• Transform magazine
  • June 20, 2018

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Heritage grocer combines mid-century European style with modern service

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A longtime local haunt in north London, Panzer’s Deli has unveiled a new brand that harkens back to an earlier era.

Though it is a small business, the grocer has a large and loyal customer base as it provides unique services with personal service. Now, though, its brand has been updated for the first time, allowing it to put a modern face forward.

Developed by London-based brand agency Here Design, the new approach draws on Austrian street signage from the 1940s, to reflect the deli’s Jewish heritage. Its co-founders were a Jewish Czech and Austrian pair who established the business in 1944. Purchased in 2014 by entrepreneur David Josephs, the deli has since undergone a full scale renovation and modernisation.

Here Design worked with Holland Harvey Architects – the firm charged with redesigning the once-cramped interiors – to craft a brand that would work across all touchpoints. But, with a loyal and local customer base, there was danger in going too far with a changed brand. Venetia Thorneycroft, senior designer at Here Design says, “When we were approached with the opportunity to deliver a brand refresh for Panzer’s Deli & Grocery we knew we would have to show some restraint. There is such an extensive library of details in the history of this local food emporium that we had to step back and consider the project with a much lighter touch.”

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The result is a hand-drawn wordmark that evokes both ‘40s-era street signs and 20th century New York deli design. It has been implemented with reserve across the storefront and interiors, packaging and uniforms. The brand also echoes the craft and skill offered by the grocer’s deli counter – which is one of the last London shops to hand-slice smoked salmon in store. Deli assets use salmon-like marbling patterns to create a consistent brand experience.

Thorneycroft adds, “Where a radical change would have been too heavy-handed, the new identity is embedded in the heritage of Panzer’s but still feels contemporary, speaking to both the existing loyal followers and welcoming new customers to explore the shelves for new discoveries and home comforts.”

The customer experience was further enhanced by the introduction of a coffee bar, sushi bar, new checkout counters and a more streamlined integration of its greengrocer offering. The new interiors offer a sense of openness and encourage enjoyment of the shopping process.

The brand has since been implemented in the newly reopened store and features rich leathers and greens with marble and elm interior fixtures, lending the heritage grocer a timelessness missing from its earlier visual identity.

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