ALDO Group, Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, 2010


Project brief: LOCALE is a footwear and accessories destination celebrating art, fashion and community. The concept grew out of a desire to feature an international scope of shoe design in a unique environment, specifically one driven by innovation in the arts. Each store features the work of visual artists working locally in a series of curated in-store exhibits. The LOCALE concept is based on an environment that embodies the spirit and experience of the atelier of a collective of artists and designers. The store evokes the idea of a place where creative people meet to learn, socialize and share ideas.

With the brand values in mind—diverse, inspirational, true, connected, hip and sophisticated—the goal is to create a bespoke biannual publication to live in-store. The LOCALE retail experience and its publication are designed specifically to support the values, interests and aspirations of its customer community through a unique platform of authentic and relevant branded touch points.

LOCALE magazine is a publication to drive product sales, but more importantly to deepen the brand experience. As an amalgamation of brand book, catalogue and editorial content, the design and voice is uniquely LOCALE.

What defines our customer? The demographic is 25-to-45-year-old women and men who value the following: career, personal growth, family and friends, goals and aspirations, lineage and tradition, joy, passion, and beliefs. They can be broken into six distinct categories: Metamorphic Professionals, Rising Creatives, Families Seeking Balance, Neo-Bohemian, Enlightened Affluent and Hub Culture.

As a new brand, the resources and budget were a challenge. The entire production (concept development, art buying, producing, print production, art direction, on-product styling, design, short copy) was created by a small team of experts (an art director, editor and a handful of willing contributors), all with a turnaround time of a month and a half from start to finish.

Approach: The magazine’s concept is based on LOCALE’s artistic roots. Split in two, the magazine is divided into Artist (women’s shoes) and Muse (men’s shoes), with two parallel covers. The two sections meet in the middle visually through the fashion editorial celebrating the 1969 Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg ballad “Je t’aime...moi non plus,” our muse for LOCALE’s inaugural issue.

Each page is infused with an artistic twist such as whimsical product photography or a collaboration between an illustrator and writer. From Montréal’s Liane Balaban’s coveted shoe collection to Toronto-based artist Dessa Harhay, each story has a local twist celebrating community. The magazine is filled with words and art from the friends and neighbors inspiring LOCALE right now.

The format is oversize and printed on uncoated stock to make the magazine a collectible. It’s not your typical glossy, but tactile and rich. The size stands out in a retail environment, giving the magazine a 100-percent pickup rate and high visibility at point of purchase.

Effectiveness: LOCALE magazine was blogged about by respected tastemakers like The Fashionisto and Fucking Young, among others. Overall, the magazine elevated the brand voice and created direct dialogue with our new customers.

One hundred percent recycled paper was used in the production of LOCALE magazine.

More than a brand catalogue, LOCALE is a magazine with real editorial value. It directly engages the customer and enhances their experience of fashion, trends and service while communicating that LOCALE is more than a shoe store. It bolsters the idea that LOCALE is a fashion destination while showcasing a large assortment of product. The magazine provides inspiration and information on the latest trends while positioning our brand at the center of the editorial content.

With relevant and well-written articles and original content, the magazine’s continuous narrative will hopefully be seen as a collectors’ item with each issue to follow.

Juror Notes

Elevates the look-book category. Engaging. Credible brand expression.

Collections: AIGA 365: Design Effectiveness (2011)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Editorial design
Format: Magazine