NOVO means “new” — and new always means to do things a little differently. NOVO is an organic supermarket, opening in 2017 in the center of Bolzano, that provides you with everything you need for your weekly shopping. As the store offers a big part of its goods unpacked and loose, you’re the one to decide how much you want of a product and you have the chance to pack it more ecofriendly: in paper or textile bags, in glass jars or bottles that you can either buy in the store or bring from home. Following the “zero waste” movement, NOVO hopes to reduce packaging and food waste and give people the chance to consume more sustainably and responsibly. The overall goal is to decrease people’s carbon footprint by offering regional and organic goods and decentralization of the food market. It’s all about the concept of: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

Taking into account the Open Source concept we decided to radically use Open- Source les and software during our process, but at the same time share all the knowledge we gathered throughout our research. We conducted a survey among packaging-free stores around Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria to get first impressions on what is important and notable when starting a zero-waste store. Furthermore we visited (in real life but also online) some of the already existing stores and gathered inspiration and concept-ideas on store interior, containers and packaging options, branding and visual appearance and communication strategies. For sharing this knowledge and supporting future packaging-free stores, we created an Open Source Project Timeline and a Wiki with all the gathered information.

Together with the owners of NOVO we de ned the 3 core values that will serve as the base for NOVO in an extensive brainstorming session: Openness, Sustainability and Responsibility. From then on we looked for ideas of how to translate those values into the reality of the store: A coffee corner for the customers to have a break and rest for a while, multi- lingual store signs to include people of all nationalities, the connection to a vegan/vegetarian restaurant in order to create synergies regarding the use of food, a rent-a-bike service so people can easily transport their goods home, product signs providing important background info on the products, recipe-baskets and -cards to inspire people in how to use the products offered at NOVO — and many more ideas.

Since NOVO aims at re-framing and re-shaping current conditions in the food and consumption system, the store interior, as well as the branding, takes up this idea visually. The word mark “NOVO” is compiled of four different typefaces that can move on a pre-defined grid. Through those dynamics the brand promotes an active and vivid feeling and supports openness and flexibility. Digitally, the logo can be used even as an animation. Furthermore, typefaces and colors have been de ned to strengthen the natural appearance. Both the logo and the structures in the store are based on the same open source measurement system. The slogan exists in three languages (English, Italian and German) and is placed respective to the versions you can see on the left side.

The shelf construction itself is based on the idea of a yellow frame that puts emphasis on the products. Inside the shelves, the products are given space to breathe, which supports a feeling of quality. For each product group the shelf slightly varies in size and dimension as each group requires different segmentation and use of space. The material choices are — of course — plasticfree and natural, using untreated wood, with a layer of natural white and yellow oil.

A NOVO landing page was developed in order to start communicating publicly about the future store. There, the user can find some info on the basic idea behind the shop and the story of its owners, and has the chance to sign up for a newsletter. That way NOVO can start building a customer base and communicate more directly to people. The webpage is fully responsive and thereby accessible and barrier-free: it can be viewed on mobile devices as well as on tablet or computer screens. The site is multi-lingual and available in Italian, German and English.

Check it out at:


Designers: Insa Keilbach, Giulia Bencini, Johanna Perret
Context: Semester Project, February 2016 – September 2016
Extent: Logo, Business Cards, Shelf Structure, Website
University: Free University Bolzano, Italy
Tasks: Idea, Concept, Layout, Design, Research, Website, Shelf Structure, Choice of Packaging (Bags, Containers etc.),