Tropical Trading Post


Design a concept that can sell a wide variety of goods. Make it lots of fun, do it inexpensively... and do it in two weeks.

A quirky space with an escalator right through the middle of it became Tropical Trading Post, a small shop on Kalakaua with a month to month lease.

Using the theme of an iconoclastic South Seas trading post, we built the fixtures from found and created shipping crates and hung the merchandise all over the place. The store sold everything from clothing to fish squirt-guns and starfish sandals.

We based the identity system on a series of rubber stamps that simulated the export stamps from various Pacific ports of call. Employees stamped the bags, labels, and display signs in their down time. During the year of its life, the store did very well and the design earned local and national awards. It was also a lot of fun for us and the customers.

Tropical Trading Post Logo

The identity was literally rubber stamped all over the packaging, hang tags and retail environment. Stock brown bags were perfect packages for a trading post.

Tropical Trading Post Logo

We designed the fixtures to look like shipping crates, then plastered them with the rubber stamp graphics. They looked great dressed up with merchandise and fishnets.




Tropical Trading Post Logo

The store's identity was based on a system of rubber shipping stamps from islands all across the Pacific.

Tropical Trading Post Logo


Tropical Trading Post Logo

"Good fun an' good stuffs is job numbah one at Tropical Trading Post"



Tropical Trading Post Logo

The cash wrap was the store's focal point. Note the worn plywood floor and the merchandise hanging from the ceiling. The merchandise was woven into the display and, like a true trading post, there was a feeling in the store that everything, including the store, was for sale.

Tropical Trading Post Logo

This display has a canoe from Tahiti, a photo of an armed insurrection in Samoa, a Barbie and Ken in beachware, and a tiki and a couple of parrots from Bali.


Tropical Trading Post Logo

We hung a world map next to the register and asked customers to stick a pin in the city they hailed from. We had visitors from just about everywhere.

Tropical Trading Post Logo

Tropical Trading Post was tucked in off the main traffic flow of Kalakaua Avenue so we had to get people's attention and draw them in. This signpost also doubled as a focal point for merchandise and was the backdrop for many a tourist photo.