I was approached at the end of last year by Li Peng Monroe, whose fledgeling business needed a brand. Her company is Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates and at the time, she was experimenting with flavours and blends, buying equipment and building a pod in her Canberra garden to set up the business.
Jasper and Myrtle is so-called because it reflects an Australian enterprise. Li Peng is from Western Australia, where jasper is a commonly found semi-precious stone, and her partner, Peter, is from New South Wales, where myrtle flourishes. The aim of the company is to source beans from around the world, roast them and use them to produce chocolate that is delicate and subtle, with complementary and unique flavours.
Li Peng’s brief was initially for a logo and a packaging concept that reflected the words NATURAL, AUSTRALIAN, RETRO and ORIGINAL. After research and sketching, I was able to present three distinct branding concepts to Li Peng.
Concept 1 was feminine with an AUSTRALIAN bias and a RETRO slant, based on the colours of jasper stone and myrtle leaves. The colour palette used on the mood board lent itself to pattern, which would then be translated onto the boxes. For the logo itself, the ice cream colours worked well with a 3D lettering effect, the centrepiece of which was the ampersand, which would act not only as a link between the two words, but as an icon in its own right. Li Peng loved the ampersand and the potential for the colour scheme.
The second concept I presented was very much based on the words AUSTRALIAN and NATURAL, but this time with a modern take. My research led to a mood board that showcased the typically Australian colours of sand, red stone, ocean and bush with a modern twist in the use of simple shapes.
Using the mood board as inspiration, the logo concept I came up with utilised the simple shapes of the jasper stone, myrtle leaf and chocolate bean as icons, placed within diamond squares and put together in the formula jasper+myrtle=chocolate.
My third concept was based around the ideas of NATURAL and RETRO, taking away the colour, but concentrating on natural materials and textures, with a splash of copper to make the logo stand out. Li Peng was drawn to the string and brown paper and loved the idea of the copper foiling.
This concept led to two logo designs. One used a combination of upper and lowercase serif lettering with a stylised “+” instead of an ampersand and a contrasting retro sans serif typeface for the tagline, which has since been modified to read “bean to bar handmade chocolate.” The other took a circular form, reminiscent of a wax seal or ink stamp with a strong typeface contrasting with a script.
It took Li Peng a while to decide, as she was very keen on the use of the retro ampersand in Concept 1, but in the end the copper foil and brown craft paper won over, and she opted for the horizontal logo with the simple tagline in copper on a charcoal background. This was printed onto heavy craft paper for her business cards.
In part 2, I will outline the process of taking this natural concept and using it as inspiration to design the packaging for the initial eight flavours of chocolate that Li Peng produced (all of which taste divine, I can reliably inform you!) I’m very excited about the end result and can’t wait to share it with you.