Garruzzo’s Sauce

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Design: Isabella Carannante
Project Type: Student Project
School: PrattMWP
Course: Research Analysis and Process
Tutor: Leah McDonald
Location: Utica, New York
Packaging Contents: Tomato Sauce
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass jar, paper, twine
Printing Process: Digital printing, Screen printing

In my Research Analysis and Process class, we were assigned to create a “Side Hustle”: a semester long design project centered around something that excites each of us. The criteria was very open ended, and anything was acceptable as long as it was design based and about something we cared for. We started by making mind maps of our interests until we narrowed down to our final choice.

My project is inspired by the passion story of my grandparents, also known as Nonno and Nonna. Born in Italy, they grew up learning a love for food that carries them throughout their lives to present day. Nonno and Nonna eventually moved to America, where they opened their first restaurant in 1964. For the next thirty years, their dedication to sharing experiences and spreading love to others through delicious food grew stronger and stronger, as they became favorites among the locals of Brielle, New Jersey.

Their four children, including my mother, worked by their sides for many years. Once my grandparents decided to retire, they realized that they did not want to put an end to bringing people together with food. Thus, the weekly “Family Sunday Dinner” was born, where the whole family would come together, eat delicious meals, and enjoy each other’s company. This is a tradition that defined my childhood and youth. A staple of these Sundays was Nonno and Nonna’s tomato sauce. Whether it was combined with pasta, eggplant, chicken or meatballs, it always was accompanied by laughter and smiles from Nonno and Nonna, my parents, my brother, all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and anyone else who joined our dinners.

This brings us to my project, Garruzzo’s Sauce. The title is inspired by my grandparents’ last name, as the recipe is their own. I wanted to create a brand for their tomato sauce that could potentially be seen on the shelves of local convenience or grocery stores, so Nonno and Nonna can continue to share their love and passion beyond our family, just as they always encourage and inspire myself and others to do!

What’s Unique?
Many tomato sauce package designs place a heavy focus on photographic imagery of tomatoes and other sauce ingredients, and they typically have a very traditional Italian style. Because of this, I wanted to incorporate a modern twist on this sort of design. I made graphic line drawings of tomatoes as a pattern across the entirety of the label, which is broken into blocks of color, in resemblance to the Italian flag. I also included the face and inspiration of this sauce: illustrations of Nonno and Nonna, front and center. In addition to this, I screen printed recipe tags that are attached to the jars. The recipe is for Nonno and Nonna’s delicious meatballs – a great pair with their sauce!