How we made a visual identity design for a watch boutique in Dubai: market features and visual solutions for the luxury segment

maryco
9 min readOct 19, 2023

Many entrepreneurs from Russia explore the foreign market. Our client, the founder of the Bite of Time multi-brand watch boutique soon to be open in Dubai, is one of them. In the article, we describe the way we were seeking visual solutions for the luxury segment, and our client explains the concept of the boutique and the particular features of the market.

The development of the visual identity is explained by designers from the maryco team.

About the Bite of Time Brand

Dubai is the global “watch capital”. Some manufacturers even launch dedicated limited collections for the city. And this is justified. In Dubai, there is a wide target audience ready to buy luxury goods.

The founders of Bite of Time already have a watch boutique in Moscow and they plan to launch a new brand in the UAE.

Our main audience is people with above-average wealth: locals and tourists. Our customers come to us with different requests and expectations. They may be watch enthusiasts/collectors and top managers who buy their first watches in life and treat this very responsibly. Also, people often choose gifts for their loved ones.

There are not enough multi-brand boutiques in Dubai. There are either single-brand stores or literally a flea market where the level of service is not that high. Far not everyone is ready to buy expensive watches in such conditions.

In our case, the luxury segment will be presented in a single place and the client will have the opportunity to try on different products in the pleasant atmosphere of a modern boutique over a cup of coffee. Our customer may ask for a piece of advice from a professional who will tell them more about the history of a particular brand or features of each model and provide assistance in making a choice.

Providing high-level services and personalized experience to our customers are our strengths. We will be available 24/7 for any questions and our customers will be treated like they are our family. Everything is done so that they never had the chance to worry about anything.

Asya Zubareva, Bite of Time representative

The founders have a good mind to expand the matrix of goods, so they did not want a direct association with watches in their trading name: Bite of Time is a pleasant moment of making a purchase. With this trading name and the concept, the client engaged us to develop the corporate styling design.

The Task

The luxury segment is featured with a minimalistic style. It was important for us to find a concise solution that conveys the high standards of service and is suitable for different media.

Special emphasis had to be placed on digital media: the brand plans to actively promote itself on social media and through advertising. To do this, it was necessary to think over the style and technical characteristics for making the photos and videos. In addition, it was necessary to design a layout for letterheads and emails.

We had a lot of creative freedom in developing solutions for digital media, while for the print media solutions we had to strictly follow “the rules of the game” of the luxury segment. For example, it is a must to take into account the special requirements for layout and the usual finishing techniques: hot stamping, embossing, and lamination.

We needed an innovative state-of-the-art visual solution that conveys the image of the luxury niche. Buying watches is an impulse purchase. One may buy them today and change their mind another day. Therefore, it is important to capture a person at the right time and in the right way, including with the help of the corporate visual identity.

Asya Zubareva, Bite of Time representative

The Evolution of the Logo: Return to the Sundial

After the first briefing, it was agreed with the Bite of Time team that we would play with the letters of the brand name in the logo. Initially, we developed the three following designs.

Emphasis on “T”

In this concept, we highlighted the letter “T” — it is emphasized in the brand name (Bite of Time). We supplemented the letter with a fancy accent.

Modernity in various interpretations

In one version, we made an expressive logo with a jobbing font and customized characters. In the icon, we played with the parts of the watch bracelet. This element was supposed to convert into a style-forming component.

In the second variant, we used a refined typeface and formed a monogram out of it. We got a concise logo, stylistically close to modern technology companies.

However, the first three concepts did not quite meet the customer’s expectations.

Adjustment of the idea and the final version

At the new stage of the discussion, the Bite of Time team formulated the following four criteria for the logo:

  • Fundamental.
  • High-tech.
  • Premium.
  • Time-related.

We started looking for new solutions. We wanted to dig into the very essence of time imaging. We began to study the history of watches, and then sundial, the very first known watches, grabbed us. They seemed visually interesting and we created a simple and eye-catching icon based on this image.

Font: minimalistic Micra typeface

This is the main font of the brand that is used in the logo and headings on any media. Strict non-serif fonts in visual identity are a stable trend in the luxury sector. Modern geometric Micra font supports the concise and confident image of the brand. Moreover, Micra is a neatly detailed font, which prevents it from being dull.

Bite of Time plans to release all the materials in English, so we didn’t have to work with Arabic

Color Scheme: Emphasis on Green

Although the brand plans to go international, the boutique will open in Dubai — so it was important for us to find a familiar color combination for this market. Arina, our creative designer, studied Arabic resources to find the right shades. It turned out, for example, that red is perceived adversely because it is associated with blood. Dark gray is a “dirty” color, while light shades of gray “have a good reputation.”

As a result, we took the emerald shade of green as the basis for the visual identity. This color is mentioned a lot in the Holy Quran. For Muslims, it is associated with natural power, paradisaical landscapes, and gifts and is revered as sacred. Our shade is muted but emphasized. The appearance of dark green details in the photo or video will immediately refer to the brand.

Moreover, dark shades of green are often used by premium brands: for example, Rolex, Bottega Veneta, and Gucci. So our color solution works for both the Arab and the global markets.

We complemented the color scheme with black, white, and light gray. These are ancillary colors for the design variability.

The design of the offline boutique will have to correspond to the corporate visual identity, so we have selected a suitable shade of green in RAL. This color coding is most commonly used for wall paints and furniture. The shade in RAL is very close to the corporate color and, taking into account the lighting in the hall, will be perceived as completely identical.

Photo guide and branded filter

We proposed two types of content for Bite of Time:

  • Product shooting, where the product can be viewed in full detail.
  • Lifestyle content that demonstrates how the watches look worn in a real-life environment.

We developed various compositional options for the photos and videos. The guideline describes which locations should be used for the filming and what percentage of the screen should be occupied by the product, background, and human figures.

In addition, we created branded photo filter for Photoshop and Lightroom so that the photographers can brand all the images. At the request of the founder, we created branded masks for Instagram with similar filters so that photos and videos from a mobile phone could be immediately posted on social media.

To process the content featuring people we made the warm hues filter. And the filter for product shooting differs in sharpness and contrast settings to emphasize the details.

We developed several options for the layout of Instagram posts to make the feed look more interesting.

Media Design

For the design of printed forms/letterheads, we consulted with Bulgari’s Chief Operating Officer. He helped to understand the technical requirements in the luxury segment abroad. Concise letter format with “To” and “From” boxes only in the letterhead is of interest for Bite of Time.

We use gentle dividing lines to visually structure the information, e.g. on a loyalty card and on staff badges.

We developed the design of the media taking into account the specific features of production for the luxury segment. For example, in the badges we suggest using protruding gray letters with the space between them filled with epoxy resin. For print media, we provided for usual stamp printing, foil stamping, and hot stamping.

Result: Launch of the Brand

By now, Bite of Time already uses the elements of the corporate visual identity in social media: it actively publishes posts and reels. This is the first stage before the future launch of offline and online sales. The face of the brand appears in the videos: the person who talks about watches, attends various thematic events, introduces the new products of the range, and shares his personal opinions. The purpose of the character is to become a friend and guide for potential customers, to build trust in the brand.

The launch of the offline space is planned for the foreseeable future: in Dubai, this is a complex and lengthy process.

To rent a boutique in Dubai, you need to provide a detailed brand concept, including design solutions: wall colors, shelf appearance, and shop layout. The approval procedure is very long. We are now at the final stage, then it will take 3–4 months for the refurbishment of the premises. In the meantime, we are developing the brand’s Instagram account and creating the website. Very soon, we will open the first showroom and the office to launch offline sales.

Asya Zubareva, Bite of Time representative

Our project team:

Veronika Octyabr — art director

Sergey Podkovyrkin — lead designer

Arina Podgayskaya — creative designer

#visual identity#branding#corporate_style #maryco #design

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maryco

Design team. We create visual communication for brands in the digital environment and offline. Visit us http://maryco.ru/