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Urban/Soup Market Fit for Soup Start-up by Designliga

Urban/Soup Fresh soup to go. Sound good?

Munich, February 14th, 2020. Munich-based company Urban/Soup GmbH has devised a straightforward, contemporary response to all city-dwellers that have had enough of fast food and bakery chains. The company joined forces with Designliga – Bureau for Visual Communication and Interior Design, likewise from Munich, to trial its solution on the market for a twelve-month period.

Designed by Designliga

Photographed by Designliga

Goodbye Double Whopper and your like – hello Creamy Coconut Carrot

The first concept presentation for Urban/Soup GmbH in 2015 announced “This is shit” in huge letters across a photo of greasy fast food. Munich students Tim Maiwald und Daniel Schmel had the idea of a range of tasty soup varieties, including “Creamy Coconut Carrot”, “Pumpkin Sweetness” and “Tom’s Tasty Chorizo Sensation”, as the answer to the spread of fast food in urban areas. Their idea was easy and straightforward in practice, while meeting the most rigorous standards of quality, sustainability and design.

The heart of the Urban/Soup concept involved takeaway soup that could be drunk straight out of the (reusable) jar. Working with a Swiss chef to develop the recipes, they focused on good-quality ingredients complemented by fresh toppings to create explosive taste sensations. Specific viscosity levels ensure consistent enjoyment, mouthful after mouthful.

The initial takeaway concept has been expanded by developing options of in-store consumption and catering. Plans are under way to supply the products via a range of channels – dedicated stores, online or supermarkets – to allow consumers to stock up on their favourites.

Urban/Soup’s corporate identity and its first store, located in Munich’s Glockenbachviertel district, were created by Maiwald himself, a designer.

Space in transition

In preparation for the Germany-wide rollout of the brand as a franchise concept, Designliga honed the brand image and developed and tested a design concept for a variety of store types. Workshops were held taking the company brand name as a starting-point for investigations into the concept of urban living, both in general and in reference to a young, progressive target group. The workshops resulted in a common understanding of urban environments as a space in transition, in which smart connections are being established between an array of influences to kindle the emergence of a new zeitgeist. On this basis, the act of building new connections – rooted in improvisation – inspired the main creative idea of “We’re Working on It”.

Reproducible individuality

The interior design concept translates the main idea into a variety of design modules which serve as design “toolboxes”. They define the colour palette, materials and basic elements for individual store realizations. Free from the ties of specific layouts, they can be combined at will, yet also build a recognizable profile for the brand.

Inspired by the potato soup “Smoky Vienna”, beige is the basic shade chosen for the space, dominating across all materials and items. Perforated wood panels and practical workshop-inspired elements express the main creative idea, offer flexibility and scalability and can be adapted to meet a host of requirements. Structural elements and coverings of expanded metal and metal grilles and bars give a nod to construction fences and boundaries as characteristic objects in changing urban spaces. A recurring motif is the use of yellow connection points in the form of neon lighting, tape and cable ties, referencing improvisation as the wellspring of creation. A colour contrast is provided by the graduated blue of the galvanized steel frames used for the stand-up tables, reflecting the sky under which the takeaway soups are enjoyed.

The corporate design likewise takes the form of a toolbox, with basic modules that can be combined as desired. The imagery is colourful, vibrantly contrasting and varied, featuring subjects drawn from the everyday life of young urban dwellers. Communication design focuses on posters in standard formats for self printing or copying, which demarcate selected areas of the individual store interior while announcing product offers and menus outside and inside.

The overall design concept was realized and tested in three stores in Munich city centre from autumn 2018. By stripping back the parameters to cover the colour palette, materials and a limited number of recurring basic elements, the concept enables scalability and individuality to be maximized for the planned national rollout.

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