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12 May 2021

The keys to interior decorating in the Nuuk Ice Lovers ice cream parlour

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5 min.
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Soul Estudio Branding has been inspired by urban culture and a cosmopolitan lifestyle to create the image of this establishment that wants to de-seasonalize the consumption of ice cream.

Raúl Pena, Art Director of Soul Estudio Branding

Soul Estudio Branding is an independent studio founded in mid-2020 by Raúl Pena De la Rosa, a designer who has developed interior design projects for major hotels, commercial spaces, offices and companies in all areas from his previous Koan studio. At Soul, the goal is to incorporate new disciplines, always with strategic design as the horizon, to connect brands with their audience from the creative experience.

Pena is responsible for the interior design of Nuuk Ice Lovers, an ice cream parlour from Huelva, created by Jesús de la Corte and Juan Martín with a very clear business philosophy: 100% natural ingredients from all over Spain, maximum quality, daily production and biodegradable and compostable material (tubs, glasses, spoons, etc. ).  

1.- Is interior design an important aspect of ice cream parlours? Can it draw in new customers?

Interior design is a powerful sales tool. Customers today are not content just to buy a good product. We must aspire to more. An ice cream parlour should offer a different shopping experience that provokes emotions.  

A person must begin to enjoy an artisanal ice cream before it reaches their hand. With this premise, there is no other option but to take care of every last detail. Total success comes later, when in the consumer's head there is only the desire to return to that establishment and the need to share the experience with more people.

2.- What are the secrets to making the design of a premises work?

For us the secret is to perfectly connect the brand image with the space. The objective is clear; offer a super-product that will make you fall in love and get hooked. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to work in depth on several fundamental levels: the first level, of course, is the product. Without a good product, everything else is meaningless. Second, when a product is born, a brand is born. It is vital to have a solid brand that is well built and that perfectly communicates the values that this product offers to the market. Third, the wrapping. That's where packaging design and point of sale interior design come into play. Last but not least is creating a smart, attractive and persistent marketing and sales strategy.  

All these levels must be balanced and connected with the same force. The moment one of these departments is neglected, we can be sure that we are doomed to failure.

3.- What are the current trends in ice cream parlour design? Luxury? Practicality? Modern, rustic or urban premises?

I don't think there is a very marked trend. Each project depends on its conditions and limitations. In addition, experience tells us that it is a mistake to try to hunt down the prevailing trends, since each geographical area has its own cultural and climatic characteristics... to which you have to know how to adapt.  

In this sense, the important thing is to be well advised by design and marketing professionals at all times and create the right tailored strategy for each project.  My advice is to find your own, exclusive hallmark with timelessness in mind as regards design. The passage of time is quite cruel with spaces that have been designed to reflect the prevailing fashion of the moment.

Success story: Nuuk Ice Lovers

Nuuk's goal has been to make the ice cream parlour non-seasonal. For the ´Ice lovers´ of Nuuk, every month and all the hours of the day are conducive to enjoying a fantastic artisan ice cream. Nuuk wants to be that space that knows how to integrate into the urban atmosphere. Nuuk is a living gastronomic space that never ceases to amaze visitors with new product lines. All the design of the space must respond and reflect that daily activity, reinforcing the image of master craftsmen. 

Our best marketing strategy is still word of mouth. Nuuk got to know about us in the same way as many other clients, through another studio client who spoke highly of us. We met up and showed them some of our projects and our work philosophy. We immediately connected with Jesús de la Corte and Juan Martín. Both have been deeply involved in every detail, taking an active part in the whole process. When you have that involvement of the owners, the chances of the project being a success multiply.

"The project is always open"

At Nuuk we have designed the entire concept in a comprehensive manner, from naming to corporate identity, 360º branding and interior design. We have invested approximately 4 months. Let's say that it takes a month to design the whole concept and, in this case, 2 months for the execution. Although by some measure the project is always open, because it is essential to constantly keep your eyes open, hold regular meetings and react to the needs and behaviours of customers in their relationship with the brand.

"Nuuk is a perfect way station where artisan ice cream lovers gather"

Nuuk is making a big breakthrough in the ice cream market. We have been inspired by urban culture, and by a cosmopolitan lifestyle where the prominence and colour are provided by the product. We didn't want to look like an ice cream parlour, Nuuk is a haven, a perfect way station where artisan ice cream lovers gather. As simple as that.

We have opted for a visual language based on the continuous contrast of materials. In this way, classic elements appear, such as the small-format tile on the floor and the original brick on the walls, as opposed to polished resin and stainless steel surfaces. 

Regarding lighting, we use projection systems with warm light in contrast to the neutral light emitted by the showcases. Corporate metal curtains and custom-designed service furniture appear as differentiating elements with a grand personality. 

The product menu can be found both on digital screens and on traditional slate boards.