Crit* Allerums

Allerum is a Swedish brand of cheeses from Skånemejerier, a former farm cooperative bought in 2012 by Lactalis, the largest dairy business in the world. Stockholm, Malmö and New York-based multidisciplinary design studio Amore, who have worked with Skånemejerier since 1994, developed a new packaging solution for the Allerum range that, taking its cues from handwritten deli signs, employed a contrasting, mixed typographical solution which aided in a 56% rise in sales.

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The difficulty of working this amount of content into such an awkward shape has been neatly surmounted by a varied typographical and illustrative division, and a predominately top to bottom structure. It quickly establishes tone from a distance through the collective, distinctive and broadly understood aesthetic of different letter styles, and leads the eye through simple layout and type size on closer inspection.

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The Allerum logo-type makes good use of the width and shape of the pack. Its tall letter-forms, small s, underline detail, type-block depth, bold and uppercase authority and solid letter-spacing, set along a curved baseline, establishes a clear, traditional quality. A farm illustration and date above introduces the themes of heritage and - although perhaps a little dishonestly as it is now owned by a large firm - the brand’s small farm provenance. Below the screw detail, curve and radius of the the Långlagrage container and broadly spaced sans serif forms neatly underline and divide brand and product with a sign-like, local village sensibility.

Herrgard’s condensed, tall x height and tightly spaced serif characters are an unusual but interesting highlight while Greve, Svecia and Prast, sharing a similar spacing, offer differing weights and individual quirks that work well to subtly convey individual personality. A concept that is enhanced by the bold, irregular shapes of the numerical elements at the centre which are also utilised as watermarks across the full surface of the packs. Hand drawn flourishes and uppercase sans-serifs either side add an enthusiasm, lighter humanistic and crafted quality that extend further down into a loosely rendered and informal combination of sentence case serif and script. A playful and unusual union that have the embellishment and inexperienced typographic authenticity of homemade signs rather than the polish of a design agency which also appears in the largely isolated flavour profiles in the top right-hand corner.

Both type choices deliver a sense of individual expression, the serif through an strange S and sharp contrast of fine and broad stroke widths, and the natural fluidity of handwritten notes, each appearing to be hand rendered, bound together by illustrative details and frame. These are very much in keeping with the drawing of chalkboard signs, an aesthetic associated with contemporary delis and the regional craft quality of farm markets.

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The deep tones of the colour palette, choices that could perhaps be associated with old, painted agricultural machinery, provide a traditional, high quality and contrasting backdrop to the contemporary nature of the bright yellow and red numbers, placing maturity and craftsman's patience at the very the heart of communication. These are enhanced by a tactile matt surface treatment that avoids a saturated gloss.

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It is a solution that conveys difference in flavour profile through typographical and illustrative nuance. These are bound by a clear structure, good use of letter size and contrast of form and colour that makes the most of an unusual pack shape. It is busy but not cluttered, and appropriately leverages established and long serving typographical shape and hand finished aesthetic to bridge a traditional, local past and a high quality, artisanal present.

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Richard Baird

Richard is a British freelance design consultant and writer who specialises in logos, branding and packaging. He has written for Brand New and Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine, Logology, Los Logos, Logolounge, The Big Book of Packaging and runs the blogs BP&O and Design Survival.

Twitter:@richbaird

Blog: BP&O

Portfolio:richardbaird.co.uk

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