Socio neatly combine cultural influences in their identity for Dubai florist Fine Blooms
Dubai-based florist Fine Blooms is led by a commitment to seasonality and the belief that flowers have the power to infuse any space with positivity, colour and energy. Led by the expertise of creative director Chloe Szukilojc, they utilise deep roots in both European and Arabian cultures to produce dramatic, sculptural and maximalist floral creations; resulting in global recognition and a string of high profile commissions from Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire since launching at Dubai Design Week 2018.
Aiming to capitalise on their rise to prominence, Fine Blooms commissioned experienced London-based agency Socio to unify their brand across digital, print, packaging and retail. The result is an identity system that champions Fine Blooms’ masterful floristry with innate tactility, balancing overtly classic elements such as serif typography, luxurious print finishes and a black and white palette with rich, immersive imagery.
The serif typeface in question is English 1766, a contemporary reimagining of Caslon by A2-Type. Found by Socio following a lunchtime studio visit to William Caslon’s family grave on London’s Old Street, the typeface is perfectly reflective of Fine Blooms’ creations in that it balances traditional roots with undoubted modernity.
It’s accompanied by an entirely bespoke sans serif wordmark and a delicate abstraction of a rose, which SocioDesign’s Creative Director Nigel Bates explains was chosen for being “the most iconic and internationally recognised symbol of a flower.” Aiming to pay respect to Dubai’s culture without wedding the brand to one region, Socio drew the logo in a style that loosely recalls traditional Islamic geometric patterns. “Of course as UK-based designers, we were keen to avoid creating anything that might be seen as cultural cliché,” Bates recalls, “so we worked with the founders to ensure the tone was just right.” Its dainty construction reflects the sensuality of flowers – and was devised with its physical application in mind, with Socio opting for a sculpted blind emboss across the brand’s packaging.
The wordmark, which was drawn after the logo, is intended to be a neutral companion to the rose’s ornate character and English 1766’s classic charm. “We drew several versions and settled upon this one,” Bates explains, “a geometric sans, with a hint of humanist character.”
Created in close collaboration with London-based florist and A Flower Shop founder Hattie Fox, the aforementioned imagery plays an equally important role as the graphic elements; with inspiration coming from the traditions of European fine art, the still life compositions and rich colour of the Dutch Golden Age, and the painterly expression of the post-Impressionist era. “Hattie’s commitment to seasonality certainly had an influence on the brand ethos, as did her unique creative approach,” Bates tells us, adding that “it was a unique experience for us, collaborating so closely with someone from a very different creative field.”