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When emoticons become inspiration for real-life objects, the connection between reality and the virtual world has come full circle. The Kakao Talk pop-up store in Seoul closes this circle of influence and offers its young customers the opportunity to meet with familiar emoticon characters in the flesh.

Kakao Talk is a Korean mobile instant messaging application with fun-looking animated emoticons that are highly popular and relatable. The pop-op store sells related memorabilia, among which the “Kakao friends” figurines have great success.


The pop-up store recreates the virtual world of the Kakao Talk app, borrowing the vibrant yellow of its UI design to create a bright and fun space. The chromatic pallet is kept simple, with the fresh white floor emphasizing the playful character of this sunny background.

While obviously used as a branding element, yellow is an excellent chromatic choice for a store inspired by a messaging application. Having the ability to create enthusiasm and appetite for communication, the color is perfectly suited to welcome clients with a taste for fun and talk.

Large sculptures representing Kakao Talk emoticons are guarding the store, allowing the young clientele to snap pictures with these recognizable faces. Large disks with oversized two-dimensional versions of the “Kakao friends” are taking the industrial-looking ceiling with its pipes and ventilation ducts into familiar territory.

The Kakao Talk pop-up store and all its identifiable design elements is a perfect example of successful branding and the importance of a recognizable identity in achieving commercial success.

Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2015 HERE.

If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.

Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.

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