April 2019 Issue No. 12
Formascope | Supreme—DBA
Think Packaging | Thirst Craft
formascope is a design studio based on a conceptual approach. They are constantly trying to find the multilayered combination of form and content. Each issue is analyzed from the perspective of the form, serve as a base to create the individual attitude and style of each project.
Dargett Craft Beer
Challenge: Dargett is the first craft brewery in Armenia founded in 2016. In 2018, they came up with a new initiative to create craft beer for mass market. The challenge was to create label designs for popular beer types.
Solution: Dargett brewery came with already formed branding the basis of which was Babylonian world map that dates back to the 6th century B.C. formascope took this into consideration continued the concept for the creation of labels by showing different parts of Bitter River. Thus, the geographical position of river crossings was used to express diversity of beer and the map encapsulates the completeness of beer varieties. Each label has its color and shape, different one from other. Each flavor has its inherent color. In order to have craftier look and to emphasize the diverse varieties of beer, stickers have been created.
Challenge: Gastropolis is a modern gourmet food market offering different culinary corners in one location. The challenge was to develop brand concept and visual identity for such a diversified place.
Idea/Solution: The branding of Gastropolis is based on the idea of “form as a language of communication”. It’s a simple concept based on human relationship with food. This relationship begins with a “plate-cutlery” motion, which is also viewed as a formal embodiment of Gastropolis corporate style. The challenge was to create a brand identity using simple shapes and content, so the brand style of Gastropolis has been built in combination of two forms and three elements (one circle, two lines). The logo “a circle and two lines” with the same “plate- cutlery” became the origin of the brand-style language. The logo constantly transforms by dynamic principle and creates radically different culinary corners using the same shapes, that in fact become the part of the corporate style of Gastropolis.
Harvy Dried Fruits
Challenge: The challenge was brand and packaging creation for more than 10 flavors of dried fruits. Each product contains a rich, unique flavor, no additives or artificial flavor enhancers.
Idea/Solution: The contemporary life has alienated us from nature so much, that we need to develop new ties with it and even the smallest hint of form can make a big difference. Formascope design decided to solve that by creating a concept that relates to nature and translates the product in an attractive way. Originated from the word “harvest”, Harvy dried fruits are our bond to the nature. The shapes of fruits and clean approach to the pouch designs subconsciously highlight the simple and natural ingredients contained within each pack. The simplicity of the packaging conveys the freshness of the dried fruits through visual means.
The Gods of Sun
Challenge: Create label designs for spirit’s different fruit flavors. The identity should translate the high quality of spirit and is expected to have a premium look.
Solution: Sunlight is an essential ingredient for plant growth. Based on this fact, formascope came up with a legend in which each fruit has its own god of sun who is stimulating its growth. Gods and goddesses of Sun used their sacred energy to accomplish the creation of fruits and no human was ever participant in that celebration of life. The word “Kensatu” in Armenian means “life-giving”, that’s what the celebration symbolized: Gods giving life to their offsprings consuming their abundance and becoming invigorated eventually to be gladfully served to the earthly men as creatures of pleasure. On the shelf, the tastes are distinguished by different portraits that were carried out through a hand-drawing technique to illustrate the original characters.
Mirage Arabic Coffee
Challenge: Create a product in which each of us can find our favorite flavor of coffee (espresso, cappuccino, mocha, latte, americano).
Idea/Solution: formascope took coffee Arabica and visualized 5 types of coffee connecting them to each other. They decided to separate the ingredients by turning them into colors. Next, illustrated them in a form of desert. They have solved the visualization issue of diverse types of coffee by transforming the desert landscape into corresponding color pieces. The coffee water was depicted in the form of clear blue sky, chocolate in the form of desert cliffs, milk in the form of light feathery clouds and foam milk in a denser cloudy form. Camels and small oases betray an even bigger association of the desert. In order to show different types separately, we created a window. By rotating it you can find layers of particular coffee. The concept of desert itself became the inspiration of the name of packaging. Distorted layers and wet technique remind of desert mirage. Mirages are optical illusions that people experience out of severe need in desert. Applying this idea, formascope transformed it into a severe urge for drinking the coffee. The visual elements in the packaging highlight Arabian culture through the use of calligraphy, rhombuses, the window, and colors. As a result, the packaging becomes a window through which you can find your preferable coffee aroma in the desert. Spin it around, wander through the desert and find your flavor.
Supreme—DBA located in England is a commercial and design led Visual Communication agency. They deliver creative and strategic solutions to companies with great products, services and ideas.
As a small boutique agency Supreme—DBA agency wins RAR+ award status, which is an independent quality mark only given to agencies which meet the high standards that they demand. Supreme—DBA to collaborate with clients who share their passion and focus, as well as the understanding that the rewards of making something truly original and engaging, often don’t come without the determination to overcome all obstacles.
Comms . UK
Supreme—DBA was choosen as a partner to develop a new vision with Comms, creating a tangible brand that positions them away from the status quo of their industry. The development and application of this then became the indisputable goal and future of the project.
Comms.UK needed to be presented in a professional manner that was honest, clear and confident. The rebrand, consisting of a new identity, brand & product architecture, visual system and website — along with print and digital assets; that not only aligns with their new brand statement but also mirrors their understanding of the client’s requirements.
Josh, the Director at Maiden, was given the opportunity to start over with the branding — while a brand is an intangible asset, brand identity; which includes all tangible expression from packaging to websites, should uphold that value and tone. This was something that Josh and the incumbent brand had always struggled to communicate, despite already being synonymous with its current customer base for creating beautiful products; of value and high quality. Our work has perfectly positioned the brand to achieve great things.
With the global candle industry saturated with brands from the big market dominating FMCG players to the cottage ‘homemade’ industry, the challenge for Maiden was to create their own place in the market. Supreme–DBA achieved this by creating a strong visual language and evocative imagery consistent with the brand’s identity — with the aim of becoming a ‘recognizable name’, connecting with affiliate brands and spokesmen, actively promoting and engaging with the cultures ready to listen and ready to make decisions.¬
Following more than 40 years in hibernation, Supreme—DBA were tasked with reawakening and repositioning the Motoluxe brand and establish it to satisfy the sartorial needs of gentlemen, of all ages and across the world, with an appreciation for British style and the culture of Motorsport.
With ambassadors including Steve McQueen, James Dean and Paul Newman— these gents were true Americans with an unquenchable addiction to great British brands, motorsport and the gentlemen’s attire worn by the likes of Mike Hawthorn, Jim Clark as well as icons like Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger and Winston Churchill.
Taking a dormant brand and positioning it perfectly into what would have been its zenith became our quest and one that fits perfectly with our ethos of attention to detail, and the understanding of the classic car and gentlemen’s fashion categories.
In the 1950’s there were no brand guidelines for how a logo should appear on a race car, they were hand painted and individual. No two liveries were the same — perhaps not even symmetrical, creating a living organism that champions alignment, not consistency. This ideology evolved to become the basis of our living brand, with the same idiosyncrasies applied to Motorluxe’s new reformed, varied and organic identity.
Supreme—DBA created a brand identity consisting of multiple elements; a sophisticated ‘brass cast’ badge and detailed word-mark, along with variations for different applications — All of these epitomising the idiosyncratic and unsymmetrical nature of the period.
These, together with an extended family of unstructured sports coats, laid the foundations for a modern collection of performance tailoring that breathes heritage, a brand that is perfect for a contemporary lifestyle and, of course, for travel — whether that be on the road, sea, or by air.
Morgan & I
Mr P. Gutteridge
Morgans aren’t owned, they are simply looked after. Their heritage preserved generation upon generation. They’re not a product, but souvenir of memories and an important member of the family. Re-connecting old & new owners to their past and how these cars play integral parts in these relationships.
Back in 1952, Pete Guttering purchased a three-wheeler Morgan in parts, put it in the back of a lorry and drove it down to Dorset, where its rested until he returned from National Service and began the project of rebuilding it.
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
— Winston Churchill
He would drive to London regularly on the old road to London via Blandfold, on this journey which he took on a Saturday morning and returned on the Sunday evening he would pass by a small farm. A young boy aged 6, who lived at the farm would hear that Morgan approach. He’d rush down to the fence and watch the Morgan pass. Come rain or shine, without fail, that little bot would be there
Some years have passed since the boy saw the Morgan. But these Morgans have a habit of making an impression. The cars that have indefinitely shaped the man that Pete is today, wait patiently in the garage in which they are housed, for the next chapter. The next custodian, the next drive and to influence their environment. And the little boy? He’s all grown up now and has a Morgan of his own now.
“It was a sports car. You wouldn’t be seen dead in a Morris Ten Four or an Austin Seven. They hold no charisma to me you see, it had to be something a little bit special.”
— Pete Gutteridge
The Siros logo provides an effective and flexible platform, from which the brand can seamlessly create and develop future products.
Siros’s brand architecture allows each product to have its own personality and unique UI, while still maintaining the Siros family feel. It’s simple, but very effective and works across multiple applications. To create a visual identity that is considered, professional, none corporate with well designed brand architecture is key. It was vitally important that both visual and verbal elements of the Siros brand and communication was in a cohesive manner across all areas of the business — how the company brand elements exist as an envelope within which, SAAS tools such as ‘SkyArk’ and any subsequent products operate ultimately go on, along with the brands actions and how it behaves will shape what Siros stands for in people’s minds.
Established in 2010, Think Packaging is an Auckland (New Zealand) based, award-winning structural packaging design company thats pure focus is cardboard engineering and delivering solutions. Available local or global for small to large projects, creating dielines, hand cut prototypes and fresh thinking. Form plays a vital part creating an outstanding piece of packaging and is often overlooked. think™ was started for this exact reason… it wasn’t just the fame, money and hot chicks, it’s to rub out sub-standard box templates and send shivers down the spines of blister packs everywhere.
Steens, David Trubridge, Think Packaging & Wrapology.
A collaborative project
Manuka flowers only open for a few short weeks of the year, and if conditions are just right, bees are able to harvest the nectar to make honey. 27+ UMF is one of the highest grades of Manuka honey, and limited amounts are available annually. Steens’ have developed their unique WholeComb extraction method to ensure more of the health benefits of the honey remain, which are generally lost through commercial honey pasteurizing and filtration techniques. With such a special release, the product needed an equally special and bespoke piece of packaging.
David Trubridge’s (DT) team designed the look & feel of the package (including the early flower workings & motion) and pulled the inspiration of the hive design from beehives themselves; to attract the attention of premium shoppers by contrasting bright and fun floral colours against all the black and gold packaging in the emerging and ultra-competitive Manuka Honey category, just as honeybees become irresistibly drawn to the bright colours of flowers. Steens also wanted to share the passion and joy they have for their product and the process of opening a hive when collecting honey. The overarching goal was to challenge the status quo and create an emotional connection with consumers by making it a unique and memorable unboxing experience.
From DT’s direction, it was a challenging & lengthy process to execute the design. We meticulously hand-crafted and engineered everything, ensuring the outer box and the flower perfectly and seamlessly opened, revealing the jar inside. Upon twisting a tab on the base of the flower, the interlocked, crosshatched petals unfurl, causing dramatic movement & wonder when revealing the jar. The jar is secured by two straps. The first strap is the ‘seatbelt’ that securely holds the jar inside the box during transit and general movement. It is threaded through and around the base of the box and finished with a tamper evident tear tab. Upon releasing the first strap, there is another that cradles the honey jar, pulling this, it allows the consumer to lift the jar out and discover the precious cargo inside. Upon further investigation of the box, you’ll find a perfect, friction fit booklet holder on the underside of the lid – boasting the honey’s benefits and origin.
Production was taken offshore, as Wrapology was sought after as being a world class luxury packaging manufacturer. Their capability of impeccable hand assembly and finishing of the components was vital as it was no small feat to produce at the standard desired. Only the finest paper stocks were selected – these were imported from GF Smith & Arjowiggins. We opted for quality dyed paper vs. printing the colours, to ensure the vivid colours were retained along the cut edges. And it was paramount the integrity of the paper stocks could hold up, especially under the mechanical conditions of the opening and closing flower.
Cook & Nelson
To have no wood shavings or cellophane in sight. That was the brief... Oh, and to redefine the hamper. Achieved by creating a long-lasting opening experience that tingles and stimulates the senses, just like each of the products inside.
The Cook & Nelson hamper is every bit as beautiful and intriguing as the products it holds. Within the bold, cubed, blue box, you’ll find a bespoke collection of individually crafted packages; a showcase of some of the world’s most sought-after speciality foods. Each of the boxes is adorned with a striking graphic pattern based on the flag of the city in which the product inside was made.
Big ideas, love, ideation, commitment & ambition: Becs & Nick (Cook & Nelson)
Orcon was set to launch a new and improved website offering Gigantic Fibre. All unlimited, all awesome. I was asked to ideate and create a bunch of hand made, retro, chunky, brightly coloured paper models for a photo shoot. So it looked, well... awesome.
#1. Brick phone, #2. Gigantifier, #3. Retro TV, #4. Control Panel, #5. Chunky laptop.
An eclectic mix of musical genres influenced the newest range of New Zealand exclusive Beck’s bottles. Each label motif is a reflection of cover art for a specific genre of music, in an exaggerated, almost clichéd way. From indie to hip hop, rock to pop, heavy metal to punk, Beck’s captured the varied sounds that are ever-present in the NZ music scene.
The brief was to create a pack to show off these new labels. Influenced by music, it seemed an appropriate choice to house each genre (beer) within a boom box, a classically nostalgic music symbol. One thing that was clear from the start, this needed to be engaging, uber cool and become a piece of packaging that was hard to part with.
The exterior felt like it would need a bit of depth, something to catch the eye rather than just relying on the print. The Beck’s crest and speaker rims were designed as separate pieces to stand out proud, plus the cassette deck physically works, pulling open to reveal a custom labelled mixtape.
As the boom box opens, it displays 6 beers, cradled in their own individual cut-outs for both presentation and protection. Thankfully Beck’s wanted this as a 12 pack so the box needed an additional layer between them, preventing the beers touching each other. This opened up a whole new level of creativity; other music-y items, like hip hop inspired pop-out glasses, coasters, retro cassette tapes and a USB with sponsored Beck’s track lists to listen to while you enjoy a drink.
Straight out gangster…
As a creative studio, Marx Design believes that the best work happens when staff and clients balance the intensity of work, with creativity and inspiration that often occurs during leisure time. So this was their idea: to create a daily planner with a twist, to showcase their ability and help clients balance their work and downtime, without giving precedence to one over the other.
Engaged by and working closely with Marx, we carefully considered how this would not only look beautiful but function with ease and delight the senses upon opening. So much development, so many hand-cut models... A true feast, yet challenging piece of complex cardboard engineering.
The result: a set of 12 books stacked on top of each other back to back, locked together by a central spine made from a premium-textured stock, inspired by traditional bookbinding tape. The spine zigzags between the books, locking them together in a brick-like stack. The outer card housing is cleverly crafted as a single die-cut unit with a perforated tear tab used twice to join each side of the 12 book stack. Upon opening, the connected books unravel like concertina paper people, with half the titles upside down.
Louise James from the Binding Studio handcrafted and custom made the two display boxes, purposely leaving an 8mm gap for the Marx Design brand and 2017 to be read from the tear-strips of the outer wrap. One box houses an aluminium designer pen for ‘Labour’ and the other a quality pencil for ‘Leisure’. Not held by traditional ribbons or bands though, we developed a device allow the implements to be pushed in one end and easily come out the other. The box is finished in tactile bookbinding cloth with matte foil text – each side is identical, so there is no right or wrong opening sequence.
Thirst Craft is a strategic drinks packaging design agency that builds creatively rare, commercially right brands.
An agency born from a love of drink and design, their specialist team works across all elements of brand strategy, design and execution – from powerful positionings right through to flawless finishes and anything in between.
Commonwealth Brewing Co
Brewer and owner of Commonwealth Brewing Company – one of the rising stars of East Coast USA craft beer – came to Thirst Craft with a succinct if not straightforward creative brief: “I want to visually see the flavors I taste in the can.”
Never ones to shy away from a challenge, Thirst Craft immersed themselves in the flavors of the beers. Expressing them first in words, then translating these descriptions into textures by photographing oils, vinegars and inks interacting. The overall look was like nothing else on shelf. Together the bright, bold textures formed a robust range – creating uniformity through eccentricity.
Cold Town Beer
Their client had a vision to set up a new craft brewery in the notoriously chilly city of Edinburgh. What they didn’t have was a name, positioning or brand for their new venture, cue Thirst…
With over 2,000 breweries in the UK, the category has never been busier. The shelves and bars are swamped with wild names and abstract illustrations to decode, so much so that consumers who come to the category looking for choice can often end up feeling paralyzed by it. With their single-minded positioning, Thirst Craft wanted to silence the noise through strong simplicity; they wanted to call a beer a beer.
Inspired by a contemporary interpretation of Edinburgh’s ‘Calton’ Hill which literally means ‘Cald Toun’ in old Scots, Cold Town Beer was born. A clean, striking system brought powerful stand out and range navigation, while the snow flake asterisk provided a strong brand device both on and off pack. To continue to keep things simple, the can is two faced, introducing single word beer descriptors at its heart to prompt and help consumer choice.
Their brand and tone of voice scaled seamlessly off pack and into the brewery, merchandise, glassware, vehicle livery and beyond. And with a brewpub due to open at the end of 2018, the temperature’s only going to get cooler…
Thornbridge Brewing Co.
With the pace of change and the proliferation of competitors, craft brewery years can often feel like dog years, and at 13 years old Thornbridge Brewery was facing a midlife challenge. Having been one of the trailblazers of the craft beer movement, their brand now needed to evolve as they moved into canning beer. They needed a design that could keep relevance in order to grow in line with their ambitions.
To uncover the story behind their existing assets, Thirst Craft returned to Thornbridge’s home; the beautiful Thornbridge Hall. Pattern was a core part of Thornbridge’s brand, but the existing motif felt too unrefined and generic. While walking the grounds and corridors of the Hall, they found inspiration in the decorative detail of the main fire’s mantelpiece and converted this into a premium pattern.
Kicking off the project with a tour of supermarket shelves, it was clear Thornbridge needed to monopolies on their ‘recent heritage’ to stand strong in the face of wild, young craft breweries. By rationalizing and leveraging their long established equities we set out to confirm Thornbridge as the beacons of British brewing.
By merging Thornbridge’s classic monogram and bold colour palettes with this new bespoke pattern, Thirst Craft borrowed the visual language of other classic British brands. Simple, sophisticated and stand out, this rebrand allowed Thornbridge to age gracefully and successfully.
WEST Brewery has built its reputation on a Glaswegian Heart, German Head attitude and an eclectic set of brands. With its first foray into cans, Thirst Craft set the challenge of uniting existing, established brands (St Mungo and WEST 4) and new, never before visualized ones (GPA) under the WEST umbrella. Their solution? Color.
WEST’s red, black and white brand colors are famous in both the on and off trade. Thirst Craft leveraged this powerful palette, along with graphic devices, to create a cohesive can range. With three brands to tackle, they first created a striking new style for GPA then crafted the existing WEST 4 brand to match. Finally, they isolated St. Mungo’s more traditional brand assets to give a 360 degree can experience and allow it to fit in visually with this modern, minimalist look.
The can range is the first phase of Thirst’s WEST work which aims to build brand through color and content style rather than rigid brand systems. This approach allows for a more eclectic, expressive and engaging range that feels like a family, but with more freedom.
Wild Island Gin
Wild Island Gin is a premium gin infused with hand gathered botanicals from its home – the small, stunning Hebridean island of Colonsay. Visiting the island on a tiny wind-battered plane, Thirst Craft were taken with the landscape’s rugged, organic, ever-changing beauty and sought to capture it by using an equally unruly medium; watercolor.
Letting the watercolor flow wild and free, they found formations and shapes evolved naturally to create a beautiful pattern for our premium brand. Pairing this with a simple wordmark that nods to the island’s Viking heritage, they then achieved the perfect finish by printing their design on both sides of the transfer.
Wild Island’s range extension Sacred Tree edition lets us enjoy its homeland’s Autumnal harvest all year round. Named after the Sacred Tree calendar used by ancient Scots, Thirst Craft’s second design in the range reflects the gin’s ripe berry botanicals through a deliciously juicy color palette.
All works by formascope design
All works by Supreme—DBA
Project management: Nikki Withington, Square One
Photography: Kevin Emirali // Photographic art direction + edits: Shiv Narandas
Cook & Nelson
All graphic design, flag concept development & illustration: Butcher & Butcher
Photography: Kevin Emirali // Photographic art direction + edits: Shiv Narandas
Artwork: Curious Design
Photography: Gregoire Aubourg
All works by Thirst Craft