I should cocoa in Belper is a wonderful place to visit for the most delicious and indulgent hot chocolate and other treats to eat and drink-in or to select artisan chocolates and other gifts to take-away. Run by husband and wife team, Sid and Lisa are as passionate about chocolate as they are about quality and customer service.
Back in September 2012, what began as a small brief to design customer loyalty cards, soon evolved into the requirements to design a whole suite of items for this small, but perfectly formed business. The asset list has now grown to include chocolate menu cards, table menus and simple solutions for two of their biggest sellers – hot chocolate flakes and 100-gram artisan bars in white, milk and dark chocolate. Each edible item is lovingly made and then packaged by Sid and Lisa, so I needed to ensure my packaging design solutions were elegant and sophisticated, but also cost-effective and relatively easy to fulfill.
It’s been a pleasure to evolve I should cocoa’s visual identity and I look forward to creating many more assets in future – oh, and of course, enjoying their chocolate.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to describe Fresh Basil Deli & Eaterie as a modern Belper icon and one of the best delis in the UK. In fact, Fresh Basil is listed by The Independent as one of the UK’s Top 50 Delicatessens and described as “the antithesis of some of the more chi-chi delis”, so when the owner manager, asked me to design some ideas for their Gift Vouchers I jumped at the chance to work with Wendy and the rest of the team – the promise of delicious coffee, cake and cheese amongst many other edible delights was also an undeniable incentive!
The Deli and Eaterie is a classic mix of the best of traditional, authentic British retailing wrapped up in a homely and welcoming atmosphere. With their unswerving focus on providing quality produce and supporting local small businesses and makers, this was the same approach that I applied to my design thinking. The final collection of assets include gift vouchers, loyalty cards and eat-in and take-away menus that deliver aesthetic and practical solutions for a unique business.
The gift vouchers are designed to evoke a sense of quality and individualism on a weighty textured stock, as well as being individually signed, dated and personalised before presentation in recycled Fleck Craft envelopes. Each envelope is then completed with a final seal from a self-inking stamp. On the front of the voucher is my illustrative interpretation of the well-known exterior of the shop, not forgetting the delivery bicycle that lives outside and adds to the vintage charm. Cheekier designs that used the faces of some of the team members and referenced the styling of a £10 note were also presented, but the shop itself is the true ‘star’.
The business card size loyalty cards allow for easy pocket, purse or wallet storage with a quirky visual reminder of where it’s from and what it’s for. Each ‘sip’ also is stamped with a custom designed Fresh Basil ‘FB’ upon each purchase of a hot drink.
The success of each item is yet to be fully evaluated, as Christmas will be the peak time for gift vouchers, but so far so good on the popularity of the loyalty cards with my client and their customers.