Designing the Four Winters ice cream experience (Or when my kids finally understood my job!)
Recently I had the pleasure to give “career talks” at a number of private schools around Amman. You know; the kind of talk where you have to explain to high school kids what it is that you actually do.
Now, SYNTAX’s portfolio spans over 18 years of design projects. When we show our portfolio to professional adults, we mostly manage to impress them with our colorful slides. But let’s be honest. Tenth graders are a tougher crowd. I mean, what on earth does “web presence of a telecom” or “a brand for an outsourcing firm” or “UI/UX for a financial app” mean to those kids. Boring. That’s what.
So there I was getting them all pumped about about a career in design, and all I could show them was a “brand strategy” and “UX/UI”. But when an icon of a black and white penguin appeared on the projector screen, a theater full of kids shouted in unison: FOUR WINTERS.
Four Winters – the brand experience we created for our friends the ice cream revolutionaries – has made my school presentations cool. And that’s not only because the Four Winters guys are really cool; as cool as the -196 C degrees liquid nitrogen which they use to freeze the liquid ice cream, or what we call “freezing the seasons”, in front of their customers eyes.
It’s cool because everyone “gets” ice cream. Like my kids for example.
OK! So they know their mom and dad are architects. But except designing our own house, we don’t have other architectural works to show them. I can’t point to a tower and say “see son, I designed that”. Bummer.
But when the first prototype shop of Four Winters opened in Abdoun over two years ago, not only could I point at that shop and say “kids, our company designed that shop”, and even better, they could go in and HAVE CRAZY ICE CREAM!
In fact, my oldest son was on a sort of summer internship with SYNTAX at the office when we worked with the Four Winters founders Abu Ali, Ali and Abid and their growing team. He was there when we dreamt up the brand and its business DNA together. And here is a secret I am giving away for the first time. Some of the ideas we developed were actually inspired by some food experiences pointed out to me by my son during our family vacations. My younger kids also participated in an early tasting session at the Four Winters’ make-shift lab, tucked away in one of Amman’s industrial zones.
So ice cream. Yeah. My kids get it. My mother gets it. And in Four Winters’ case it looks like the whole world will get it. Starting with London.
In the first half of this year, we were busy working with Four Winters’ dynamic CEO Zeid Zabian designing their first London shop which recently opened in London to great reviews. And more shops in the Middle East are on their way.
Our digital team also has been busy building a super-rich website for the company, bursting with delicious videos and photography which you can check out now at FourWinters.co.
It’s a brand made in Jordan, co-created by SYNTAX and courageous entrepreneurs to delight and surprise children, high school kids, parents and grand parents alike. It’s taking its first steps to become a global brand. It’s also a perfectly simple and engaging showcase on how innovation, design and branding can create great companies. Cool, ha?