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In the six months between bankruptcy filing and liquidation, Toys“R”Us came to Lippincott to help build a brand platform that would carry them beyond their next chapter. What followed was a comprehensive overhaul for the iconic Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us brands to reclaim their iconic and preferred position.
According to PEW research, more than one million Millenials are becoming parents each year. Our challenge was to find a way for the brands to appeal to this new generation of new parents.
The Lippincott design team devised familial visual systems – like fraternal twins, each brand’s system would stand out by virtue of its distinct brand voice and its own primary colors. Subtly, the familial unity is achieved by a secondary color palette which not only unifies the look and feel of both brands, but also helps the entire business get back to the core of who they are — the toyland for play. The two systems also share an icon palette, lifestyle photography, and hyperrealist illustration and animation, which creates a seamless visual experience between the brands while offering each license to play up to its personality at key brand moments.
New Lippincott research uncovered a nostalgic affinity amongst today’s new parents – they love the brand’s iconic backwards R. For these new parents, most of whom grew up with Toys“R”Us as kids, the childlike “R” personified the whole idea of play. Armed with this insight, Lippincott designers reclaimed this key element of brand equity for the two visual systems, giving each brand’s R a distinct aesthetic treatment unique to its essence.
The visual systems retain the iconic logo while reclaiming the spirit of play through color, typography, photography, icons, illustrations and more. For Toy“R”Us, the bold color palette is a bright spot for customers. It uses a core blue as the lead color with a secondary palette inspired by the energy of play. We further celebrated the backwards “R” by telling stories about all of the ways the brand can unleash the power of play, and developed proprietary icons to represent key services, categories and functions for a visual shorthand that clarifies, identifies, guides and teaches with a signature sense of fun.
Babies“R”Us received a bold new color palette that broke down the stereotypes of blue and pink. Along with this, it also received a new visual language that embodies the joy, imagination and humanness of parenthood. Central to the system overhaul is again the visual celebration of the iconic, backwards-facing “R.”
The new system was interpreted across the entire customer journey, from in-store graphics to website applications and digital communications to packaging and gift wrapping. While time ran out for the company before launch, we were given permission to share the work with the world, and are excited to share that it will be entering global markets and be brought to the US market this year by the company’s new owner, Tru Kids Brand.