vitra ― an eclectic city guide

The Merchant is a magazine created for established furniture brand Vitra that shows the latest trends in retail design in a relevant way. A project done with Frame Publishers.

Vitra looked for new ways to show their retail design. Working at Frame Publishers, we conceived a cosmopolitan magazine concept that opened up their world — an effective and innovative way of communicating a brand.

For this first issue, we featured three metropolises: Amsterdam, Tokyo and Melbourne. For every city, we zoomed in on the local stories by means of capturing the character, energy, shapes and colours typical to that place.

With Amsterdam, we tapped from the city’s rich history of the city with its famous painters and crooked canal houses. It’s translated into elements such as the quality of the paper that feels like drawing paper, and a classic serif font.

The design concept for Tokyo is clearly rooted in the eclectic atmosphere of the city. We made the font to imitate neon lights, and picked high gloss paper to further enhance that effect.

Melbourne is known as a green city with a contrasting urban jungle of silvery skyscrapers. Inside this chapter, shades of green reflect the greenery, and a silvery hue refers to the concrete towers.

The embossed cover shows a painting by Dutch painter Ferdinand Bol from 1650 of merchant Roelof Meulenaer. The silver cover paper suggests a feeling of a coin, referring to trade. The result is a magazine you want to keep that goes beyond the conventional way of advertising, editorializing the story of Vitra’s retail products by means of an eclectic inspiring city guide-like magazine.

Client: Vitra
Designed at: Frame Publishers
Photography: Anne Claire de Breij, Bonsoir Paris
Category: art direction, print