Paul and Mike – Farm to bar Chocolate

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Agency: Studio Glyph
Business Head: Paul & Mike Vikas Temani
Photographer: Arundhati Rasam
Location: India
Project Type: Concept
Packaging Contents: Chocolate
Packaging Substrate / Materials: 100% Paper
Printing Process: Offset Printing

Studio Glyph partnered with Synthite Industries, a global leader in fragrances and flavours to help develop a new brand of chocolate. Two years in the making, Paul and Mike are the names of the two Caribbean cocoa experts who taught Synthite everything they needed to know about the fine art of making chocolate. The peculiar challenge we faced was the massive gap of knowledge in the market – most chocolate lovers believe ‘foreign’ chocolate is higher quality. Whereas that is not the case. Much like the wine industry, the quality of chocolate has a lot to do with the provenance, genetics and nurture of the crop, along with precision processing techniques. But unlike the wine industry, we chose not to ‘intellectualise’ the chocolate process. At the end of it, chocolate is still a fun, indulgent product. Our sole aim was to democratise fine chocolate – in terms of price, access and knowledge of how it’s made. We assisted the brand to define it’s key distinguishers not just from a brand stand-point, but also from a portfolio evolution stand-point. We had to be sure of how to stand apart in a crowded, ill-informed market, where we were preceded by multiple giants with deep pockets.

The main distinguisher of the product in the market, was that Paul and Mike ‘farmed’ the cocoa trees – something most competitors in our geography could not claim to be able to do. Our brand language constitutes of modern illustrations that represent the farming and processing of the cocoa, along with a colour palette that’s fun, and an illustration style that is contemporary and modern. With much deliberation and discussion, certain tactical elements were designed and included in order to convey certain aspects of the brand – without explicitly saying so, and making it seem academic.

Our client had very limited budgets for education and marketing. Hence, we leveraged every face of our packaging – especially since most of our target consumer was yet to be initiated into the finer aspects of chocolate making. The market in our geography of launch was woeful misinformed. Here, we needed to take on the mammoth task of informing chocolate lovers of the details that they need to look out for while buying chocolate. In doing so, we made the packaging a story telling tool, as well as included interesting trivia for those who were curious. The colourful fun illustrations worked to interest the parts of our audience who aren’t very academically inclined. The terminology we used, the trivia rang home with the connoisseurs. We used multiple tools to make our packaging as hardworking as it is.

Half the challenge in communication design lies in distilling complex information into easy tid-bits that are consumable by the audience, even without any prior knowledge of the subject. We de-coded the complex chocolate making process into a simple 3 step process, featured on all the backs of our ten variant packs.

For any new brand, the first order of business after the product itself, is a photoshoot that conveys aspects of the brand. We worked with photographer Arundhati Rasam to create a series of images that would help us convey the texture and personality of our brand, implicitly. We intentionally kept it texturally rich, however, while it was meant to convey a very rustic vibe of fresh ingredients and a home-grown product, we placed all the elements in our frame with great precision – to convey the precision, proprietary protocols, and depth of science we apply in the making of this precious product.

What’s Unique?

  1. It’s plastic free packaging. In a tropical climate like India that’s a huge risk. But we took it.
  2. It does not feature a single ingredient photographically on the cover. This is a mass-premium product with no photographs of the ingredients or product on the cover.
  3. It’s re-usable closure mechanism allows you to store the half eaten bar back in the fridge, unexposed to odours that make pre-exist. Most other bars have to be ripped open (unless the user is careful).
  4. We added more surface area for education and interesting reading. This was designed to appease to the well informed customer, as well as educate an ill-informed customer when the brand had zero budgets for expensive advertising.