Zoo Studio Designs A Museum-Worthy Chocolate Bar
by Rudy Sanchez on 06/23/2020 | 3 Minute Read
The Barcelona Chocolate Museum is a cultural project of the Barcelona Pastry Guild, and to showcase their bean-to-bar premium chocolate, they turned to Zoo Studio to highlight the marvel that is chocolate-making. The resulting packaging exquisitely tells the origin story of the premium chocolate bars uniquely, transporting the consumer around the world where cocoa is grown while honoring the sumptuous delicacy.
“The brand’s goals were to transmit the bean-to-bar concept with cocoa from a single source,” explained Gerard Calm, Co-Founder and Designer at Zoo Studio. “Bean-to-bar is the original and 100% artisanal process of making chocolate. The final goal was to put in the market an extremely high-quality product made with only authentic raw cocoa and sugar.”
To tell the story of the chocolate-making process, Zoo created a booklet that would also serve as the packaging. The booklet is wrapped around the chocolate, going to great lengths to explain the hand-crafted means of production, taking the audience across cocoa’s journey from far-flung farms across the world. Eventually, that cocoa gets into the hands of chocolatiers who work their magic, turning the beans into one of the world’s most-sought-after indulgences. The execution looks like a series of documents tied together, reminiscent of the paperwork a world-weary adventurer cut from the same cloth as Indiana Jones would have in a well-worn bag.
“The booklet format allows us to fully explain the entire production process," Gerard said. “The problem was, we need a book to be able to communicate everything we have to say. So, we started with the idea of how to put a book in packaging and, at the same time, be the packaging.”
The result is more than a simple chocolate bar; it is an exploration and education, a light shined upon the trip from bean-to-bar. This unique design was not without challenges for Zoo, however.
“The big challenge was designing different and unusual packaging for chocolate," Gerard said. "It is not wrapping paper or a typical box, we have created an object-pack that generates an entire experience." For Zoo Studio, the concept itself was the easy part. Executing was an entirely different story, and it involved lots of manual labor and landing the right finish. The booklets are sewn together by hand with a thread, which they purposefully left long so they could hold the booklet to the chocolate, which then gets wrapped around the bar. The packaging material needed the same level of quality as the chocolate, creating a distinct unboxing moment.
“Sometimes, the most difficult job is to define the materials and ensure a good production so that the design makes sense,” said Gerard.
Lucky for chocolate lovers, there's a sweet treat contained inside, which after getting through four-pages of deliciously designed goodness, is a significant reward for sticking around until the end.
- Creative director: Gerard Calm
- Art director: Gisela Solé
- Client: Museu de la Xocolata de Barcelona and Olivier Fernández