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Old Spike Coffee by Commission Studio, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird

Coffee Branding & Packaging – Old Spike Coffee by Commission Studio, United Kingdom

Old Spike is a coffee roastery, subscription service and wholesaler, cafe and social enterprise working with the homeless, located in South East London. It is situated on the site of a former workhouse, a place where the poor would break rocks over metal spikes for food and lodgings, and where the roaster gets its name. With a desire to separate the roastery’s commercial and social activities Commission Studio worked to develop retail and subscription packaging that avoided the conventions of the market, and worked together a sense of the artisanal and wholesome and the eye-catching and luxury.

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Omakase Room by Tatsu by Savvy, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity and scented ceramic gift by Savvy for New York restaurant Omakase Room by Tatsu

Omakase Room by Tatsu is a unique sushi dining experience located on New York’s Christopher Street. The concept is rooted in the centuries-old family traditions of Japanese Executive Chef and host Tatsu Sekiguchi and the celebration of the individual and personal. This can be experienced in the restaurant’s unique and intimate setting, one that seats only eight, and a menu carefully crafted by Tatsu for one evening and for that specific group of eight, based on their mood, curiosities and preferences.

The restaurant features a light interior design of soft bamboo and fabric centred around Japanese minimalist traditions. Materials a few but high quality, the ceiling is low, and the design of the table and layout of chairs lend the restaurant a quiet and earthy material quality with little distraction, and establish an intimacy with the chef, and focuses the mind on the food.

Building on this, design studio Savvy developed a multi-sensory brand identity, with a similar restraint, materiality and discretion. This offers something of its own subtle character but does not detract from the food, while also working in small thoughtful details such as scent and semi-transparent paper that links type with interior. The project included menus, stationery, business cards and a ceramic gift.

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Carlsberg Black Gold by Kontrapunkt, Denmark

Opinion by Richard Baird

New minimal package design by Danish studio Kontrapunkt for Carlsberg's Black Gold

Carlsberg is a Danish beer brand founded in 1847 by J.C. Jacobsen. It is part of the Carlsberg Group portfolio which also includes Tuborg, Kronenbourg and Somersby cider, as well as Carlsberg Export and Carlsberg Black Gold. Carlsberg has a significant heritage. And, like many other beer brands, has largely conveyed this using the visual language and associated legacy of the beer bottle label, which then made it on to cans.

Carlsberg has begun a steady move towards a more current visual expression. This is characterised by a concise communicative intention and a stylistic simplicity. This can be seen, initially, in the design of the Carlsberg can for the German market, created by Copenhagen-based studio Kontrapunkt, and in the redesign of Carlsberg Black Gold, also by Kontrapunkt. Black Gold is a dark pilsner, brewed in the same manner as Carlsberg’s premium variety, only for longer, giving it a richer flavour profile and higher alcohol content. This difference is conveyed immediately using a black and gold print finish.

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