As ice cream concepts are getting more and more creative, the latest trends are more about method, presentation, and ridiculous yet tasty flavours. ibaco is a unique brand of ice creams from Hatsun Agro Product Ltd. that lets its customers craft their own sundaes from a choice of exotic flavours, toppings and sauces. It offers 36 flavours inspired from exotic places around the world, while allowing customers to pick from a whole range of ice cream cakes and create their own ice cream bars and cones. With the inclusion of chocolates along with their regular ice creams, ibaco decided to revamp its entire branding strategy. The branding strategy included a redesign of its stores as well as its graphics and signages. Apart from enjoying their ice cream, customers also want to be able to post a killer photo on social media. As consistent posting on any social media platform is becoming imperative for branding, giving customers a reason to post photographs of themselves at a store on social media is fast becoming a smart mode of branding. Therefore ibaco also decided to include such “selfie corners” within its stores. However, when something seemed amiss in terms of overall appeal of the ibaco brand or its products, graphic designers Rubecon Communications explored the option of appointing a lighting designer for the project.
Lighting Research & Design was brought on board the project after an extensive interview to provide a proof-of-concept lighting design for a single store, that can be applicable across all the ibaco stores in the country. A detailed survey of several of the existing ibaco stores was conducted to study the existing lighting conditions, and the following key issues arose:
- 4000K colour temperature used in the existing stores neither enhanced the visual appeal of the products (especially the chocolates!) nor provided an overall welcoming ambiance to the store. The choice of colour temperature appeared too cold, even for an ice cream store.
- Although there were many light fixtures, it was not designed with an intent of adding different layers of light while making the ceiling look overcrowded.
An extensive set of mock-ups were performed to identify the best colour temperature for enhancing the visual appeal of the chocolates, ice creams and ice cream cakes. 3500K colour temperature seemed the most appropriate colour temperature with its perfect balance of ‘warmth’ to render the dark chocolates and ‘coolth’ to render the colourful ice cream sundaes. The lighting of the store itself was subdivided into ambient lighting, accent lighting and signage lighting. Given the industrial style of architecture being adopted for all the stores, surface-mounted luminaires were proposed to integrate with the architecture. Donut-shaped luminaires (ABBY Oh-Ho) were used for the ambient lighting. Moving-head adjustable spotlights (ABBY Look Around) were used for accent lighting the refrigerated displays as well as highlighting the selfie corners. Wall-washers on tracks (ABBY Artlight TA) were used for evenly washing all the displayed graphics on the store walls. Decorative pendant luminaires (ABBY Coco35) in the four signature ibaco brand colours were used near the billing area above the refrigerated displays as part of the overall branding strategy.
An informal survey was again conducted to amongst the ibaco customers and staff about the overall ambience of the new proof-of-concept store against the older stores. The customers have expressed immense satisfaction with the new design and the staff are even happier with the increased sales in new proof-of-concept store. Did lighting have anything do with improving the taste of the cakes, chocolates and ice creams? Maybe or maybe not! But it certainly has improved the overall experience of the ibaco stores.
Author – Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar
Design Capture/Lighting Research & Design
Architecture – John Rajan & Co.
Graphic design – Rubecon Communications
Lighting design – Lighting Research & Design
Luminaire supply & installation support – Gojis Lifestyle
ABBY iPlane Round Surface 10W LED
ABBY Oh-Ho Nxt 20W LED
ABBY Coco35 22W LED
ABBY Look Around Surface 10W LED
ABBY Artlight TA 15W LED
ABBY Ovo Mini TA 8W LED