Motoretta / Branding & Store Design
Turning an old hardware store in Little Italy, Toronto, into a vintage scooter lifestyle store was a work of love for the entire studio. Getting the opportunity to work with one of the world’s iconic brands, Vespa, was a dream come true.
Motoretta, meaning “little engine” in Italian, was designed to appeal to a broad base of scooter riders and lovers. A Vespa history installation spanned the length of refurbished scooters so customers could learn about the icon’s roots and see how its design evolved and played a role in pop culture across the decades. An espresso bar invited people to stay and chat in the vintage-Vespa paint colour-inspired environment. Scooter apparel, accessories and paraphernalia, a parts zone, and a repairs garage offered a complete scooter experience.
The store and visual identity were given elements of vintage charm and modernity in order to appeal to a diverse audience. From European ex-pats who grew up with Vespa, to mods who are avid scooter club members, to fashionistas who just love the cool factor, we knew not one particular graphic, photo or illustration would suit all. So, we created an eclectic series of custom illustrations that could be used for many applications, and offered an interesting brand image. Postage stamps of the illustrations served to create collector-quality business cards, and doubled as stickers for use on gift certificates, retail bags and letterhead, ultimately giving the brand visual flexibility and fresh appeal. The success of Motoretta was zippy. The owner went on to secure Vespa distribution rights for Canada, opening more stores. Scooters have since become fixtures on the streets of many Canadian cities.
Awards / Communications Arts, The Advertising & Design Club of Canada, Applied Arts, Coupe Magazine, ARC Awards Finalist
Photography / Chris Chapman, Stacey Brandford
Printing / Flash Reproductions
Illustrations / Doug Martin, Blake Morrow, Rob Wigington