We Communicate was commissioned by e-cigarette retailer Shanghai Vape to design their visual identity and online store. In creating the first major Shanghai retail brand in this emerging market, the company wanted to draw on the history of Shanghai in order to give the brand a distinctive character and make it more relatable to both Chinese locals and Western expats.
We designed a logo inspired by traditional Shanghai themes such as shikumen (stone-doorway houses), vintage Chinese apothecary and 1930s art deco. The logo represents the core process of ‘vaping’: a dropper is used to fill the vaporiser with juice, and the juice is then heated by an electrical coil, emitting the vapour, which is represented as clouds drawn from traditional Chinese painting. These elements will be familiar to most current users, while intriguing passersby.
We also designed the shop-front signage in a complementary style, along with the slogan ‘Purveyors of finest vaporisers and juices’. The overall result is a modern brand that draws heavily on local period features, brining elegance and authenticity to this new market sector. The Shanghai Vape brand has quickly gained approval from both Chinese and western customers.