VMSD - April 2015 - (Page 60)
Interview by Steve Kaufman
Callison's director and retail design strategist might be eavesdropping on
your airport conversation.
Keeping it Zorchy
What was the most influential advice
you ever received?
When I was a young graphic designer, a mentor said my work needed to be more "zorchy."
In other words, edgier?
Probably. But to me, it was a word without clarity - a subjective issue only he could
define. Good communications need clarity
more than anything else. So I started looking
What information do you use?
We travel a lot for business. We go to various cities and try to get out into the retail
environments, the hotels, the restaurants,
to see how people are interacting with
spaces. We analyze available information
on people's shopping patterns, buying patterns, social patterns and what's going on
with the economy.
How do you make that relevant to
We look at the client's target market -
how they live, what hotels they like to
stay at, what restaurants they go to, what
books they're reading, what television
shows, what movies, what advertising is
intriguing to them. Then we compile this
information into tangible insights that can
inform the design.
into how to design from a more subjective
viewpoint, while still getting that emotion
Still true today?
More than ever! Lives have become so
blurred. People shop all the time on their
smartphones. How can we get them to look
up from their phones and look at the store,
the merchandise? How can we reach them
on a personal level? The messages have to be
interesting, but they also have to be clear.
Sounds like an exhausting process.
It's exhilarating, exciting and engaging.
When defining the process for a new cli-
ent, I like to use the analogy of relationships - it's like going from speed-dating
to getting married and going on a honeymoon to having a baby - all in just 9
months, in time for the holiday storeopenings.
So you were a little girl who
dreamed of becoming a brand
No, I enjoyed drawing, but my parents
discouraged me from studying this in college as too impractical, so I majored in
architecture and graphic design at the
University of Washington. I stumbled into
brand strategy as a way of focusing design
Your interest in branding came
I also took sociology classes and became
intrigued by why certain people do certain
things, which is at the heart of developing a successful brand strategy. It's about
understanding the functional and emotional attributes of a brand, then translating this into a retail experience.
You travel a lot. Does that inspire
Sure. I get some of my greatest inspiration
in watching and listening to people at restaurants, hotels, stores and even airports. I
hear some of the most interesting stories
from people about something that would
never be on my radar.
C our te sy of C al li so n l lC , s eattle
What's the biggest challenge for a
Working with a client that doesn't have
a clear brand position and strong pointof-view. Many brands today are trying to
appeal to a wide group of consumers; however, if they focus on a specific mindset,
then their retail experiences will have a
more focused, differentiated point of view.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - April 2015
VMSD - April 2015
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
The Silent Sellers Are Speaking Out
A Football Fantasy
VMSD - April 2015