How TIQLD’s Unexpected Spice Combinations Inspired its Bold Packaging

TIQLD adds some real spice into the traditional spice rack. This line of spice blends work well for meat, fish, and veggies, packing in loads of flavor without requiring consumers to buy each individual spice and create the blend themselves. We spoke with Co-founder & Creative Sam Lane at Alphabet, the designers behind this bold and playful packaging, to learn more about creating the guiding theme, bringing the culture of India to life through the packaging, creating the custom typeface, and much more.

Talk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

Alphabet: Our client for this project, Jyotika, was a big lover of home-cooking but realised that most millennials don’t want to buy a million different herbs and spices to make one single recipe.

She decided that she wanted to create a series of Spice blends that can be easily added to Fish, Meat or Veggies to create delicious Indian flavour, quickly and easily. Jyotika came to us with the name TIQLD and the idea that she wanted to really pack a punch with the brand in order to reflect the flavours of the product itself.

We were pretty much given free reign on the concept side of things and came up with the concept of ‘unexpected combinations.’ We wanted to bring the idea of making meals more bold and adventurous into the brand imagery. The structure of the illustrations combines the base ingredient that the spice works with (either meat, fish or veggies) and juxtaposes this with an unexpected abstract element that visualises the story that accompanies the spice blend.

What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with TIQLD packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Alphabet: As TIQLD is a unique range of Indian Spice Blends, we really wanted to create a product that would stand out on the supermarket shelves and do the product justice.

Our task was to bring the flavours, tastes, cultures and experiences of India to life and we achieved this through quirky branding, playful packaging, and witty bold marketing.

Tell us more about the process of creating this custom typeface.

Alphabet: We researched quite heavily into a lot of traditional Indian sign-painting before creating the typeface. We wanted to create something that referenced this subtly, whilst still being bold and contemporary enough to stand out to a western audience. We did a lot of experimentation with different applications of paint. We used brush strokes, marker pens, and even our hands to create a series of different marks. It was a lot of trial and error and a real creative hands-on experience. Once we were happy with the style of the marks we were making, we used a condensed typeface as a base to construct the typeface over the top of.  

How did you determine which images to use, and how does the abstract element of that split illustration tell the story of each spice?

Alphabet: We wanted the brand to be playful, quirky and humorous with the packaging visuals and the stories that accompanied them. We started by writing make-believe stories that surrounded each of the three products. Within these stories, we aimed to get a vivid idea of the heritage of the Spice Blend across but in a ridiculously over-the-top and fantastical way. Once the stories were written, we then creating the visuals by splitting two separate illustrations in half and placing them together to create a surreal mix that weirdly works.

What was the most challenging part of this project?

Alphabet: The biggest challenge we had was to create a brand that visualised Spice Blends in a completely new and engaging way. We really aimed to push the envelope and shake up the category and was lucky enough to have a client who had the same vision. As the concept behind the product was to create traditional and complex flavours and make them easy and fun to use, our task was to create a brand where traditional meets contemporary. It was difficult to find a style that blends these two styles seamlessly but we were happy we could do this in order to create something new and unique. 

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Alphabet: I think the overall brand presence is what we’re proud of with TIQLD. We love how ‘ballsy’ the brand is and how it stands out both visually and in personality amongst its competitors.

With TIQLD, we feel that there really wasn’t a line to cross. Nothing felt out of bounds and we had a lot of fun in creating the stories and visuals. We feel that the freedom we were given allowed us to create a quirky, bold and playful brand that packs a punch!  

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Alphabet: The biggest lesson we learned from working on the TIQLD project is that great work is always realised when you are on the same wavelength as your client and there are not too many hurdles that are placed in front of you that could potentially stem the creative flow.