Werklig makes Pirkkalan a symbol of artisan goods

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 08/03/2023
Category: Project
Featuring: Werklig

You can have it all at K-Citymarket. From food to non-food, the Finnish hypermarket chain, owned by Kesko, got you covered at about 60 different locations. Each store is managed independently by a merchant, which allows the stores some degree of freedom in terms of offerings and store design. Finnish strategic and creative agency Werklig worked with K-Citymarket Pirkkala, located in the municipality of Pirkkala, on its brand strategy back in 2021.

“The goal was to develop the hypermarket’s product range, services, and customer experience to anticipate consumer needs and consistently make the in-store experience a dash better every time, helping K-Citymarket Pirkkala become the best in Finland,” explains Anni Koskimies, designer and photographer at Werklig. “On-site coffee roasteries and ice cream factories were an absolute must. No detail is too small.”

Werklig helped out on Pirkkalan’s private label design as well. Koskimies adds, “We wanted to highlight the artisanal culture and hyperlocal influence: local products from local producers, made new and exciting when combined with international flavours and influences.”

Channel locality and artisanal culture

“We wanted the Pirkkalan brand to communicate quality and locality”, says Anni Koskimies. However, they also wanted it to be different from the other brands on the shelves, most of them being very colourful.

“You won’t find many monochromatic ice cream or coffee brands in Finland, so choosing visual simplicity while highlighting the artisanal quality of the products was a way for us to elevate the brand’s visuals with simple, distinctive elegance. The copy and illustrative elements blend to create the look and feel of a local store where quality and service are at the heart of the culture.”

Werklig chose the two typefaces, VJ Types Sud and Colophon Foundry’s Garton, for the packaging design. The prominent use of Sud was their way of lifting Pirkkalan into the spotlight. “There are many interesting details in Sud that are only revealed in bigger sizes, “adds Koskimies. “We chose Garton because it effectively expresses the artisanal features of the brand by bringing some texture to the identity.”

In case you don’t speak Finnish, here is a small guide:

  • Pirkkalan → Pirkkala’s.
  • Jäätelötehdas → ice cream factory
  • Paahtimo → roastery
  • Leipomo → bakery
  • Mehutehdas → juice factory

Monochromatic and warm

To stand out, Werklig also introduced a touch of nostalgia in the Pirkkalan packaging design. The team drew inspiration from old newspapers.

Koskimies explains, “With the monochromaticity, we wanted to contrast the prominent use of typography, graphic shapes, and accent colours. Instead of pure black and white, we wanted to retain some warmth in the colour scheme by opting for a softer off-white to pair with the products’ flavour and character-based accent colours.”

“With the ice creams, the colours are chosen to communicate the flavour of the individual product. But coffees are similar to wines in that the flavours and characteristics are often described in a more ambiguous way. The shapes are chosen to differentiate the roasts and illustrate their characteristics, while colours communicate the flavour profile of the coffee. For example, the light roast’s shape and colouring are brighter and more playful than the expanded shape of the dark roast, which has a richer, more full-bodied flavour.”

High-end yet approachable

K-Citymarket Pirkkalan and Werklig wanted the Pirkkalan brand to be approachable. So, the brand is prominently placed on-site, as the ice cream factory, coffee roastery, and café are in the centre of the hypermarket’s central aisle. “This isn’t something you’d expect to find in a Finnish hypermarket,” Anni Koskimies puts it.

“The identity is scalable for future applications: it can be adapted to other private-label product lines such as fresh-pressed juices, baked goods, and pâtisserie delicacies. This way, the Pirkkalan-label becomes a symbol of top quality, locally produced artisan goods.”

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