Waitrose Drinks Festival

↳ Designed at Nalla Design
Founded in 1904, Waitrose is one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains with more than 350 stores across the country. Despite its formidable reputation in food and drink, the company had no track record in out-of-store-events. This year, for the first time, Waitrose launched a Food and Drinks Festival, bringing together many of their favourite wines, champagnes, spirits, beers and ciders along with an array of speciality foods. Nalla was asked to help showcase their unique relationship with their suppliers as well as to engage customers, inspiring them to try new products. We worked alongside Waitrose and their event organiser to create a special look and feel for the festival, inspired by the cra and quality of the product choice. The aim was to create a festive and inviting atmosphere.

Waitrose’s brand has been built through evolutions, rather than revolutions. Its logo has changed only once since its creation in 1984 and has been the same since that 2004 refresh. As this was its first festival, there were no existing assets. We were asked to create an identity from scratch, while retaining the heritage of the main brand. It was vital to acknowledge and use Waitrose’s existing masterbrand assets and equity, while focusing on the aspirations for the festival. This became an opportunity to create a platform to showcase the suppliers’ stories and products.
“We captured their commitment in our overall theme; every sip has a story…” — Tina Touli, Designer

Inspired by their reputation for quality, we wanted to highlight Waitrose’s dedication to its supplier relationships. It was clear from the beginning of our immersion that these passionate people would form the heart of the festival. Many of them are artisan and the focus on quality is strong, their products supported by incredible stories. We decided to portray this passion and dedication through illustration, creating a unique letterform representing each different product group and its craft. This was then integrated with our typographical style, and these unique decorative letters became the core visual for the festival. They were used as wayfinding signals in the venue, and helped position Waitrose as approachable experts. We also extended the existing colour palette, using the colours of the drinks and seasonal shades as inspiration. Light, fresh imagery added a modern twist.
“We really lived and breathed the Waitrose culture throughout this event and feel proud to have created a drinks festival that truly represents both Waitrose and their diverse suppliers, and gives customers an excellent experience.” — Sarah Kay, Managing Director at Story Events

We partnered with Story Events on everything from concepts to advertising. Nalla also designed a comprehensive show guide to help over 1,500 visitors find their way around the five floors of activity. Social media response has been overwhelmingly positive, asking for a repeat performance next year.
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