7-Eleven stores in Sweden are getting a bold new look from creative agency BVD, focused on bringing older elements from the chain’s history back to the forefront.

The stripes are a 7-Eleven signature, but they’ve become less common as the chain has made an effort to fit into urban neighborhoods.

But BVD embraced the stripes.

Also resurrected? 7-Eleven’s old barcode-esque typeface.

Co.Design

Rebranding 7-Eleven With A Bold, Retro-Nostalgic Style

Though most 7-Elevens these days are sterile white boxes, the company’s Swedish branch is taking a chance by resurrecting elements from its classic postwar identity.

Unlike ornery New Yorkers, most Swedes have never had major moral beef with the steady colonization of 7-Eleven in their cities (well, for the most part). In fact, Stockholm was the location of the convenience mega-chain’s first European location back in 1978. So when the Swedish arm of 7-Eleven invited BVD to take on a rebrand last year, the goal wasn’t to tone down the corporate identity of the chain, as it might have been on this side of the Atlantic.

Instead, the Stockholm-based studio dove into 7-Eleven’s 80-year-old graphic identity, embracing and amplifying its most distinctive elements. At the core of their reimagined brand is the company’s green-and-orange pinstripe pattern, which has fallen out of favor in the past decade or so (perhaps because it’s more likely to remind us of Clerks than good coffee). “The iconic stripes are the take-off point of our design,” BVD partner Rikard Ahlberg told Co.Design. “We used them in a new and more modern way, creating a strong recognizable graphic signal that works in a busy environment.” Alongside the new patterns, Ahlberg and his team resurrected 7-Eleven’s old typeface.

Architecturally speaking, many 7-Elevens in America have chosen to tone down the glaring lights and garish colors associated with its gas-station-rest-stop image. Head into the shop closest to my house, and you’re greeted by a pristine white interior, lit by recessed halogen bulbs and decorated with only a few 7-Eleven logos. For BVD, scrubbing the interiors of brand identity wasn’t an issue—in fact, the idea was to turn up the volume. They redesigned the kiosk components to include a gigantic “Kaffe” sign done in the distinctive lettering, and turned everything a deep hunter green. It’s a bold move, especially considering the attendant cultural cliches about whitewashed Scandinavian design, but it works: the interiors look warm and busy.

According to Ahlberg, the new identity rolled out at the end of this year. It’s unlikely that we’ll see it on this side of the pond, given the differences both in corporate ownership and consumer sentiment, but he’s keeping an open mind—a positive public response in Sweden could invite American execs to reconsider.

[H/t It’s Nice That]

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17 Comments

  • Ellen Libby

    I think it looks great, but my eye went immediately to the missing "11" in their rebranding.

  • Irene Velveteen

    I agree with those saying it looks outdated. 
    But my first impression was 'evolutionary'.I think it's the colours that really say "7/11" more than anything else.
    Successful, I think.... a bit of an over kill with the green counter top. But there's definitely no other place like it. And isn't that the point?

  • Kanon25

    That awful green colour gets worse when it is used on massive surfaces, as in the picture. Worse yet over time as it fades on plastic or laminate - and there's lots of that in-store. I cant understand who made this choice. Simply awful.

    Plus the stripes in this colour combination make American Airlines look like Geniuses in comparison. 

    Simply a catastrophe.

  • Danshier

    I think it's important for everyone who's commenting to note that 7-11's reputation in North America is vastly different from its reputation in other countries. At least where I'm from, 7-11 is a moderately sketchy convenience store and gas station. Known for slurpies, junk food, and not much else. And yet, I've been to a 7-11 in Japan and the experience is completely different. They're cleaner, far less sketchy, and have way better quality products.

  • SPBX

    It's certainly bold! Now if they could just do something about that horrible smell that every 7-11 seems to be plagued with...

  • Christ Culture News

    I'm gonna have to stop into one of the BILLION locations that have started popping up in NYC recently and take a look. Nice decor/redesign indeed. - ChristCultureNews.com

  • imadime

    it's fine--definitely very retro--but 7-Eleven needs to do a lot more than bring back color and pinstripes if it wants to "rebrand" itself ... although i'm not convinced they feel they need to.

  • Whea7

    I dig it.  Good color choices.  While not every aspect of the '70s was great, this style of branding and these colors draw on some of the best of that era.

     

  • monirom

     Yes, American Airlines is going to spin off a subsidiary with Southland Corporation and launch an airline that only flies between the hours of 7 and 11. Limiting, I know, but their selection of inflight snacks will be greatly expanded.