Say hello to Sydney’s newest shared working space. Far from another WeWork style offering, Salon Lane is a new concept exclusively for hair, beauty and wellness professionals who are tired of the traditional hierarchical salon model or working from home or on the road.
SomeOne was brought on to create a purpose-driven brand strategy, visual identity, launch communications and on-site branded signage system for their flagship first site in Surry Hills.
Salon suites as they’re commonly known are a fast-growing business in the USA, but in Australia they were a little known concept with only a handful of small-scale offerings in Brisbane and Melbourne. Salon Lane is set to change this, and on a big scale (their Surry Hills space in Sydney is 800 square metres).
Opening the doors to their very first location in October 2020, they intend to rapidly expand over the next five years across New South Wales and eventually Australia. Our strategic brand world is designed to scale up with them as they continue to grow.
Born from an insight that typically stylists, particularly at a senior level, have a very hard time progressing or breaking out in the industry. They’re underpaid, have to work during the opening hours of the salon that employs them, yet their customers come for their personal craft — they hold the relationships. What they lack is freedom.
Salon Lane puts freedom back in the hands of the stylists, giving them flexible, affordable spaces they can personalise and make their own, without the stress and overheads of running a traditional salon.
The public-facing line ‘Your place to create’ focusses on the stylists and their individualism and gives Salon Lane a platform to open up to all kinds of practitioners from hair stylists, to nail technicians and tattoo artists.
The name Salon Lane derives from the quirk and charm found in the cobbled laneways that branch off old-town high streets. Those hidden gems home to indy businesses run by people who truly know how to hone their craft. Walking into Salon Lane is designed to give you that same buzz, turn up for a trim and stumble upon an eye-brow specialist, while picking up the perfect flat white all in the same visit. It’s designed for you to spend the day.
Given the nature of the business, we approached designing the wordmark as a piece of signage, designed with multiple locations in mind. A simple expanding line is home to suburb names, giving Salon Lane a local identity for each of its locations, while maintaining a high–finish collective brand. Interiors are designed the same way with certain cues that will match across locations, paired with site-specific differences to appeal to their local clientele.
A toolkit of graphic devices provides the backdrop of the branding — a series of shapes born from a key piece of furniture used by all stylists, the humble mirror. Much like the common suspended mirrors of salons the brand shapes are ‘held’ in place by poles and the top and bottom.
In contrast, WeWork benchmarks on 18 months to reach 80% occupancy. Salon Lane already have a significant waiting list for their studio offering.
Icons play an important role for brands like this — they have so many selling points, yet so often they can lack in personality. We developed a detailed illustrative system that helps to make even the most ordinary of amenities feel special.
The brand system is simple in concept, yet highly flexible giving each brand execution the ability to feel fresh each time and an ease of use for internal teams to continue to roll out new creative without having to repeat themselves over and over again.
For launch we produced a detailed large-format marketing brochure given to each prospective tenant during their initial tour of the space. The format (oversized A3) is designed for maximum impact — a recognisable moment signaling Salon Lane’s arrival in the neighbourhood.
Working very closely with Siren Design, the team behind the slick interiors, we designed a wayfinding system that seamlessly fits in with the aesthetic of the space. Materials and finishes were chosen in tandem with the fittings and decoration plan in order to match perfectly — signs feel just as at home in the space as the furniture and help to elevate the internal vibe.
All together, the brand for Salon Lane has helped them to firmly place themselves as the benchmark for shared salon spaces in Australia, attracting attention from Sydney’s most influential stylists and beauty therapists, many of whom are beginning to switch to this new way of working.
Furthermore, leading international beauty brands including L’Oreal, Redken, Oribe, Evo and Kevin Murphy have flocked to distribute their products at the premium retail location while using the training and meeting facilities for their own internal and external education programs.
Even though our concept was new and untested, the folks at SomeOne understood the vision straight away and helped create an identity for our brand. From the brand concept stage to the design phase we felt that they were vested in our success and delivered a brand that was both different and ready to scale. All in all, we were very lucky to have been referred to SomeOne and couldn’t recommend them highly enough.