Case study:
Hornbach illustrative style development

The process of developing an explanation style!

Hornbach style development by Funk-e


Hornbach challenged us to help them communicating their vision to the entire organization. There are five building blocks that together form the mission, vision and strategy of the company. Of course, it's important that all employees are aware of this; but they were unsure how to realistically reach them all in a convincing way.


Employees need to understand what type of organization they work for and know how to best represent it. It's also important for the customer experience; how will customers know what type of store Hornbach is and why they would choose them over their competitors?



Existing employees may already be aware of the vision, but what about new employees? How does a job applicant or new colleague easily learn about Hornbach's vision?


It's a difficult story to tell; it must have exactly the right look and feel, but it must also be authentic, passionate and powerful. How is it possible to achieve all these things in a clear and efficient way?



In order to be able to explain the vision well, and to be able to radiate that vision to employees and customers, you do not only need the right words, but also the right image. It's for this reason that Hornbach felt it was important to use a custom style for their illustrations.

We start to invent how Hornbach works: what does the Hornbach branding look like? what types of illustrations have they used in the past? When we discussed the style with Hornbach, it became clear that the feeling had to be mainly heroic and real, just like their television commercials. Additionally, they also felt it was important that the story had a star.


So we created "Richard", a Hornbach employee who really knows everything there is to know about the business, and can help any customer no matter their question. Richard is exactly the kind of colleague you'd like to have when starting out, and the person you want to help you when you're shopping at Hornbach!


Using our unique method of purpose-based design, we were able to develop three styles to choose from. These styles did not only fit with the Hornbach branding, but also were the most effective styles to facilitate the goal of increasing awareness.


The result: 3 style proposals

Style 1
Style 2
Style 3
Hornbach style proposal 1

Style 1

Do you see the difference already? The frayed, raw edges around the icons? These formed the basis for the first style. The inspiration for these came from the Hornbach font. Additionally, the shape of the hammer from the Hornbach logo can be found on all kinds of objects and landscapes, such as the clouds and trees. This sleek, yet rough style is rather cheerful and positive!

Hornbach style proposal 2

Style 2

The sleek design of the Hornbach logo is the focus point of the second style proposal. The background is designed with sleek rectangles, while the characters are constructed with friendly and welcoming circles. This precise combination gave the second style proposal a unique and friendly look.

Hornbach style proposal 3

Style 3

In the third style proposal, the role of the customer comes to the foreground. The trough textures from the corporate identity return in this proposal, but the focus is on the characters. Richard is the big, strong helpful employee, but still has a friendly appearance. The customer is smaller and slimmer, but they both radiate passion and decisiveness.

So what was the favourite style proposal? Have a look for yourself! A combination of proposals 1 and 3; including both the rough textures from style 1 and 3. The beard from style 1, and the characters from style 3 together form the ideal combination to communicate Hornbach's vision! The characters radiate decisiveness and passion, and of course Richard looks just like the perfect, helpful employee!

The reasons why you need
an unique style

Rechten van jouw custom sijl
If you choose to have a custom style made, the rights to the style are yours to keep. This way, you can feel free to use this style for all your explanatory content in the future.

Mix & match jouw custom stijl
Exactly what you want
Having a difficult time choosing a style? Not a problem! With a custom style, you can mix and match any style with a different style. Your style will be designed completely in the way you envision it.

Of course, you want your brand to be recognisable in every message you send. To make your message instantly recognisable, we link your brand value and corporate identity to the style.



Your internal communication

starts at Funk-e

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