Taxonomy of Design
Aesop is one of the world's most revered brands, renowned for their dedication to design through their minimalist packaging and individually unique retail stores.
As a celebration of their store design globally, Aesop enlisted Pollen to design and develop the digital compendium to commemorate this body of work.
Aesop enlisted Pollen to create the digital compendium of their store design, globally.
A daunting challenge.
How do you take a unique and aspirational brand like Aesop, build a platform on which to document their unique design legacy and ensure it's flexible enough to support the diversity of each retail environment, now and into the future.
Working from an original concept developed by Fabio Ongarato Design, the Taxonomy of Design celebrates Aesop’s holistic approach to design by deconstructing all features, materials & collaborators of their signature spaces into a taxonomy.
The site is targeted at a global design loving audience and architected to encourage exploration. The content ebbs and flows taking the viewer on a seemingly infinite path of discovery.
With 62 of the 100+ stores currently indexed on the site, the user can discover each of the unique store designs, from Adelaide with a ceiling made from 7560 glass bottles, through to New York featuring 400,000 sheets of the New York Times to the Flinders Lane store made from cardboard boxes.
The Taxonomy of Design was a true collaboration with the Aesop team
Their uncompromising pursuit for perfection was infectious as we embraced Aesop’s understated minimalist aesthetic. Rarely does a client ask for less, which led us to question every aspect of the user interface. This presented challenges as we pushed for a minimalist interface but ensured a high degree of usability and accessibility across all devices and screen sizes.
The UX and design framework was designed to be modular, which allows ultimate flexibility when creating new store pages. Each element has what we called a 'buoyancy' formula, allowing the most recent content to float to the top of the taxonomy. This keeps the content fresh and allows the team at Aesop greater control over the order of elements.
The site continues to expand and evolve
The final product, like the stores it represents, is a lovingly crafted affair. Take some time to explore the taxonomy and discover what makes Aesop one of the world's most distinct and unique brands.
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