H.A.N.D.S Shopping Mall

Wayfinding design and visual identity for The Link

The H.A.N.D.S mall was built in the 1980s as two separate, but connected, shopping malls in Tuen Mun serving residents of the surrounding housing estates. In 2014, aiming to attract a younger demographic in the area, Link commissioned us to revamp the identity of the mall to bring energy and liveliness to the neighbourhood. With the shopper’s experience in mind, we created a total design solution that integrated a strong wayfinding strategy with a distinct visual system of icons.

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The challenge

To deliver a solution that worked as well as it looked, we had to develop a new, single identity for the two connected commercial complexes. We also had to retain key elements of the existing logo and name – HANDS being an acronym for “Have A Nice Day Shopping”. To improve navigation of the space, we needed to devise a wayfinding strategy that would solve a challenging site configuration with complex circulation patterns through multiple blocks. In addition, we were asked to come up with graphic features that would help unify and energise the overall commercial complex.

Our Approach

We thoroughly surveyed the site in order to best understand users’ needs and hosted joint brainstorming sessions with both client and project architect teams. Then, rather than addressing the issues of branding and wayfinding separately, we looked for integrated solutions that would seamlessly connect all the dots – allowing visual identity, environmental graphics and signage to use a common language. The icon set that was developed for the signs soon found their way onto the facade in oversized supergraphics that showed a new face to the neighbourhood.

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An approachable and friendly visual identity system was developed to become a playful and versatile graphic and communication language. Drawing inspiration from the architectural fluidity found at the site, we created an icon system linked by a continuous line that flows through the building.

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To ensure that the layout of the commercial complex was clear and visually striking, we organised the area into 5 zones. A colour and a letter of the word H.A.N.D.S was allocated to each zone to facilitate visitor's orientation and enhance brand recognition.

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The new identity was implemented through a unified signage system that provided intuitive directional guidance throughout the entire site. We created a scalable graphic language that allowed for a seamless wayfinding experience, from indoor and outdoor signs to physical and digital directories.

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Playful messages were mixed with pertinent navigation cues in our design for the interior feature walls to make the environment more visually stimulating for shoppers.

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Bold façade supergraphics maximise the impact of the new identity. The architectural connection between the two complexes was enhanced with colourful lines, in order to support the integration of the two into a single, memorable shopping experience.