Mike Ruehlman: Four Hospitality and Retail Design Trends

As hospitality and retail experiences become more personalized and exciting for the consumer, graphic design has emerged as a central supporting figure with the use of vivid colors, technological integration, motion graphics, and embedded brand equity. So says FRCH Design Worldwide Director of Design Mike Ruehlman, whose nationally recognized team has identified four graphic design trends to watch, excerpted below.

Technology Integration:  As brands expand to encompass consumer experiences that resonate on site in real time and after a store visit, technological integration within the space has become more important than ever. Technology enhancements heighten the guest’s sensory level with engaging touch, sound, smell and graphics that fit the product’s brand image.


Graphic Motion:  Motion graphics are finding their way into retail experiences to add richness and brand flexibility. Their beauty lies in the  ability to add architectural depth to a space with color, brand storytelling, and animation. With technology continuing to evolve to support new ways to showcase motion graphics, the opportunities are endless.


The Wow! Factor:  Every space needs a moment of Wow! to bring a sense of playfulness to support the product. Bold uses of the brand story through key catchphrases, sweeping multi-dimensional graphics that add excitement to the brand environment, and a playful balance of scale will continue to hold social relevance within the consumer mindset.


Graphic Storytelling:  Retail brands are now leveraging graphics through storytelling to maximize nostalgia and present new expressions of the brand. Hershey’s new Times Square ‘Chocolate World’ in-store experience combines that brand’s nostalgic, 19th-century roots and blends them with an over-the-top, 21st-century Times Square experience. FRCH blended the two design languages using rusticated brick and wood materials, as well as big signage elements that are in keeping with the atmosphere of Times Square.