Georges Zigrand's Blog

Look at me, look at me

A bit of fluorescent tape and you’ve got attention, even if you have been around for hundreds of years.
framed_in_ostende

The right type of scale

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Retail environments by zigideluxe on 11/09/2013

Scale-style tiles on a fishmonger shop front in Paris… convincingly simple and an impeccable contextual solution!

rue_bac

Traditionally fashionable

Stella McCartney shop flooring, traditional and innovative at the same time.

StellaMcCartney_shop_low

Aging gracefully

Posted in Colours, textures & surfaces, Retail environments, Vintage furniture by zigideluxe on 05/02/2013

TILES_ANTWERP_vintage_shop

Beautiful and timeless tiles that still look great, even after decades of abuse!

DIY magic

Posted in Exhibitions & installations, integratedPlace, Retail environments by zigideluxe on 19/11/2012

Glass door crisscrossed with magic tapMagic tape must be one of the best office inventions after the post-it. In combination with low-budget DIY needs it becomes even more magic, as I’ve noticed on this door of an Architects studio in Barcelona…

Thank you for your service

Barcelona street plate celebrating a traditional restaurant
I can’t speak Catalan but this plate set into the paving in front of the long established Deli/Restaurant ‘Can Ravell’ in Barcelona says something like: ‘In the name of the City of Barcelona – in recognition to Ravell for its many years of service to the city’.

The plate seems to regroup many symbols of trade and craft and I suppose the City of Barcelona sets these plates in front of their most long serving, authentic and traditional businesses that make the city so special. What a great initiative! And the food was even better!!

Paris bashing

It is well known that the bistro culture in Paris is a league on its own, sitting tightly packed on street corners, coffee & cigarettes, waiters that don’t care, gazing at the people passing by …
The typical Paris bistro table with a single foot and an oversized thin metal edging embodies this way of life quite well for me. Every bash and knock the metal edging gets adds character & texture to the table, making it age gracefully without aspiring to be perfect.

Typical bashed Paris bistrot table

Matching graphics

Posted in Branding, Retail environments by zigideluxe on 20/09/2012

Matchbox with bold graphics“Your penny is worth more at the Cooperative supermarket” is a great slogan, and the graphics on these match boxes are even better. Not sure from which period this is ( I would guess late 70’s early 80’s), but I wish retail graphic design would more often be this convincingly simple, minimal, bold & confident (even if it looks a bit communist).

Cheap & cheerful

DIY street stall made from an off the shelf ladder
Creating a street stall for a one day event to sell hand made scarves from Bangladesh is not my usual design brief, especially if the budget had to be kept at an absolute minimum. But there is always a way, even if it means going to the DIY shop..

Scarves designed by Luxembourgish designer Anne-Marie Herckes with the assistance of the Vocational Training and Employment Generation Project of the NGO ‘Friendship’.

Quality banking


Interior concept for the 74 branches of the Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat, a national institution in Luxembourg – designed by  Teisen-Giesler Architectes & integratedPlace.
We elaborated a scheme conveying the notion of safety, tradition, quality and long established values. By emphasising solid build elements made from cast terrazzo and oak we underlined the trustworthy image of the bank. Timeless shapes and high quality materials should also underline the fact that the bank, with it’s long history, is here to stay.

Design proposal elaborated following an closed competition initiated by the BCEE. No winners announced as yet…
For more information: www.integratedplace.com

Beads & buttons fun


I saw this ingenious way of displaying buttons in a Madrid shop. The big wheely device looks more like something from a fun fair and turns at will in order to best view all the buttons on display.

This principle could also be used in many other contexts like interpretative devices in museums …etc. And of course as a way of visually displaying information on the i-phone…

Chez Jeannette

Chez Jeanette

The more you can do with LED technology the keener I get of the old fashioned neon sign aesthetics. I saw this great neon sign in Paris above the bar of the Café Jeannette, rue du faubourg Saint Denis. I very much like the way it extends into an architectural feature delineating the space of the bar and not limiting itself to just be a sign.

It also made me think of the great Kraftwerk song ‘Neon Lights':
Shimmering neon lights
And at the fall of night
This city’s made of light…

A proper cake shop

I really like the look and feel of this cake shop. After seeing so many ‘design’ cake shops  and patisseries I found it refreshing to see a shop around the corner from where I used to live that focuses on the cakes and not on an over-designed interior or branding.  Even the signage is hand painted on the window.
Of course this is also becoming trendy and its not such a new idea, but it still feels honest and works very well with the idea of selling home made cakes. Also, I like the fact that you can create a beautiful shop with almost no budget and a trip to the brocante. I would love to do a project like that.

Cake shop in Victoria Park, East London

Shopping info point in Luxembourg city

A very small but dynamic, elegant and highly versatile space commissioned by the Union Commerciale de la Ville de Luxembourg.
Primarily it is a place where visitors can get any shopping information (opening hours, retail services, maps, customised shopping trails …etc) the city has on offer. Within that primary task of giving out information it is also a place where the city’s retailers can celebrate particular themes and organise special events & exhibitions.

Furthermore, the second aim of the space was to establish best practice retail design with innovative materials and finishes. The floor is made from two coloured resin floor (made from cast Polyurethane). The grey brown floor is split in the middle by a central band of white that invites the visitor in from the outside. This band is then folding up to create a central display made from thermoformed partially back-lit white Corian sheets.
By contrast, all the walls are lacquered in a warm dark and super mat Nextel paint finish. This material, often used on control panels and dashboards, is hard wearing and extremely light absorbing to minimise light reflections and emphasis the artifacts & displays. Moreover, the lighting is kept low to focus on the displays and create a beautiful museum like experience.

Cramped into an area of only 50m2 the space is packed with multiple functionalities while keeping a sober and high-quality appearance.

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No design sign

When you walk around city centres you have to wonder if we need all that signage and graphic design. Often too slick, too loud and too perfect, over-designed corporate identities and graphics take away the human side of things. Maybe there are too many designers around that need to find work (and not enough courageous businesses).

Cake shop window image

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