Grand Cru is the Wayback Machine of Chocolate Bars

By: Bill McCool

Calling a particular wine or food “grand cru” is a particularly loaded statement, but generally, it implies that you, the consumer, are about to gorge yourself on the best of the best. It’s a term that’s strictly applied to the finest of wines, but in a less-regulated fashion, it can also be used when talking about beer, cheese, or chocolate. With chocolate, in particular, the designation is there to signify the country or region where the cocoa beans are from. And also because, you know, it’s pretty, pretty, pretty good.

However, when it comes to Grand Cru, the latest mouthwatering chocolate brand to hit the market, it’s more than just a classification of quality. Sure, this is a primo, decadent treat, but it’s one that taps into those deep feelings of nostalgia, what with all of the postal-loving details that can be found on the wrapper. In fact, it’s the kind of chocolate bar you could see being given to a character in a Wes Anderson movie.

So when Parámetro Studio was tasked with designing the packaging and branding for Grand Cru, they wanted to tap into some of that magic, that singular feeling of being a kid biting into a heavenly chocolate bar.

“We wanted to transport the consumer to a fantasy vintage candy store,” says Parámetro Studio’s Creative Director Cristina Arreola.

“We wanted Grand Cru to stand out on the shelves among all the other chocolate packaging and make people curious about tasting them by appealing to a nostalgic candy shop feeling with a modern twist,” She adds. “Unusual color palettes, luxurious printing details and an ornamented design - we wanted to represent not just a good-looking design, but an excellent quality product.”

“We started with some handmade sketches of different ornaments we could mix and match for the packaging,” Cristina says. “Then, we experimented with modern, fresh and vibrant colors that created an interesting contrast with the product itself and among the different chocolate bars. As for the typography, it was very important to choose a modern look that we complemented with details that harmonized and created a vintage, yet modern look and feel.”

Cristina’s right. While the bars themselves have a contemporary look, the design itself is still deeply rooted in nostalgia. Opening one of the bars up immediately transports you back to your first viewing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the candy's glossy foils and vibrant colors— minus the golden ticket of course. “The result had to be an eye-catching brand with a nostalgic feeling perfectly balanced that could be able to compete with commercial chocolates,” Cristina says.

So if you’re looking for your own golden ticket, one that guarantees a stopover to those halcyon days of candy shops and chocolate-stained lips, Grand Cru is the perfect wayback machine.


Bill McCool

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.

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