Pond Design Makes Our Chocolate Dreams Come True
By: Bill McCool
No one really wants to know how their sausage gets made. Unless of course, we’re talking about delicious, metaphorical sausage—and by metaphorical sausage, we mean insanely decadent chocolate.
That’s just what Pond Design got to do when they immersed themselves into the world Malmö Chokladfabrik to help create their gorgeous packaging. We spoke with Pond Design Partner and Senior Client Director Fredrik Svalstedt about all things Malmö and reconnecting a brand to its storied roots.
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
Fredrik Svalstedt: We started the process by immersing ourselves in the world of Malmö Chokladfabrik. We visited the factory, spent time with the staff and owners, and from there we collected ideas and stories. The owners, two brothers who’ve bought the factory, were determined to bring a visionary entrepreneurial spirit to an old, traditional, respected but somewhat outdated brand.
The next step was to learn almost everything about chocolate. We were shown how to choose, roast, grind and blend beans, how to mix and melt, add flavor and character, test, and finally taste. We found passionate craftsmanship and learned about Malmö Chokladfabrik’s amazing history which we later captured in the design.
Malmö Chokladfabrik historical roots go back to the 19th century. Back then it was called Mazetti, an original Swedish chocolate brand with a factory in the heart of the city of Malmö. Malmö Chokladfabrik’s chocolate is still partly produced there.
As we wanted to connect the brand to its historical roots, the physical place became our main source of inspiration. The old factory’s brick buildings, with its patterned structure and impressive striped chimney, inspired the pattern of the design. We created a new logotype where the two dots in the Swedish letter Ö (as in Malmö) were altered to two bricks from the brick-setting in the old factory.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Malmö Chokladfabrik packaging and how did you accomplish it?
Fredrik Svalstedt: Our main goal was to reconnect the brand to its roots and craftsmanship tradition and at the same time revitalize a classic Swedish premium chocolate brand that had suffered from lack of attention, little positive energy and not enough loving care. There was a mismatch between the quality of the chocolate and the story, enthusiasm and craftsmanship behind the brand. We wanted to harmonize all these factors and bring them together by creating a new premium experience.
How did you create both a premium experience and one that was meant for the mass-market with the packaging?
Fredrik Svalstedt: The same quality cues are used throughout the whole range. To differentiate between mass-market and more exclusive bars, the cues are simplified and synthesized to fit the former. The simpler mass market products are more stripped down and basic in both layout and copy but with a more playful and warm color palette.
What sort of humor were you trying to inject into the project?
Fredrik Svalstedt: Illustrations and copy were woven together to tell a story that injects either contemporary culture, traditional myths or historical figures with humoristic details. Take for example the Peru Bar. The illustration shows a traditionally-clad woman biting into a gold bar, referring to the copy and a story about how cacao beans were once called the black gold. In Havssalt (Sea Salt) the sea God Poseidon emerges from the sea in his bathing shorts, holding up some of the salt he’d collected from the depth of the ocean.
Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.
Fredrik Svalstedt: We’ve learned just how important it is to keep a close eye, tight control and sense of ownership on the design throughout the whole process – from initial design to production/print, distribution etc. As we wanted to ensure a premium feel, attention to details was absolutely key. To get the right level of quality, we had to solve a lot of different issues concerning finish and other challenges along the way until the final result met our approval.
Bill McCool is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. Though new to the world of design, he has always been a storyteller by trade and he seeks to inspire and cultivate a sense of awe with the work and artists he profiles. When he's not winning over his daughters with the art of the Dad joke, he is usually working on a pilot, watching the Phillies, or cooking an elaborate meal for his wife.