Google in retail 2017

Art direction, graphic design, branding

In 2016, Google launched their own hardware ecosystem. In 2017, the goal was to build on that work developed for 2016 and make it bigger, better, and more sophisticated. I worked on concepting, art direction, and design development of the 2017 retail launch graphics.

I collaborated closely with internal and agency creative teams to build and distribute the launch graphics as a collection of design templates. Retailers and partners around the world use these templates to execute fixture displays, window signage, online banners, and more. In 2017, 10 Google products retailed in more than 25,000 doors, across 15 countries, in 7 unique languages. On launch day in 2017, we had built and distributed around 5000 template assets to 3700 users.

The Launch Artwork
Going Global
Branded Websites
Promotional photography
In the field

The Launch Artwork

In early 2017, three other designers and I began pulling together mood boards and inspiration for retail launch graphics. I wanted a visual way to tie a disparate product family more closely together. My idea was to ground the product on textured surfaces that would hint at the purpose of the product and add visual interest. Dynamic diagonal lines and sunlight shadows added to the composition and tied the retail look-and-feel with visual direction of other Google design teams.

After twelve rounds of internal and executive reviews, my pitch was approved and selected for the retail launch graphics. We then began building out the concept across multiple retail touchpoints. I focused mainly the Google Home, Chromecast, and Pixelbook product families. I provided art direction to internal and agency creative teams--including photographers, retouchers, and designers--for the development of the graphics.

Going Global

Once the launch artwork was completed and approved, I worked closely with our agency to turn the artwork into a collection of templates, which were localized and distributed to retailers and partners around the world. Retailers have lots of customer touchpoints, including windows, fixtures, table cards, online banners, branded websites, and product detail pages. All these touchpoints need to appear consistent, relevant, and on brand--across all retailers. The templates cover the breadth of the in-store and online retail experiences, allowing a kiosk in India to have the same branding as a telecom in Canada.

I provided art direction and contributed production design work throughout this process for eleven products. Here are various examples of templates. You can see the consistency across touchpoints, products, and localizations.

Fixtures

Banners and table cards

Branded websites

For 2017, I also worked designing templates for retailers to build brand stores. These templates allow retailers to build Google-branded pages that provide additional information about each product. These pages also allow Google to add a squeeze in a bit of brand personality on a third party website. The templates are very simple and modular, allowing retailers to incorporate them into their existing website structures. For these pages I worked on layout, image selection, and design, in collaboration with internal teams and agency partners.

Click to enlarge the templates below.

Promotional photography

I collaborated with our photo studio to streamline our promotional photography workflow. These assets are usually used in purchase-driven placements executed by third parties, like mailers or coupons. Unfortunately, third-party work is often off-brand. To clean everything up, I figured out a few consistent angles and arrangements that look good regardless of the product combination. Each product is only shot once and appears in a predictable position and order, ensuring that lighting is realistic when shots are composed together. This workflow helps create better looking images while minimizing time to shoot and retouch.

Photography and retouching by Google Photo Studio.

BEFORE: Problems with promo photography

Badly composited lighting
Wrong proportions
???

AFTER: Standardized and accurate lighting, positions, and shadows

Set 1: Low angle
Set 2: High angle

In the field

My work in retailers around the world.

US
US
US
US
US
Germany
UK
UK
France
Australia pc: Ausdroid