Experience your favorite childhood fairytales all over again with The Fairytale Collection, designed by Bessermachen Design Studio. We spoke with the agency to learn more about what inspired these gorgeous boxes of chocolate, why they chose to do paper cut illustrations, the emotions that drive each design, and more.
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
Bessermachen: This was, in many ways, a dream project come through for Bessermachen Design Studio.
Hans Christian Andersen is not only an icon for the whole world, but of course one of the most important persons in Denmark. We’re all brought up on his amazing stories, which seem to last forever.
Sharing his fairytales with new audiences was a great inspiration for going into this project.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with The Fairytale Collection packaging and how did you accomplish it?
Bessermachen: Although we’ve heard his stories so many times before, they have the capability to stay relevant and to fit perfectly into almost every situation you encounter during the course of a lifetime.
So basically, we felt a great obligation to honor this great man and his legacy. And our biggest goal was to make something really unique, and create a packaging design that would be a fairytale experience in itself.
How did you develop the unique background designs for each chocolate?
Bessermachen: Quite a lot of people aren’t aware that besides writing amazing fairytales, Hans Christian Andersen was also a very skilled paper cutting artist. He always brought a pen and a pair of scissors with him and created the most amazing illustrations.
These original paper cuttings are not available for commercial use, so we asked our very skilled illustration artist Niels Ditlev, who we’ve worked with on many design projects over the years, to interpret and create his very own.
The paper cut illustrations, I think, are the key to this project being so very special. Each little box of chocolate tells its very own story in both words behind each chocolate but also told through these beautiful illustrations.
At the heart of these fairytales are emotions (greed, love, etc.). How did you translate these into the packaging?
Bessermachen: I think you’re absolutely right. Hans Christian Andersen’s work is based on big universal themes and emotions. And even though these stories are written more than 150 years ago they are more valid than ever. Just think of The Emperor’s New Clothes, which some people would probably translate into the presidency of Donald Trump.
Actually, in China people are taking masters’ degrees in interpreting new meanings into the stories. But even without a Ph.D. we’ve tried to create our own little interpretation to each of the nine fairytales that are included in the box.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
Bessermachen: Definitely to create an artistic yet widely sellable product without over-commercializing it. Hans Christian Andersen has an important heritage and people all over the world love him for it. Therefore it was extremely important for us to make something truly remarkable and genuine.
If you should pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?
Bessermachen: Besides the paper cuttings, which I absolutely adore, I love all the little details. Every time you look at the packaging you see new details and new illustrations. Also, we’ve put in little Easter eggs in the package to keep the consumers captured.
Also, I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve created a strong visual concept that will be easily transformed into all kinds of branding activities, pop-ups etc.
Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.
Bessermachen: Always start out with having extremely high ambitions for your project. As everybody, who has worked with design knows, you will have to make compromises to make your design manufacturable down the road. So the longer you keep your aspirations up and try to make workarounds to perfect the design, the better the final result will be.
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