One of the most urgent, widespread challenges of the early pandemic was everyone’s weekly food shop. While supermarkets rushed to keep up with demand for elusive home delivery slots and manage social distancing in-store, a rush of startups aimed to bring innovation to an old-fashioned and technologically unprepared industry. One of those was Weezy, an online supermarket that promises to deliver groceries in fifteen minutes, and as a result it recently raised £20 million in investment. This injection of cash has seen the company rebrand in collaboration with London design studio Otherway, aiming to reconnect the brand with the look and feel of traditional grocery stores.
“Weezy is a business right at the intersection of technology and food,” explains Otherway founder Jono Holt, and while many similar brands may tend to lean more on the tech side using “innovation to make them feel desirable,” his team wanted to do the opposite. “As more and more of these companies emerge selling ‘faster, better, slicker’ we felt it was time for a technology company to embrace its more human side. What’s more, the competitive landscape is full of brands that look more like new generation banks rather than a shop you want to buy your bread from.” The Weezy founders said they wanted their branding to instead represent the products and service they provide, Holt adds, which led Otherway to define the visual identity concept as “local grocery store first, tech platform second”.
The identity therefore uses visual signifiers of grocery stores to allude to this, though in a contemporary style so it doesn’t “just look backwards” Holt says but also “defines what is to come”. The logo mark is inspired by handwritten sign writing found over the doors of grocery shops – “often bold and chosen for their clarity to be seen from a distance,” Holt says; their handwritten style makes them “personable and friendly, and sometimes a bit wobbly”. In homage, Otherway selected Franklin Gothic Condensed for the Weezy brand typeface because it’s similarly friendly but also a classic font that “holds a lot of trust with people,” plus the team liked the two “smiling ‘e’s”.
The brand shapes take the form of A-boards, price labels and point of sale displays, using colours that are muted yet eye-catching and purposely divergent from tech brand stereotypes. “[The brand] is meant to stand out and get noticed. Represent the future,” says Holt. “We purposely wanted to mute our tones. It felt more natural and honest, down to earth. Weezy wants to stand out but in its own way.”
Also, the brand’s packaging has gone plastic-free, and comes in new bags that are more “what you expect from your local grocer rather than an online supermarket”. The branding can be spotted in a new billboard poster campaign across London, which aims to bring a “humorous, personable tone” through its copywriting and design.