Luxury Chocolates to Capture the Essence of India
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 01/10/2018 | 7 Minute Read
“Trapped by conventional design studios and advertising agencies, brands today need a holistic approach to branding at large.”
Anomaly Brands (previously named Bloombox Brand Engineers) doesn’t just tackle design from an advertising or branding perspective. Instead, they play the long game by providing holistic branding solutions. By making brands a growth driver for businesses, they want brands to be loved and trusted by consumers for years to come.
They’ve worked with a variety of clients in India and the Middle East, in industries like healthcare, education, luxury, travel, and even music. So when it came time for Bliss Chocolates to revamp and become Smoor, they aimed to create something immersive and desirable that would set a new bar for what luxury could look like.
What: Nature-inspired chocolate bar brand packaging designs with some serious color pop.
How did you develop the illustrations for Smoor?
Anomaly Brands: Smoor Couverture Chocolates is all about providing authentic, rich and memorable experiences. But when we looked around, conventional chocolate packs were loaded with predictable imagery and ‘melted chocolate’ trappings.
We saw the opportunity to stay true to the authentic ingredients story and chose a botanical illustrative style that would set a distinctive the design language. Through the use of composite image, a rich colour palette and a play textures and structure, we were able to create a signature brand language that could also span across different products.
Why did you turn to botanical inspiration? What was it about nature that really resonated with the brand values?
Anomaly Brands: Smoor’s packaging design strategy was to create a carefully crafted artistic expression that would truly bring to life the powerful yet simple brand idea—”True Chocolate. True Story.” These were are great products, made from authentic ingredients by passionate people.
We have always been fascinated by the endearing antiquity of botanical art and found that it translated well with the rich, hand-crafted approach we were taking with the brand.
The botanical design narrative for the packaging was our attempt to capture the splendour of nature and these rich ingredients—give it a riveting, timeless aura.
There really isn’t too much text on the packaging. Why did you decide to use it sparingly and instead allow the illustrations to really pop?
Anomaly Brands: It was a conscious decision to keep the design free of excess information and the typical call-outs usually found in packaging designs. We wanted to give the packs a desirable, gift-like quality for which it was key to let the botanicals speak louder than any other elements.
The color palette is incredibly vibrant and rich. Why did you select the hues you did?
Anomaly Brands: While we wanted to create a “Truly Indian” brand identity with all the rich and vibrant associations with its brand image, the brand had to have an implied International aesthetic too.
We chose colors like burgundy, coral, gold, ivory, turquoise as these are festive and indulgent, and they happen to work well both with Indian and global sensibilities.
What luxury design elements did you choose to incorporate into these designs, and why those ones specifically? How did they play into the brand story?
Anomaly Brands: We used stamped gold foil signature element for most of the packaging variants. It adds just the right amount of richness against the otherwise understated matte finish of the packaging.
From a structural perspective, we also developed a drawer-pull box for our assortment packs. We found that this boxes heightened the consumer experience, both visually and tangibly.
Consistently keeping the brand principle of ‘less is just right’ in play, we managed to create a rich and authentic luxury experience.
What was the biggest challenge in designing Smoor?
Anomaly Brands: It was very challenging to set a signature design language that was adaptable and extendable across a very large spectrum of products. We had to create a visual system that could lend to 14+ new products across categories—chocolates and other allied products and all that spread across 80+ variants. Assortment boxes, special edition bar collections, hot chocolate, cookies, dragées, spreads, etc. are just a few of these products.
We approached this challenge by creating different design stories and compositions across these categories. We created an organic framework which flexibly used the botanical elements, typography and colour palette depending on the category/product.
The biggest challenge was to keep the overall brand identity intact and cohesive and yet naturally extend to each product category and variant. And all this was imagined, designed, prototyped, costed, proofed, printed, displayed within a timeline of 6 months.
Some of the designs are symmetrical, while others are not. What, if any, kind of meaning is behind that?
Anomaly Brands: Some products, like the Elaine Young Collectio of chocolate bars, feature a blend of unique ingredient pairings (like banana with pink peppercorn). We wanted to highlight these signature blends by creating symmetrical assemblage-style artworks for those specific bars. Other products, like the assortment boxes, contained a much wider range of ingredients. So we took a different approach and kept the composition more natural, to cue authenticity and abundance.
Why we love it: Smoor chocolates is luxury indeed. The lovely botanical illustrations instantly build a sense of anticipation without begging for attention. These are designs that lure you in and beg to be picked up and held. It almost feels a shame to open them, making every last bite as decadent as a delicious chocolate should be. Bloombox Brand Engineers strived to give this a quintessentially Indian vibe without relying on cliches; instead, they incorporated the influence subtly in a way that feels welcoming yet exotic.