From Supermarket to an Urban Food House

Positioning and updated visual identity for Irma

In 2018, the Danish grocery brand Irma presented their new business strategy; “The Urban Irma 2018-2022”. Based on the new strategy, IDna Group was assigned to develop a new positioning for Irma in the highly competitive grocery sector. As a result of the new positioning, it was assessed that Irma’s visual identity should be revised and renewed in order for the visual expression to support the new positioning and strategic direction – A change in design is the strongest marker of change.

Project details

We were asked to revise, renew and further develop the visual toolbox for Irma, so the visual identity would fully support the new positioning while respecting the strong heritage of the brand. An assignment we, to some extent, feared and at the same time rejoiced over. For how to transform and renew a highly beloved brand without losing its visual legacy? This resulted in a constant balance between tradition and renewal throughout the entire process.

Over the last couple of years, many of the Danish supermarket chains have begun to look the same. Having the same visual and photographic expression, and even convenience stores like 7/11 use the same photographic style, making it difficult to stand out. Furthermore, there is now a shift in the market, where the discount stores are moving up in the market, and the supermarkets are moving down, due to increased competition on prices. These tendencies have, together with the new positioning and profound respect for the brand and its heritage, been the foundation for the revised toolbox and the new visual elements. The Irma brand needed to conquer back its position in the market.
Logo and colours
The Irma logo is well-known and loved, why we have kept the logo in its original form. We have redrawn the logo and adjusted the primary colour to a fresher shade of blue, in order for it to match the desired positioning and “Irma attitude”.
Research shows, that people subconsciously judge a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on colour alone. With this insight in mind, we decided to introduce a range of new contextual colours.
Identity elements
With a strong visual heritage comes a range of identity elements. Our job was to go through the visual toolbox, clean up and add new elements to where there was a need. The well-known Irma-girl shall now be put into play in new ways, as she is a strong symbol for Irma. Up until now she has, to some extent, been over-used, and with the new “system” in place, she will be getting a new role in the future, with the right amount of attention. She has kept her original shape but is e.g. now also used as a watermark, tone-in-tone in the new colours.
The checkered pattern is an easily recognizable element in the Irma design, and it is known for the iconic blue pack with Irma coffee. The pattern states “Irma quality”, and therefore we have re-introduced the pattern in a new and extended way for a more cheeky and bold expression, which also highlights the quality on which we can rely on when shopping in Irma. The check pattern can now be used in many ways, as a background, as the primary element or in the photographic style where products are shown on a background of tiles.
Furthermore, we have adjusted and renewed the price marker system and systematized the use of other identity elements, such as the “Irma heart”.

Images of supermarket leaflet: Republica
Poster photo – “køb mere dig tid”: Büro Jantzen

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The revised visual identity includes, among others, a subtle redrawing of the logo and a refresh of the primary colour, introduction of new secondary colours, new icons and new photographic style, plus a new way of putting both the check-pattern and the “Irma girl” into play.

An important part of the Irma identity is of course the products on the shelves. We have redesigned the packaging for Irmas & Irmas Hverdag to fit the new visual identity. See full case here.