nkd Zero Waste Grocery Store
nkd id a zero waste grocery store which been designed from the ground up to use sustainable, smart design to help it achieve its zero waste goals. In addition to being packaging free, it contains its own urban farming space where food for the store is grown.
The store is named nkd, short for naked, based on the idea that the food is naked without packaging. The logo stemmed from the zero waste typeface created for the store. The logo is lowercase to stand out from the rest of the branding.
nkd’s colors are minimal using only a fluorescent yellow, gray, black, and white. Although the palette is limited, the brand avoids becoming sterile due to the colorful plants, vegetables, and other foods showcased in the store.
Custom Typeface & Signage
A custom typeface was created so that signage in the store could be zero waste. Two line segments are used, one long and one short, to create every letter. The pieces do not ever overlap, as they will be rearranged to create new letters.
Signage for the store will be cast in slabs of recycled plastic. The letters will be laser cut from the plastic, allowing the sign to either be duplexed, creating a yellow sign revealing black type, or the letters can be assembled on the black slab, creating a black sign with yellow letters. The letters are cut out into their line segments, allowing them to be assembled into any other letter or number needed.
If there is a mismatch between letters and signs, the store could send the excess to another store.
Packing is avoided whenever possible, but some items, such as sauces made from the food gardened, need packaging to be sold. This problem was solved by creating a modular packaging system.
The system uses lids with inserts, which would be cast from recycled plastic. The base would be glass, which was chosen because it is an infinitely recyclable material. The inserts would allow the lids to be used on any size jar, eliminating the need for lids lying around unused.
The customer would be able to bring back the packaging to be refilled or they would be able to return the packaging at the front of the store. Either option would give the user a credit towards their next purchase. This way the packaging could be used multiple times.
The lids, bodies, and inserts could be washed and reused until they need retired, at which point they will be recycled into new versions of themselves.
Paper will be composted at the store for use in fertilizer at the farm. Using uncoated papers and riso printing with soy or rice bran inks ensure this is safe.
Packaging will be used for items such as salsa, sauces, pesto, guacamole, and other items produced with food from the garden.
nkd's customer loves to visit local coffee shops, parks, book stores, and other small businesses. The best way to reach them would be in those places, but posters are typically a very wasteful form of promotion. To solve this, nkd would print their posters on 100% PCW paper with riso printing technology (soy-based ink). Each poster would be picked up after the event and printed on top of so that it would not be single use. To illustrate this concept, I designed four initial posters for nkd.