity in this design that effortlessly translates from the 30s to today, and The Strangely Good have managed to incorporate this into a scheme that not only indicates cohesion across the brand, but adds a touch of elegance and class.

The Strangely Good custom designed the packaging for a variety of prop items to brandish the walls of the windowed tunnel entrance to the shop. Sea salt, aftershave, vinegar, biscuits, cherries, rose water and even cigars stand in neat rows, grabbing the attention of those who stroll by with the eye-catching color scheme and evocative design that most of us would have only seen in our grandparents’ photographs or old, crackling black-and-white war movies.

The design doesn’t stop at the entrance, as even the store stationary, labels and shoe-box tags are embellished with the same color scheme with delicate lines for handwritten notes. The Strangely Good ensured that the name cards, paper bags, note pads, envelopes and cash vouchers were specially developed by the extinct technique of letterpress to fully enforce the tradition. These touches are reminiscent of this particular history, not only in their design but in their very existence.

Operating by a comforting and homely means of retail that no longer exists further edifies the sensation that walking into P.V.S is much more than walking into a shoe store; it is walking into the past.

Photography by: The Strangely Good