A Chocolate State of Mine

Apparently chocolate consumption is way up, so I thought it was a perfect time to share more about its wonderfulness.

Chocolate challenge: Where in the USA do you think Cacao grows? (Hint, there are 6 answers, think broadly).

Whoever guesses correctly first, will get a bar of craft chocolate from one of my favorite US makers.

Chocolate is made from Cacao (Theobroma Cacao), AKA Food of the Gods, AKA Cocoa.

Cacao is a tree fruit and gets its start as beans from a pod. Like coffee, it only grows in a very limited area 20° North and South of the equator from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, known as the Cocoa Belt.

How it got from milky white, goopy beans to chocolate as we know it is quite a miracle. The beans are harvested, fermented, dried, roasted, winnowed, conched and finally tempered. Tempering is what gives chocolate the shiny look and snap sound when you break into one.

Interesting tidbit I learned when I was on the island of St. Lucia at Boucan, the Hotel Chocolat plantation — because cacao flowers are very tiny and have no smell, they are pollinated by ants and very small flies instead of bees.

See examples of the Zora Chocolate Maker logo and also chocolate packaging I created for the Ashanty Chocolate company.

Its a Wrap-per

Sharon Klein Graphic Design is pleased to announce that the new branding and chocolate packaging line designed for Ashanty Chocolates has begun production.

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The 4 flavors (2 dark, 2 milk) are each hand wrapped in gold foil, then a custom African inspired pattern, printed on cotton/silk fabric to create a very upscale impression.

Using secondary colors and large readable type, the labels contrast with the dark chocolaty colored background making them pop off the shelf. The bars will be sold at stores, green markets, online as well as corporate gifting in a branded mahogany box. 5% of profits from sales of the bars will go to a variety of causes.

 

 

 

 

 

Next project is applying the new branding to the rest of their product line of small bars, chocolate covered nuts, hot chocolate and a chocolate spread.

Sweet success!

Photo Credit: Takamasa Ota/otaphotography.com

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Yes, it’s Legal!

Through a posting on one of my networks to get feedback about the Landmark Wild Chocolate Reserve logo I designed, I connected with Tiffany Donaldson, Esq.

We decided to meet for a one-on-one where she was inspired by the creative process and seeing the transformational work I have done for many of my clients. Tiffany decided that Donaldson Legal Counseling needed some real attention and a re-brand.

At our subsequent meeting she told me more about her business and herself. A logo encompasses many aspects and I do thorough research to get to the heart of what a client wants and needs. Then I gave her some visual homework to do.

From that feedback and her love for the color blue, I went to work to create this new look for her business.

In the left corner is our final logo and surrounding it are a few of the runner-ups. The final includes an old school fountain pen, a reminder of the historic nature for this line of business.

It was fun working together – and I love that collaboration gets the best results.

Chocolate’s Wild Side — #4 is #1 Hey!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks everyone for your feedback on the logo design for the Landmark Wild Chocolate Reserve. We got responses all around the globe, from Peru to Germany.

The clear winner was #4, way ahead of the rest by more than double. #1 was second, # 5 was third, #2 was fourth and #3 was last in place (though I did get responses that the monkey was very cute and had fans).

For the record #2 was not one of our designs but the current logo being used by LWCR on their website.

Our next step is to revise and improve the direction chosen and also create a horizontal version.

All logos need to be designed both vertically and horizontally to accommodate different space constraints.

Go to my FB page to comment.

LWCR finds, preserves and exports the wildest chocolate on earth — harvesting pockets of wild beans with exceptional chocolate flavor from the Amazon rain forest — where cacao originated. Sustainable harvesting saves this exceptional cacao from extinction and before it disappears.

Read the Washington Post article about Mark Christian and the project.

Chocolate’s Wild Side

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I’m so excited to be working with Mark Christian on the logo for his new chocolate venture, the Landmark Wild Chocolate Reserve. This his organization finds, preserves and exports the wildest chocolate on earth — harvesting pockets of wild beans with exceptional chocolate flavor from the Amazon rain forest — where cacao originated. Sustainable harvesting saves this exceptional cacao from extinction and before it disappears.

The first two chocolates are from the Beni River Valley in northern Bolivia and the Purus River Valley in northwestern Brazil.

Our initial brainstorming led us to our target base: gourmands and connoisseurs, the 5% of the chocolate loving public who want the rare and unattainable — adventurers who believe in sustainable economics, Harley rider wannabes.

We are in the creative process now and would love your feedback on some of the concepts for the brand we’ve developed. Let us know your faves.

Go to my FB page to comment. @sharonkleinGD

Read the Washington Post article about Mark and the project.

Sharon Klein Graphic Design, LLC | Portfolio | 212.645.8163 | FB

The Design of All Things

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In my day-to-day life I create graphic and digital designs, but when I really look — I see that design transcends all and applies to everything I do. Even cooking.

Before the holidays I attended an evening of chocolate decorating on the Upper West Side at Voilà Chocolat with the Harvard Women’s Club of NY. It was a chance to play and let your inner child out. Once you enrobed your truffle in dark melted chocolate you could be an artist, by adding toppings of your choice. We then took the balance of the chocolate left over and forged unique bars. I made mine look like an oversized cookie.

I got a compliment from the left, then I got a compliment from the right and a comment that I must have done this before (it was my first time). Then one of the assistants said he noticed I had designed an unusual topping combination he had never seen before.

The next step was packaging our delights in a sophisticated set up that looked extremely professional when completed; and Voila! — a gorgeous looking and tasting present to share.

I often take this all for granted, it’s what I do everyday, though now I realize it is a gift I possess and love to share with others.

Contact me with your creative project challenges — it will be fun and possibly very delicious.