I'm a long-time fan of Askinosie Chocolate based in Springfield, Missouri. Not only of their chocolate, but of their always-exciting packaging (which we've featured multiple times in the past here on The Dieline). Their most recent, an intriguing dark milk chocolate + black licorice bar, is the first in a series of bars in their CollaBARation series. The series emphasizes a collaboration between the chocolate-maker and another specialty ingredient provider. (In this case, Martin Jörgensen, and his licorice factory, Lakritsfabriken.)
The thing with Askinosie that makes their packaging amazing is more than simply design. It goes down to the basics: materials. Their bars are never wrapped in the expected or ordinary. And this bar is no exception.
I set out to get some more details about this interesting wrapper. I couldn't quite tell from the photo what it was wrapped in. It looked initially like some sort of chalk-board-like finish.
Lawren Askinosie (founder Shawn Askinosie's daughter) was kind enough to answer some questions. I'm presenting them "interview style":
Yael Miller: How do you come up with your packaging concepts?
Lawren Askinosie: "My dad, Shawn Askinosie, the owner and founder of the company, typically comes up with the ideas for the packaging by creating an inspiration board and looking through books, magazines, design blogs, etc. to source inspiration for everything from color, typography and texture of the packaging. Also, he works closely with one of our graphic designer and artist friends, Kristina Filler (who also wrote the poem on the front), with whom he designed and executed the packaging for the entire CollaBARation line."
How do you figure out what material will be used in your packaging?
"It is important to us that our packaging be sustainable, envrionmentally friendly, and useful; these things greatly impact the materials we choose. We also want to be different and think of different ways to package chocolate, other than just wrapping it in foil and paper. We don't look at paper the way normal people do."
How do you source some of your specialty materials?
"We souce all of the materials ourselves. It is something we takes very seriously but also have fun with at the same time."
What is the material that's used for the dark milk chocolate + black licorice bar packaging?
"For our core line we used a brown waxed bag. For this new CollaBARation line, we used the same wax bag but in white."
How did you print/finish the packaging to get that neat chalky effect?
"The chalky effect you see is from the insert inside the bag. (Thanks to Kristy Filler.) We did not print on the bag itself, just the insert inside (we also printed on the inside of the insert and we discuss the concept of the CollaBARation line, as well as our collaborator in the project). The glare from the insert inside the waxed bag probably gives it the "chalky"-looking effect you're talking about."
What challenges arose when sourcing, designing and printing the material?
"Perhaps the biggest challenge was deciding how to clearly differentiate the bars from one another. We haven't released those bars yet, but when we do you will see that we really strove for cohesion and also clear differentiation with this line."
Packaging designed by Kristina Filler