Introduction

The dream job. Chocolaterre. Or more precisely Manoli and Frances Kulutbanis came to us with an idea for a chocolate…store? Catalog? On-line mail order? No name at that point but a vague plan for a physical and/or online chocolate presence. They had a loose and interesting business plan, and a Pinterest-like set of visuals that were very appealing.

Our clients had travelled all over the world, looking at tea shops, chocolate stores and unique retail outlets in Asia, Paris, London and New York. They were open to anything.

Naming convention

We started with names, some 80 different ones. There were many routes we could have taken. We brainstormed loads of options and presented them with 25 solid names.

The French word for a chocolate maker is chocolatier, the French name for earth is terre. Chocolaterre was born. Luckily, no one had the URL.

Logo

We presented them with many ideas for logos. Classic, modern, decorative, enticing, fanciful. We included colors that could be used in packaging, interiors, online; warm, appetizing, appealing; colors that could translate; relate to food as well as design. We introduced details that could be utilized in other places as either simple graphics or background patterns.

Identity

A beautiful well-designed logo lends itself well to a clean, colorful suite of corporate identity materials; stationery, envelopes and business cards. And we extended the look with a secondary color palette and graphics for product labels and additional brand extensions.

The fanciful collection of experiential design broadened the appeal of the brand and introduced a new method of augmenting the chocolate collection, as well as for marketing.

Packaging

When the discussion turned to packaging, the feeling was to be inventive, high end, and finely detailed. Packaging that could be as much a part of the experience as the chocolate itself. We had many ideas, one of which was a cacao-pod shaped package that could effectively hold many shapes and sizes of chocolate, that accommodate more than one layer of chocolates. This idea was eventually chosen but we presented a wide variety of concepts.

Miscellaneous products

In addition to the basic needs of a chocolate retailer we developed and presented ideas for chocolate-related products and pairings. Retail merchandise and promotional materials, as well as custom designed products using the extended color palette, ancillary graphics and imagery.

Retail interior

Although it has not been used as of this writing, part of our assignment included creating a retail environment that reflected the virtual chocolate experience as they envisioned it. Clean, open and airy. We wanted the store to feel as sleek and inviting as the chocolate box itself.

Using cues from the client’s trips abroad, and working with an interior designer we developed a look that was at once modern, European, (particularly Parisian and Asian) and workable, with materials that were readily available, not expensive, and appeared fresh and inviting.

Online

Chocolaterre, at this time, is an online sales site as the clients determine their path in the world of chocolate experiences. The site is simple, elegant and thoughtful. But despite a touch of whimsy it is to the point and highly functional. chocolaterre.com

Promotional literature

A small brochure explaining the chocolate selection and giving just a hint of their philosophy is included in every lovely chocolate pod.