M&M's World Orlando

ISP/VM+SD Retail Design Competition Store of the Year
Posted January 23, 2007

The iconic red, blue, green and yellow candies are the stars of the show in the M&M’s World Orlando store. Each chocolate character has been imbued with a distinct personality and incorporated into the space in a variety of forms, both large and small.


“We infused the store with a layer of brand storytelling techniques that draw visitors into the lives of the candy characters – we even designed a cool ‘apartment’ that they live in,” says Brian Shafley, president and creative director at Chute Gerdeman, the design firm hired by M&M’s parent Mars Inc. (McLean, Va.) to help create the space.

The annual ISP/VM+SD design competition is our industry’s Oscar awards. And like the Oscars – where the best-picture winner often takes home awards in several other categories – the M&M’s project won not only the top prize, but also three Special Awards: for innovative concept, fixturing and lighting.

M&M’s clearly liked Chute Gerdeman’s design recipe: It hired the firm to create the M&M’s World New York in Times Square, which opened in December. While that space shares many design features with the Orlando store, it’s also home to several specific-to-New-York touches, such as the giant green M&M portraying the Statue of Liberty.

For an in-depth Q&A with Chute Gerdeman’s design team about their award-winning M&M’s store, click here.

Design: Chute Gerdeman, Columbus, Ohio -- Dennis Gerdeman, principal; Brian Shafley, president and creative director; Wendy Johnson, executive vp, account management; Bess Anderson, director, visual strategies; Steve Pottschmidt, director, design development; Steve Boreman, senior designer; Jon Knodell, designer

Architect: CG Architecture, Columbus, Ohio -- Dennis Gerdeman, principal; Scot Draughn, AE leader; Tom LaPens, AE designer

General Contractor: ICC General Contractors, Geneva, Fla.

Outside Design Consultants: Dixon Entertainment Arts, Henderson, Nev. (creative management)

Premier Management Alliance, Tustin, Calif. (construction management)

Illuminating Concepts, Farmington Hills, Mich. (lighting)

Lewis Engineering- Columbus, Ohio (structural engineering)

M-Retail Engineering, Westerville, Ohio (mechanical and electrical engineering)

Ceiling Systems: USG Ceilings, Chicago

Flooring: Alpine Terrazzo Inc., Maitland, Fla.

Armstrong Flooring, Lancaster, Pa.

Listone Giordano, South Eaton, Mass.

Floor and Wall Ceramic Tile: DalTile, Dallas

United States Ceramic Tile, North Canton, Ohio

Fixtures: B&N Industries, Burlingame, Calif.

Seven Continents, Toronto

Furniture: Continental Office Furniture, Columbus, Ohio

Large Character Elements: Outform, Manila, Philippines

Lighting Effects: Illuminating Concepts, Farmington Hills, Mich.

Metals, Glass and Special Finishes: Advanced Technology, Greensboro, N.C.

American Renolit Corp., Whippany, N.Y.

Móz Designs, Oakland, Calif.

Skyline Design, Chicago

Millwork: Midwest Woodworking & Fixture Corp., North Ridgeville, Ohio

National Mallfront and Design, Peoria, Ariz.

Universal Custom Display, Elk Grove, Calif.

Paint Finishes: Scuffmaster Architectural Finishes, Minneapolis

Sherwin Williams Paint, Cleveland

Plastic Laminates: Wilsonart, Temple, Texas

Formica, Cincinnati

Arborite, Laval, Que.

Pionite, Shelton, Conn.

Signage/Graphics: Sharp Signs, Forsyth, Mo.

B&N Industries, Burlingame, Calif.

National Mallfront and Design, Peoria, Ariz.

Sound Systems/ Special Effects: Electrosonic, Burbank, Calif.

Wallcoverings/Signage/Graphics: Meisel Visual Imaging, Dallas

Photography: Mark Steele, Columbus, Ohio