Station retail visual directives

In train stations media, retailers and way-finding compete for the attention of the traveler. However, for the benefit of both the traveler and the retailer it is important to keep information resources organized in a coherent way: when travelers can orient themselves properly, can navigate and find information quickly, they have the peace of mind to visit stores and amenities.

The retail visual directives provide the retailer with guidelines on how to maintain their identity in a coherent and regulated environment to the benefit of themselves and the traveler.

How to maintain the retailers identity in a coherent and regulated visual environment.

Travelers perceive stations as a link between journey and destination. Meanwhile, NS stations is in a process of transformation from Transfer Machines to nodes in the public transport system offering many services, by many providers to a wider range of target groups than just passengers: think of shoppers, pedestrians, flex workers. These are of particular interest in terms retail and catering: a combination of attractive retail and service concepts and high quality amenities will drastically improve the quality of the station experience and may render the station a destination in itself.

The retail visual directive provides information on the application of corporate logo’s, the areas outside shops and the treatment and presentation of merchandise and props in the facade and in the store front.

The retail visual directive is based on the ‘umbrella’ vision: ‘Information in railway stations’.  Some fifty individual directives are contextualized to the site specific architecture of Utrecht central station as well as all individual retail units.

The retail visual directive is faithful to the Vision on Information main starting point: putting the concerns of the traveler central in the design and arrangement of information resources.


Retailers and media, compete with the other visual communication in trying to grasp the attention of travelers. Therefor NS Stations, ProRail and Bureau Spoorbouwmeester have commissioned Reframing Studio to develop a shared ‘Vision on Information in Stations’. In this vision the concerns of the traveler are central for the organization of all information resources. 

The retail visual directives  are based on the following principles:

• Fast navigation allows more time for store visits: if people can orient themselves properly, can navigate and find information quickly, they have the peace of mind to visit stores and amenities.

• A logical organization of retail, hospitality and commercial services contribute to the desired identity of the domains contribute to an attractive and comprehensible station. 

• Stores are representatives of both the station and the retailer.

• Visual clarity in the commercial facades help to ensure a dynamic atmosphere and not a disorderly one. 

• The retailer can primarily differentiate itself by the visibility of the interior. The facade should remain as transparent as possible and entrances should be wide and without obstructions. 

Public design
Project kick-off: 
January 2013
Project delivered: 
January 2014
Service Design
Project size: 
Project developers: 
Arjen Oenema
Emilie Tromp
Erik Kieskamp
Gijs Ockeloen
Michiel Boonacker
Mother project: 

The deliverables are fifty Retail Visual Directives that provide each retailer with information on the visual and technical aspects of the fit-out and application of commercial communication of their particular unit.

Food and retail
Retail design
© Reframing Studio