This New Absinthe Has a Stunning Collage-Inspired Label

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Randy Mora designed the stunning packaging for A. Junod Absinthe. The design features a collage-style label that is adorned with beautiful botanical illustrations and delicate gold foiled elements. A. Junod is a new Absinthe brand that prides itself from being made in France, and with this packaging is sure to be a great addition to any bar.

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“I was commissioned to update the brand structure through a new design for the label and packaging. A full illustrated label was created to give a new and refreshing face to A. Junod. I drew upon the richness of absinthe’s history, as well as its mystical and even supernatural qualities that so much inspired the bohemian culture of its time.

In order to capture A. Junod’s renewed and exotic nature, I wanted to integrate the two facets by which absinthe has been known in popular culture. The first one, that focuses on its formidable qualities, as a green elixir with healing powers that eventually served to inspire numerous artists and writers, and the second one, as an addictive beverage that supposedly incited frantic behaviors and hallucinations among them.”

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“I approached both facets with a poetic and mystical tone. The objective was to integrate these concepts into a main character, an updated version of the green fairy, I wanted to create a world around her as magical and mysterious as the drink itself. 

The logo, monogram and lettering were in charge of Simon Londoño, ‘Le Monsta’, he took inspiration from classic graphics and production methods from the Belle Époque. The logo was crafted with a classic letterforms style, bold weight, with subtle ornaments and chisel finished forms. All this without missing the simplicity and readability of it. 

Some details, both on the neck and main label, are printed with a nice golden foil, greenish hues prevail on the composition, and a pale ocher added to the background to enhance the natural color of absinthe.”
 

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Designed By: Randy Mora

Lettering: Le Monsta

CGI: Bao Doan

Location: France

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La Naya is a Luxurious Limited Edition Chocolate

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Gabija Platukyte designed the rich and luxurious packaging for LA NAYA chocolate, a new company that wants to bring high-quality product to chocolate lovers everywhere.

PROBLEM: 
LA NAYA chocolate is a young company with one line of chocolates. Now they want to introduce a new, limited edition line of chocolate for small boutiques and shops for chocolate lovers.

TASK:
To create packaging for the Limited Edition chocolate. It should be simple, yet exceptional, easy to package and transport.
 

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SOLUTIONS: 
UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY
The packaging is based on the way the chocolate tastes – you get the impression only when you try it. Because of that, the outside packaging is minimal: bold colours and gold foil. When you open it you may find the graphics and beauty inside. What is more, each colour reflects the flavour and cocoa bean notes. It was carefully discussed with the chocolate maker until we reached the best compromise. 

COMFORTABLE PACKAGING
What is more, the dielines created for this line are comfortable to pack and easy to open. It has no glued parts and a locking area on the back side, moreover, when it is open, it comes in a shape of a flower blossom to match the whole concept.

HANDMADE ILLUSTRATIONS
To emphasise the amount of work needed to make this bean to bar chocolate, we selected handmade illustration. They were created based on flavours for each chocolate bar.

SPECIALLY CREATED CHOCOLATE SHAPE
There was a long discussion about chocolate size and shape until we finally reached the dimensions we have now. It is unusual for the chocolate as it is a little bit more of a prolonged square, not too big, not too small – comfortable to hold in your hands. The shape enhanced the concept of La Naya chocolate – it reflects the mountains in La Naya village.
 

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Designed By: Gabija Platukyte
Photography: Benas Navanglauskas
Client: LA NAYA chocolate
Location: Lithuania
 

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Compartes Chocolate Has Some Serious Old Hollywood Heritage

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Starting a business is easier said than done—from startup costs to finding suppliers and endless unexpected challenges. This week we’re chatting with Jonathan Graham of Compartes to learn more about the nitty gritty of how he took the the brand into the chocolate shop we know and love today.

Read part 1 and part 2 of Compartes’ journey.

Did you have investors? If so, how did you work to line them up?

Jonathan Graham: No, Compartes has no investors

What was your biggest expense in founding Compartes? What ended up being way more affordable than you’d imagined?

Jonathan Graham: The biggest expense has definitely been packaging—I have 100% custom boxes made. With the truffle boxes, we started out with these beautiful black boxes and I created a clear insert that is custom made for each box, so each truffle is positioned to look like an individual piece of art. It was so important that this striking black box contrast with the vibrant chocolate. Fast forward to bars, I hand design each of the boxes. I take elements of the bar, and create something that epitomizes each flavor in a funky, fun, chic way.

Your new brick and mortar shop has been described as the “Great Gatsby meets Willy Wonka.” What design aesthetics influence your brand, and how did the design sensibilities of your product line translate into the design of the physical space of your shop?

Jonathan Graham: Compartes is heavily influenced by LA heritage and Art Deco plays a huge role in the Compartes brand. Being that we’ve been in business since 1950, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra were all customers, so we wanted to evoke this rich heritage that is quintessentially LA. You’ll see that represented in my packaging. I use a lot of Italian design elements as a nod back to Mrs. Compartes. I think it’s important to have this root of history and tradition in all that I create. This is not a new company so it is important to show our heritage in a new modern, and fun way. It’s glamorous, chic and unique. All of those things are represented in our brick and mortar design. Kelly Wearstler designed our newest location in Westfield Century CIty—everything is custom made.

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You’re an LA native. Tell us how the city has influenced the design and flavors of your chocolate line? We’re guessing LA is the only city where you can find Kale flavored chocolate? 😉

Jonathan Graham: Being from LA of course, I draw inspiration from my home city. I’m inspired from everything that’s around me. Most days I am here at the chocolate factory for hours on end, but as I drive home under a blanket of palm trees in Beverly Hills I am inspired. I don’t get to do much outside of work, but being around in this melting pot of a city, all of those things do play out in the flavors I create and the designs of my packaging.

With the Kale Bar I began seeing kale on every single menu in Los Angeles so I thought why not make a chocolate kale bar. But the great thing about LA is that when people come in for the Kale bar more often than not, they will leave with one of our other bars like the Donut & Coffee bar which features donut chunks from some of the best donut shops in LA. That’s what’s funny about LA: everyone wants the best of both worlds.

All of my bars feature some of my favorite things about LA (covered in chocolate)


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Tell us about some of the flavors developed through partnerships with arts and culture venues like the Museum of Ice Cream, or your line designed by Kelly Wearstler? How have those limited edition flavors/partnerships influenced your brand?

Jonathan Graham: We’ve got tons and tons of flavor—over 100, and over 300 truffle flavors.

I am Constantly trying to create new items, and I try to push myself and think about the next big thing.

My style evolves and changes along with the Compartes brand. I took over when I was 19 and reinvented the brand. I am now 33 and it’s a completely different brand, and I always want to evolve.

We have done collabs with Kelly, J Crew, Beverly Hills Hotel…all the collabs are with people I am excited by, and it really is an honor and exciting to do these collabs. We get asked about partnerships all the time, but it has to make sense with the brand and what we’re doing. I respect and admire each of my collaborators for their creativity and that’s what really influences our brand’s creativity  

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What are your favorite or most unique flavors that a newcomer to your line should try?

Jonathan Graham: I cannot give just one of course, so I will give a white, dark, and milk option (or two):

  • Dark: Fruit Cocktail, which is brand new. The design on the packaging is from a painting that I hand painted and is hanging in my home. I slightly adjusted the colors to mimic the fruits I used so it’s very special to me. Oh, and the S’mores bar! That one is special because it features images of my dogs on the back, Samson, Rocco, and Sebastian!
  • White: Cookies & Cream, which features chunks of oreos, puree of oreos. It might be the most amazing and delicious bar I’ve ever had. Also our Holiday flavor Cinnamon Toast Crunch—people go CRAZY for it
  • Milk: I love our Potato Chip Crisp Bar—It’s a great mix of salty and sweet

What resources were the most helpful in getting the business started—websites, magazines, software, etc.?

Jonathan Graham: I really did not know where to start in terms of building the brand so I have done most of it myself. I do all our photography, I run our Instagram account and website—in that way I’ve learned how to do all these things. It’s evolved through necessity, I learn more each day. I just go with my gut and do what I know. I don’t have a playbook or rules to follow and I think that’s what led to me creating such a unique brand. I’ve built the brand through my heart which really sets it apart.

How do you feel that the packaging/branding for Compartes is successful in communicating the values and mission of your brand?

Jonathan Graham: I think Compartes packaging is sophisticated yet funky and cool and chic, all at the same time. These are some of the words that have been used to describe Compartes in general and I think it translates to our packaging. When you look at the packaging you can tell there’s so much thought put into each detail; each and every chocolate box, from its gold wrapping to the triangles that make up the chocolate bars themselves. The designs are so high quality that when you open the bar you know you will be eating the highest quality bar there is. The bars always say LA on them, and I think that’s really important—we’re sold nationwide, when you see LA you know it’s made here.

I do all the designs myself and I constantly challenge myself to create something better.


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Margaret Andersen
Margaret is a freelance graphic designer and writer based in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the California Institute of the Arts. She writes for AIGA’s blog Eye on Design, and is currently designing futuristic things for USC’s World Building Media Lab.

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This Chocolate Energy Brand Gets a Reinvigorated Look

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BeOn, the chocolate energy brand has recently undergone a full strategic rebrand with the help of global strategic brand design agency BrandOpus. The rebrand encompasses a new name, new identity and new business model.

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Previously called Energems, BeOn provides great tasting, bite-sized chocolate gems that can be eaten on the go and provide as much caffeine as the average cup of coffee.

In a fast-paced, convenience driven culture, time and energy comes at a premium for many and for years there has only been a few alternatives to coffee. BeOn delivers a little lift to consumers so they can be ready to go, whatever the occasion. This new format has opened up the energy category to a new market, looking for an alternative to the high sugar, jitter inducing energy drinks.

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Our brand strategy and naming positions BeOn as a wellness lifestyle brand. In order to drive relevant meaning, we introduced symbolism to the brand identity that represents the idea of self-optimization. Expressing the idea of being on target, BeOn allows people to switch on the best version of themselves. Backed by a powerful masterbrand look and feel, the design communicates a strong and confident personality whilst achieving effective stand out across all touchpoints.

Whereas previously Energems was only available in drugstore and supermarkets aisles, BeOn now has a subscription based model in order to better meet the needs of its consumers. The new model will deliver chocolate energy straight to your door.

Kimberly Dunphy, Creative Director at BrandOpus says, “BeOn needed to shift from its niche position in the supplements aisle to become relevant for the more mainstream ‘on the go’ consumer. The rebrand is single-minded, bold and energetic which is exactly how you feel once you’ve tried BeOn.”

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Designed By: BrandOpus

Location: New York City

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Early Bird Is Slowly Approaching. Are You Attending The Conference Of The Year?

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This is not the future.
This is today. This is now. This is the next.

Packaging and consumer brands haven’t changed much in 100 years. Until now. This year’s conference will explore the evolution and future of brand experience. We have arrived at a moment where everything is changing, yet everything and anything is possible. The Dieline Conference will show you how to embrace not only what’s coming around the corner, but what might already be here. 

Join us this spring for the design conference of the year. April 30 – May 4 2018, Boston – Hynes Convention Center at HOW Design Live


USE PROMOCODE: DIELINE100 TO SAVE $100

Learn More + Register Today

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Building Anticipation through Luxury Packaging

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By: Anil Kakar

In an age of instant gratification, luxury brands aim for the opposite. They intentionally work at delaying gratification for a heightened sense of anticipation. No other brand does this better than Apple, which builds anticipation at every stage of a consumer touchpoint, from pre-orders and the keynote address at the launch, all the way to the product packaging stage. Almost all of us have surely come across unboxing videos of an Apple product and this quite obviously has been a well-planned affair.

Creating mystery, elevating anticipation by concocting a layered unveiling experience can forge deeper brand relationships and leave the consumer feeling rewarded at the end of the process.

What are the several ways by which one can build anticipation through luxury packaging?

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Build interaction

Materials can help build interaction through a user-initiated process of unravelling of details. Think Treasure Hunt, wherein you drop clues to the user with the final goal of getting to the product. There are various ways to achieve this and these may range from pull tabs, butter paper, pop-up graphics, or satin ribbons. The key is to walk the tightrope between keeping it intuitive and keeping it mysterious so that the user feels rewarded and not frustrated at the end of it all.

For example, the Australian wine brand 19 Crimes launched an augmented reality (AR) app this summer. The app brings to life the characters on the brand’s bottles.

This first-of-its-kind app will animate three of 19 Crimes’ criminals-turned-colonists. Hovering a mobile device over the bottles will bring the character on the label to life, sharing their stories of rule breaking that sent them across the ocean to Australia.

The AR app gives a voice to 19 Crimes Red Blend’s John O’Reilly, who recounts finding love after avoiding the hangman’s noose; the dark red blend The Banished’s James Wilson, who shares his tale of triumph after a conviction for treason; and the newest addition, 19 Crimes’ first female, Jane Castings, who admits to her crimes of thievery, and is depicted on the label of 19 Crimes’ first and newly available white wine, Hard Chard.

Create surprises

Is there a way we could build an experience for the olfactory organ? What if we wrapped a summery dress around butter paper infused with a floral fragrance? That would most definitely help create memorable signature olfactory moments with the potential for long-lasting associations with the brand.  

Similarly, one can experiment and create tactile experiences with the help of bevelled edges, spot varnish printing over a matt background and so on which can create important cues which define a brand. Satin ribbon closures are one such choice among luxury marketers which build a luxe experience.

And while we are on the subject of touch and smell, the audible can’t be far behind.  Luxury packaging does away with high pitched materials such as cellophane and blister packs for materials which are heavier in weight so as to do away with the high pitched sound these materials make. After all, luxury is always subtle.

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Ensure quality

In the luxury segment, there can’t be any room for compromises. If we expect the consumer to shell out top dollar for a product, it’s in our interest to meet, if not exceed these expectations. And even though it might sound like an obvious statement at first, far too many brands ignore this aspect. Delivering luxury through packaging design in advertisements is one thing—delivering the goods is quite another. Warping and bubbling of packaging while in transit in humid conditions can totally ruin a product experience.

Case in point: Chocolates can melt in transit, especially in the hot and humid months in India, ruining both the packaging as well as the product experience. To this end, while designing packaging for Koko Artisanal Chocolates, our client suggested placing an ice-pack at the bottom to ensure optimal temperature. We decided to create a space at the bottom of the back wherein we could slip in the ice-pack. This ensured that the product, as well as the packaging, were both intact when it finally reached the consumer.

These few rules can make the difference between packaging which is a luxurious keepsake and packaging which is tossed straight into the wastebasket.


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Anil Kakar
Anil has 25 years’ experience in advertising. Over the years, he has worked with agencies such as Leo Burnett, Enterprise Nexus (Lowe), SSC&B Lintas, Publicis and Percept Hakuhodo in Mumbai, India. Anil’s work has earned over 100 awards. He has been a member of the jury at the New York Festivals, DMA, Outdoor Advertising Awards and Goafest, 14 years in a row. Anil founded Gasoline in 2011,an independent agency specializing in design and luxury brand communications.  

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The Packaging For These Healthy Snacks Reinforce a Natural Organic Feeling

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Gabija Platukyte designed this super cute patterned packaging for Tundra, a Lithuanian brand of healthy snacks.

“Tundra is a Lithuanian brand which produces healthy sprouted buckwheat snack bars made only from natural products. Buckwheat is used in production and is grown in Lithuania. They are carefully selected as well as the nuts, dates and raisins that go into the product.

The task was to create an eye catching packaging design which would reflect the brands’ ideology.”

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Solution 1: Colours 
We have selected the craft paper which has a natural feeling and is associated with homemade products. Moreover, supplementing colours are also inspired by nature and the main ingredients in each flavour. 

Solution 2: Bold Graphics 
The style of the unique illustrations were selected to be bold, eye-catching and iconic. It is simple, yet conveying the concept. It also easily identifies the main ingredient of each flavour. 

Solution 3: Shape and Additional Graphics
The packaging is comfortable, easy to open and reuse. It has a lock on the backside, so the product stays fresh longer. Additional graphics were created to match the mood and add value with easily legible text.”

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Designed By: Gabija Platukyte

Location: Lithuania

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The Fun Packaging For These Chocolates Were Inspired By Paper Cutouts

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Will Echols designed this fun packaging for Markham & Fitz Chocolate. The designs feature beautifully colored flat-style illustrations and patterns that breathe life and allow the brand to stand out from other chocolate retailers.

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“Local Northwest Arkansas chocolate company Markham & Fitz recently rebranded from Hello Cocoa. With the rebrand, M&F wanted to stand out among other chocolate makers with fun and colorful packaging, while maintaining a feel of high quality, handmade product.”


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“Many of the illustrations began as cut paper. Combining the imperfections and goofy shapes with a rounded sans-serif, M&F is friendly and unintimidating, but still holds a sense of class with the gold foil and thick paper.”

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Designer: Will Echols
Client: Lauren Blanco; Markham and Fitz Chocolate Makers
Printer: Roark Group
Location: Arkansas, USA

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Picky Kids Will Love Homepride’s Meals and Their Adorable New Look

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Simple, easy and a cupboard staple for many, Homepride is a favourite amongst families. Now, Homepride Kids looks to stir up the children’s food category with an adventurous range of cooking and pasta sauces created to reassure parents and excite fussy young palettes. Having designed Homepride’s All American range, Robot Food were asked once again to take the lead creatively with a sub-brand filled with fun (and Fred, of course).

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In a hyper mature children’s food category, nobody was owning a main meal solution for the difficult-to-please, developing taste buds of 4-7 year-olds. Homepride wanted a sub-brand that would challenge the category as a relevant competitor and appeal to demanding millennial parents (representing a significant percentage of the target audience). As a brand trusted by families, it was important that the new sub-brand still be Homepride proud, but clearly differentiated as a product for the little ones.

Big kids at heart, Robot Food channeled their inner child to create a fun and engaging personality for the sub-brand, putting Fred at the centre of the adventure. Illustration, contemporary colours and an imaginative use of food photography all come together to tell a new story for Homepride – one packed with over 80 grams of veg, exotic but mild, kid-friendly flavours and giant tomato space hoppers.

And there’s something for the parents too. While Robot Food wanted a look and feel that would appeal to kids, packs speak directly to parents. A reassuring tone of voice offers up a helping hand while prioritising the important “grown up stuff” that busy parents need to know quickly.

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Andrey Sokirkin, Marketing Controller of Cooking Sauces at Premier Foods, said, “Fred has never looked younger! Robot Food have done it again and delivered a great looking brand that’s sure to stand out on shelves. We’re excited to see what Fred does next!”

Ben Brears, Senior Designer at Robot Food, said, “This range is as much for parents as it is for kids. We understand how stressful meal times can get with young children and wanted to inject some fun into the design, bringing play time to tea time if you will.”

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Designed By: Robot Food

Location: Leeds, UK

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