A BESPOKE mixed media wall dedicated to the pioneering and ever-evolving history of Heinz has been unveiled at the brand’s newly opened European Innovation Centre in the Netherlands. ‘Wall 57′, designed and built by London art collective Acrylicize, stands 3m tall and 20m wide in the Centre’s atrium. Serving as a visual showcase and exploration of the brand, both past and present, the wall demonstrates an inspired layout and design that focuses on the concept of innovation.
Initially conceived as an architectural feature, which formed part of the wider building project in Nijmegen, undertaken by interior architects Strategy Plus (formerly DEGW), Wall 57 now stands as the building’s focal point, fusing elements of art installation with architectural detail and proving Heinz’s revolutionary creativity throughout the past century.
I thought it was going to be a piece of Art but what it’s turned into has taken a life of its own Joel Bearden, Heinz brand communication manager
James Burke, creative director at Acrylicize, said of Wall 57: “Working with Heinz on this monumental project has been a rare and extraordinary opportunity to get under the skin of a brand that means something to us all. It’s been so much more than beans and ketchup, with the Acrylicize team travelling to The Netherlands to explore the brand’s archives and convey the results through art.
“We’ve created a one-of-a-kind experiential archive of the entire Heinz brand, with no soup can left unturned. We’re inviting the viewer to engage and interact with the wall, to uncover the many layers and to learn more about the Heinz history from the past 100 years. It’s been an honour to collaborate on a piece of history. We hope that what we have created will stand out as something unique, as a piece of art and heritage, and as something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world – much like the Heinz brand itself.”
Divided into five areas, the wall reflects the brand’s key pillars of innovation: packaging, production and distribution, marketing, the iconic products and recipes and the brand philosophy. To draw these foundations together, Acrylicize took a lead from the iconic Heinz branding and the recognizable logo, designing a wall layout using the famous Keystone shape. Overlaying the logo multiple times, they have created a unique network of 57 ‘windows’. Each of these windows tells an important story about the brand, captured through extensive research and reference to the archives, as well as stretch sessions with key Heinz personnel.
Wall 57 pays homage to the level of detail and craft that goes into each Heinz product, making use of a series of handmade tactile elements, all deeply connected with the heritage of Heinz. From the tomato seed and iconic ketchup bottle to the household fork and fridge, these well-known materials that make up the Heinz brand find a place on the wall.
Mark Atkins, Heinz R&D vice president Europe, who oversaw the project from the early concept, said: “Our aim for this area within the Innovation Centre was to create something intriguing, informative and inspiring. We wanted something as a central point for people upon entering the building, but we didn’t want a monument or corporate propaganda.
“Acrylicize helped us discover what it really was we wanted to convey, starting with an initial concept of innovation. They have brought history to life and left room for more too!”
Joel Bearden, Heinz Brand Communication Manager, said: “I thought it was going to be a piece of Art but what it’s turned into has taken a life of its own. What we now have before us is an eye-catcher that encapsulates not just the history of Heinz, but also the future.”
Wall 57 also makes creative use of lighting to add a sense of constant evolution and positive changeability; neon illuminates the keystones, enveloping the history of one of the world’s most famous brands in the spotlight it deserves.
Inspirational quotes by founder Henry John Heinz are peppered across the wall in celebration of the great entrepreneur and business mind driven by a deep-rooted commitment to innovation that Heinz maintains to this day.
To do a common thing uncommonly well, brings success Henry John Heinz
Diversity is also celebrated throughout the feature piece with an inventive use of mixed media, including illustrations of iconic packaging by Georgina Luck. Heinz heritage is depicted through carefully selected imagery, retro packaging and a series of art and audio-visual installations, as well as an interactive text display.
Each of these compelling stories of the brand emanate from the portrait of H J Heinz, which sits at the centre of the creation, made from thousands of Heinz tomato seeds.
As a creative thinker, whose principles still hold strong to this day, Acrylicize made the bold decision to present H J Heinz’s ethos not as ‘heritage’, rather as a set of poignant principles and values, many of which inform the brand’s innovations of today. In the place of a chronological timeline, viewers will find the old and new presented together on the wall to convey the constant and ever-present impact of the Heinz founder.
The wall is a feast for the senses celebrating all that is unique about one of the most cherished brands in the world.
Check out the video below about the production and story behind Wall 57, plus interviews with the designers at Acrylicize.