EASTON, PENN.--Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown, Unmellow Yellow and Tickle Me Pink are only a few of the 120 characters (yes, characters) that fill up a Crayola crayon box. And while learning to keep these colors “in the lines” may be a child’s biggest feat, Crayola may be teaching a different, more creative approach to their users.
The Crayola team drew no lines through the possibilities of creating an interactive experience that is not only imaginative but also educational at The Crayola Experience store in Easton, Penn. “Creating an experience that was bigger than life” became the main goal in the design of the space, says Christie Kratzer, principal of Reztark Design Studio. Fit-out in what existed as historic buildings and warehouse spaces dating back to the 1850s, contributed to the factory-like aesthetic that Crayola was aiming for. Adding the life and vibrancy of the brand to this 3,500 square foot existing industrial backdrop became the starting point to creating the overall brand experience.
Upon entering the space, customers are immediately greeted by bold colors and swooping curves in the floor to lead them through all of the spaces. While acting as wayfinding, the material and color selections also reinforce the brand experience. “Crayola as a brand is all about creativity…and sparking that creativity in all ages” said Kratzer. Incorporating little surprises throughout the store, from the sporadically placed liquid lava floor tiles and whimsical Centiva flooring, to the highly durable and brightly colored Abet Laminati surfaces, reinforcing creativity is just what Kratzer and the design team achieved.
"We chose Abet Laminati because it gave us the best color options for our focal areas within the store," she explained. "The Lobby is all about transforming the guest from the outside world to a world of imagination and creativity. We started with the ticket counter using the core brand greens, counter balanced by yellow painted bricks.”
While engaging with the interactive materials and design elements, customers are also able to participate in 10 different Crayola experiences while visiting the store. A Mock Factory, Model Magic station, Picture Pack wall, and even a Crayon Hospital for any crayons in need of a stitch or two, are only a few of the activities that the Crayola Experience offers to customers who keep coming back for more. Designing these branding moments to attract and accommodate Crayola’s multi-generational clientele wasn’t something that Kratzer forgot about. Assuring that everything was accessible and visible to children and adults alike was an ergonomic feature implemented across the board. As a result, the service counters and product bins can be found at an easily reachable height, making the Crayola Experience a truly family-friendly event that speaks to everyone.
The last experience that customers engage in is the store itself—a place where everyone can feed their creative cravings and add to their art box. Stocked proud with every color imaginable, the product display and cash wrap areas put the Crayola characters face-to-face with the customers. The applied graphic crayon characters are a “brand statement,” as they continue to tell the Crayola story through their animated expressions and personalities.
At 103 years old, Crayola hasn’t aged one bit. And the Crayola Experience proves that coloring outside of the lines isn’t always a bad thing.