Carpe Nux designed by Designers Anonymous22 August,2014
Carpe Nux is a premium, sweet and savoury, fusion flavour nut brand inspired by global cuisine, hand-roasted in batches in the UK and created to invigorate what was perceived to be a flagging market. Flavours include Fiery Macadamias, Rum-Spiced Pecans, Zesty Cashews and Soy-Glazed Walnuts. London based Designers Anonymous were recently commissioned by Carpe Nux to help them communicate, through a new brand identity and packaging treatment, their international search for the perfect nut and the parallels they draw between their range’s flavour profiles, and historical figures whose legacy and stories expanded across borders yet remain relevant today.
The illustrations manage to bridge the historical nature of each character and the contemporary influence they have on society today, as well as flavour profile, provenance and craft, through strong angles, a reduction of form, a sense of geometry, their hand painted qualities and the exotic but natural tones of the colour palette. Individually they are distinctive and collectively original in their composition, have a communicative breath that is both subtle and direct, and are far from the sharp vector character illustrations frequently being utilised across the food market.
Their execution on pack over uncoated board as photographs work well as a snapshot of an international expedition fleshing out brand, reinforcing craft and are almost authentic in an old world way with perhaps a touch of the Empire about them. Designers Anonymous describe their approach as wanting to give the packaging a ‘collectable’ feel rather than an individual purchase, and it successfully does so with plenty of room for expansion.
The logotype, monogram and strap line are well executed and like the illustrations blend past, present and provenance. This is visualised through a monogram built from a current single line weight rendering of a classic letterform and a C/scroll combination, the period and engraved qualities of Gin and the European origins of Brandon.
Together, and alongside the flourishes of the borders, these details appear a little much, leaning more towards a period influence rather than a current simplicity and the flexibility of having multiple free-floating assets, however, these type choices are a communicatively effective and support the themes and aesthetic impact of the illustrations and are built upon through copy that adds a layer of discovery, story and historical interest. Although the relationship between nuts and historical individuals is fairly loose, they are bound by a pretty good strap line.
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