Brand-less: An Authentic Lebanese Bakery

Derrick Lin


Design: Raya Chehab
Project Type: Student Project
School: American University of Beirut
Course: Final Year Project
Tutor: Maya Saikali
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Packaging Contents: Bread, Biscuits, Kaak, Flour, Lebanese Pastries
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Cloth bags, Tin Boxes, Glass Jars
Printing Process: Stamping, Screen printing

Today, Brands have overpowered not only the value of the product but also its production and the people behind it… When it comes to traditional goods, there seems to be a large gap between overwhelming brands, where the essence of the good is lost, and brand-less entities that thrive on identity formation. In Lebanon, this is particularly reflected in the realm of bread making. What is particular about brandless shops is that they lack an over conceived branding exercise where the product and its productions are overpowered by the image; their uniqueness is correlated with the authenticity and purity of the delivered products within the food market. Although ‘brandless’ means the lack of a brand, it is impossible for ‘brandless’ shops to lack an identity, whether they are aware of its presence or not.

In light of this, I’m designing a new concept for a traditional local bakery that is neither branded nor completely brandless, but where a system articulates the identity creation, a system that allows the baker, the product, the process and the community to partake in the making. What is specific about this bakery is the fact that it is made by the neighborhood for the neighborhood, without having the fear of a brand settling in. The bakers coordinate with each other to fix a time schedule: to have one baker per day.

I developed a stamp system made with magnets that are interchangeable depending on the kind of bread and the kind of biscuits (Also known as Kaak in Arabic), ranging from different flavors all accompanied by their ingredients. The title is accompanied by an informative text about the baked goods as well as a set of numerical that the baker circles for the expiry date.

To add, this bakery encourages sustainability, all of the packagings are washable and reusable: can be used for other purposes or to be filled with the same products again at the bakery since the used ink is non-toxic and washable.

What’s Unique?
What is unique about this project is its novelty to retrieve the authentic and traditional act of buying bread through a sustainable and reusable packaging. To add, it is the stamping system that makes it even more flexible as a community bakery that can pop up in different regions.

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