Would you find it cliché if a restaurant incorporated a food motif into their logo or décor? Probably not. Yet many in the eyewear business resist doing the same with eyeglasses. If a cliché becomes a cliché by being true, it transcends by being unique.
Eyewear design and décor can become so ubiquitous that they disappear. Stock art of beautiful people wearing luxurious eyewear fades into the background instead of grabbing attention. It’s as true of shop interiors as it is for signage and exteriors. Our readers who have had success incorporating eye motifs into their businesses have one thing in common: Individuality. It’s a quality often heralded in this business even though it’s difficult to achieve. Eyecare customers can see the standard art and ornamentation in a big box store or online. If you want them to spend their money at your place, give them a reason – a symbol - they can’t ignore.
You are in the business of matching people who need eyeglasses with the products and services they can’t find on their own. Nothing is more fitting than eyeglasses as your dominant motif. It’s the symbol of the very thing you do better than anyone else. As evidenced by some of the most successful and engaging businesses in the industry, a thoughtful eyewear motif brings your shop’s vibe and products into focus for discerning customers.
American Vision at the Court, King of Prussia, PA
Dr. Gary Kirshner and his wife, Cindi, moved their shop to a new location three years ago. They took the opportunity to revamp their look by hiring a sculptor to create a massive pair of unisex eyeglasses out of reclaimed wood and steel. Once they hung the sculpture on spokes, a blank wall became a highly visible statement about their shop and their vision.
“I think it can be a cliché. You have to be very careful of becoming too cutesy, too overdone,” says Cindi, the store manager at American Vision at the Court.
The store is dominated by a 9-foot reclaimed wooden eyeglass sculpture. The Kirshners commissioned a sculptor to create the piece. After lots of communication and revisions, the finished piece was born. And it’s perfect.
“It’s a piece of art. It actually speaks. It says exactly who we are. We are understated, high end, sophisticated … and we sell eyeglasses. That piece of art says all of those things,” she says.
“When the light hits it creates an additional shadow. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. It has done everything we wanted it to do and then some.”
The Eye Gallery, Ypsilanti, MI
First you notice the frosted glass eyeglass logo on the front window. The store has your attention. Owner Dr. Arnold Bulos worked with a graphic designer to create the simple logo so it didn’t look like anything else.
“It’s not pulled off the internet,” Bulos says. “All of those are pretty lame. This is slightly different, and it’s our logo throughout the store.”
Bulos uses it on every patient correspondence. He believes in branding, and in efficient design.
“I had to work with what I had and all I had was a glass storefront.”
Now he has a brand.
LaFollette Eye Clinic & The Eyewear Gallery Jacksboro, TN
Owners Andy and Elizabeth Howard, both optometrists, had a golden opportunity when designing their clinic and gallery. They imagined their location as a blank canvas without limitations. Together with a builder, designer and architect the couple landed on a simple theme: A celebration of vision.
“That led to custom and varied lighting, unique handmade furniture, and large eyewear sculptures complete with acrylic lenses,” Andy says.
“Patients are greeted by vibrant colors throughout the building from The Eyewear Gallery to the clinic spaces.”
The finished product is a happy place — a quality on which Elizabeth insisted – with a visual surprise around every corner.
Ulla Eyewear, Madison, WI
Frames are the focal point of this clean and classic store featuring pops of color like a turquoise wall and animal print rugs.
“We elected to have our frame boards away from the windows so we could use them as another form of advertisement,” says Margot Lanham, sales manager.
Mounted on pipes, the window boards are colorful, lit like artwork and project eye-catching eyewear images to passersby.
“Our store owner, Brittany, has an incredible eye for design and her choices with the store are purposeful and unique.”
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INVISION.