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Department of Economic Development as Matchmaker: Helping Transform Brand Designs

Department of Economic Development as Matchmaker: Helping Transform Brand Designs

This is the sixth year of the Taipei Design Corner (設計角落風華再現) program launched by Taipei City Government’s Department of Economic Development (台北市政府產業發展局). In a change from the simple matchmaking process between design teams and shops of the past, for the first time the focus has been on brand design transformation engineering. Ten traditional shops with a long history have been revamped, breathing new life into the city and providing it with a new atmosphere.

Lamsamyick’s Fashion Transformation, Taiwan Flavor at Baodao Meatballs

The heritage Lamsamyick (林三益) brand was established in 1917. This family-owned company was originally engaged in the manufacture of Chinese writing brushes. Under its fourth generation management, a shift has been made to cosmetic brushes, and the innovative LSY brand has been successfully established. Unfortunately, the original store remained dedicated to the display of traditional writing brushes. The absence of cosmetic brushes made it seem out of tune with the brand’s new fashion chic. For its makeover, the design team chose an “ink rhyme” theme for the shop front. Ink color was chosen for the space and signboard, strengthening the brand image. This was set off by ivory-white exterior walls, in a fusion of classic and chic. This and the use of antique furniture for the display of cosmetic brushes have attracted a new customer base, bringing fresh new elegance to a century-old brand.

Baodao Meatballs (寶島肉圓) is a past national Taiwanese meatball champion, defeating eateries from Changhua (彰化), where the Taiwanese meatball originated. The restaurant’s name, which means “island of treasure”, brims with old-time “Taiwan flavor,” but the interior décor was thoroughly modern, breaking the mold for such snack-vendor eateries but failing to highlight its special features. The designers changed the somewhat serious, old-fashioned calligraphy on the shop sign in favor of freehand rounded lines and added a cute portrait of the owner Mama Lian (連媽媽) warmly greeting everyone. In addition, the shop sign itself, as well as the kitchen entrance cloth curtains, wood-veneer wall paneling , and hanging plaques for displaying menu items and prices, were all revamped to provide a fresh new “Taiwan flavor”.

Chatei’s Aromatic Aesthetics, Extra Warmth at Ivi Daily Shop

The owner of Chatei Limited Company (喜堂茶業), A-Liang (阿亮), is a veritable tea evangelist, devoted to the promotion of Taiwan tea culture. He periodically stages tea parties and tea-sealing gatherings, cooperating with performing arts troupes. However, his interior display space was extremely cluttered, overwhelming the eye, especially for first-time visitors. Transformation of the space was Chatei’s most urgent task, to bring order and ensure clear definition of individual areas, and, at the same time, to introduce functionality and aesthetics. Elegant fabric curtains emphasize the aesthetics of the brand and clearly separate the display, sales, lecture, DIY activity, and office areas. Their visual permeability presents a textured spatial beauty.

Ivi, the founder of Ivi Daily Shop (囍愛商行), was originally an art editor. Her passion for cooking inspired her to switch to the food and beverage industry. From the beginning she has brought the aesthetic eye of a designer to her endeavors, insisting on the best and never using second-rate ingredients. She mastered all aspects of fine cuisine. The reward was the winning over of customers’ stomachs and hearts. However, due to the high cost of her ingredients and to reduce her rent pressure she moved into a space on the second floor of an older building on Changchun Road (長春路) at the beginning of last year.

However, hidden away in this old place of somewhat jumbled and disorderly design, people would either not notice the eatery or would hesitate to come in. The remodeling design team gave it an image of a warm place to gather with good friends to eat good food, installing a European-style awning and flower boxes outside the shop window, and beautifying the old structure with plants to create a more vibrant air. Inside, a tabletop windowsill was installed, creating an exclusive quiet space for patrons dining alone. In addition, a sign and wall-mounted bulletin board were added at the stairway entrance, welcoming all to come up.

This more than 4-month phase of the Taipei Design Corner has come to a close, but the splendid design results await your personal inspection. Visit these businesses to see for yourself the small changes taking shape on Taipei’s street corners, experiencing how design brings beauty to life. For more information on the Taipei Design Corner initiative, visit www. taipeixdesign.org.tw.(Chinese)

The freehand rounded lines of the Baodao Meatballs sign present a fresh new 'Taiwan flavor.'

Source: TAIPEI quarterly