City Box has undergone a considerable transformation. The Dutch branch of the supplier of storage space wanted to position itself as a quality brand and this meant its image of price fighter had to go. This called for a broad approach in which this vision had to be translated into concrete and tangible design ideas and implementations. The logo, pay-off, interior and exterior of the head office; work wear, signage of the branches, as well as the interior and exterior of the pilot branch in Den Bosch have been dealt with. Amsterdam based Studio Babette Porcelijn was hired for this extensive operation.
Sketch for City Box office redesign by Babette Porcelijn
The client first
From the first moment customers connect with City Box, usually through the website or at one of the branches, they should feel welcome and that City Box is thinking along with them. In consultation with Babette, City Box’s Online Product Manager and external experts improved the website. The site addresses its visitors directly and offers them the possibility to arrange most things online. This functionality will be gradually extended in the near future. Not only the website, but also the reception area of the branches were improved. Before, clients had to ring the bell so an employee could let them in. Now, the door automatically opens. Babette designed a coffee corner for the pilot branch in Den Bosch where customers and employees can have a quiet conversation, or customers that are in the middle of moving house can recover their breath.
Coffee Corner in one of City Box’s branches. Photography – Babette Porcelijn for City Box
Recycled materials in the interior design
The customer experience plays an important role in the new service centre that Babette equipped. Next to high-end materials Babette also used second hand products, building materials, and cardboard in the design of the interior. A counter made from stacked up removal boxes, different types of chairs all spray-painted in one colour, lamps made from porcelain cups or cardboard, a table top featuring old record sleeves, and Persian rugs; they all refer to the world of moving house, renovating or storing dear personal items.
Old record sleeves and unicolour painted vintage furniture recreate the world of storage and personal belongings. Photography: Babette Porcelijn for City Box
Use of vintage finds, recycled materials and hints to the world of storage and personal belonings in City Box service center interior. Photography: Babette Porcelijn for City Box
Babette: “It was fantastic to be able to create an overall concept like this. I got a chance to use all my skills and knowledge. From translating City Box’s vision into a brand strategy, to the design and realization of concrete solutions. To make all this happen I worked with various experts from my network and external companies that City Box does business with. I also received a lot of help from City Box’s own employees. Together we were able to deliver the quality that you can see today.’
Babette has a degree in Industrial Design Engineering at the TU in Delft. She spent ten years working for design agencies as a communication designer. Her clients included Sara Lee, Heineken International, KLM, and E.ON, but also for small and medium sized enterprises. Since 2011 Babette has been working as an independent strategic designer. She develops the strategy, design, and content of communication means. She works cross-media, creating interior design, graphic design and interactive design. Among her clients are ‘dienst Noord/Zuidlijn’, Griph law & tax, KWPS, Urban Resort and Pit4Business.