La Compagnie de Provence


I cannot speak or read French. It may be that La Compagnie de Provence’s typo-centric packaging had an even stronger impact on me for that reason. (Undistracted by the meaning of the words, I'm left just to ponder the way it looks: typography as pattern and color.) Another example of the sort of “typographic packaging” —(similar to the Waitrose Cook packaging shown on the dieline last week)— that uses verbiage as its main graphic feature. Seen all together, as they were at Gift Fair, these products make quite an impression.

The first product packaging for La Compagnie de Provence (founded in 1990 by French fashion designers, Philippe Boigeol and Pascal Bourelly) was traditional "Marseille soap" packaged in wrapping paper, tied with hemp rope and with a small wax seal.

(more photos and more to read after the jump...)

Credit for the company’s current, typography-based package design is
shared by art director, Kristin Lee Dufour, (now President of their USA
division) and art director, Bernard Moise
who is also a professor of plastic arts and product design at the
ENSCI, (French National Institute for Advanced Studies in Design) in



I had to include a couple of these enigmatic, black-on-black ones. Kind of nervy from a marketing standpoint, since you can only read the labels if the light is just right! To me they’re reminiscent of Ad Rienhart’s “black paintings” from the 1950’s. Can’t you just hear the cry of the outraged philistines, “Why, this is just a black can! That’s not package design!

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