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Clarke & Roskrow Opticians - Creating a modern traditional British shopfront Clarke View of Clarke A close up of Clarke View of Clarke and Roskrow, blue building with OPTICIANS in gold signwriting A wider street view of Clarke Painted on window: Niche eyewear, styling advice, advanced eye exams, optical expertise, personal service, great coffee Reverse view of Roskrow painted on window - looking out onto street. Globe pendant bespoke lighting feature by 93 for Clarke Custom notice box made from brass which sits on the wall beside the front door. Clarke The owner of the business proudly standing outside Clarke

Clarke & Roskrow Opticians - Creating a modern traditional British shopfront

When Market Harborough optician Clarke & Roskrow wanted to elevate their high street store fascia to get more impact and attract more customers, they invited 93 to answer their design challenge.

Increasing visibility and presence for Clarke and Roskrow

93ft has worked with Clarke and Roskrow opticians for several years, having designed their brand identity and fitting out the interior of their high street store in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. 

They approached us again to address some challenges with their storefront - they needed greater visibility on an already crowded high street and felt they lacked kerbside presence. The existing storefront had been in place for over 5 years and was looking and feeling tired and in need of a refresh. Additionally, there was an understanding that potential customers were unsure of what the shop was - so if people don’t instantly understand the proposition of the store on first sight, the potential for passing trade is lost.

93ft took a bold approach to elevate Clarke and Roskrow’s shop front which paid off, increasing visibility and impact while retaining a modern heritage look and feel. 

Clarke & Roskrow - Styling Opticians Estd 1974 - signwriting on shop front window with blue tiles below.

View of Clarke & Roskrow’s shop front. Brass details on the cobalt blue rendered walls.

Comprehensive solutions for each detail

We devised a package of comprehensive solutions to the problems of visibility and unclear proposition that Clarke and Roskrow were experiencing. Our branding and interiors teams worked together to finalise our concept with detailed design drawings which were presented to our client. 

These included a complete overhaul of the existing frontage, including paintwork and new tiles, as well as fixtures and fittings designed and manufactured by us. We also supported our client with tendering for suitable suppliers and advised on production costs to assist them with staying on track in terms of both budget and timescale. 

A close up of Clarke & Roskrow’s door number 18 painted and gilded with gold leaf.

Our approach was bold - involving the entire frontage of the building to ensure that Clarke and Roskrow fully owned their retail space  - whilst at its core stripping the design right back to basics, getting each tiny detail right for a tight look and feel and a perfect finish.  

Hand painted modern typography and burnished gold leaf

Our brand team created a dynamic concept involving a maximising of the word Opticians, as well as supporting type content for the fascia, window and door. We added the word “Opticians” in a large typeface across the fascia to correct the problem of passersby misunderstanding the proposition of the shop, and brought the shop name and identity down to eye level. 

View of Clarke & Roskrow’s shop front - OPTICIANS signwritten in huge letters across the whole width of the building.

This was an untraditional decision - usually the business name sits on the fascia - but we felt that this quite radical move was just what Clarke and Roskrow needed. The high street is crowded and space is tight meaning that the name loses impact. Now, it’s instantly obvious what the store offers - no-one can miss it and opportunities for passing trade have increased. 

A wider street view of Clarke & Roskrow. The blue of the building stands out from the other neighbouring retail units.

Our sign writer hand painted all the graphics and wording onto the store front, adding real gold leaf and burnish effects to the type on the fascia. These details really elevate a storefront, giving an authentic and premium heritage feel which is often missing from high streets full of plastic and mass produced signage. 

Painted on window: Niche eyewear, styling advice, advanced eye exams, optical expertise, personal service, great coffee.

Reverse view of Roskrow painted on window - looking out onto street.

Bespoke designed and manufactured lighting

Our manufacturing team designed a bespoke lighting solution to go above the front door. The globe pendant wall light is made from opaline acrylic and brass, and features the Clarke and Roskrow logo. The light stands out - literally - and catches the eye from the street creating instant impact and giving a luxury and bespoke feel to the store. 

Globe pendant bespoke lighting feature by 93 for Clarke & Roskrow.

We also designed and produced a custom notice box made from brass which sits on the wall beside the front door. This again gives that modern heritage feel and is reminiscent of premium and luxury brands and venues of old. 

Custom notice box made from brass which sits on the wall beside the front door. Clarke & Roskrow opening hours.

We also added extra detailing to the front door and made some general fixes, taking care of each detail so our clients didn't have to. 

Creating impact through bold use of brand colour

The old shop front featured one shade of blue on the ground floor and a paler blue on the upper floors. As Clarke & Roskrow owned and operated from all floors of the former townhouse, we opted to paint the entire elevation in the refined brand colour palette which instantly increased the brand presence on the high street, not simply from outside the store, but from right down the street.

Previously, there had been an array of old tiles to the bay window which detracted from the aesthetic we wanted to achieve. We specified and supplied new tiles to be fitted across the whole of the shop front in a complementary blue, which increases the luxury feel of the brand and elevates the store. 

The owner of the business proudly standing outside Clarke & Roskrow.

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