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René Redzepi, A Work in Progress: A Journal by Pentagram

Opinion by Richard Baird

A new book from the acclaimed Danish chef and Noma creator and owner René Redzepi, published by Phaidon and designed by Pentagram

Pentagram partner Astrid Stavro and project team Jake Gilbert and Susanna Foppoli have recently completed work on A Work in Progress: A Journal, a book from the acclaimed Danish chef René Redzepi, published by Phaidon.

Through Noma, a two-Michelin star restaurant that reimagined Nordic cuisine, René Redzepi has built a formidable reputation for innovation and inventiveness. His viewpoint and approach emerge throughout this new publication by way of a first-person narrative.

Part cookbook but largely a journal that documents a year in the life of Redzepi and his team, the writing is a “candid and witty story about creativity and inspiration”. This follows the process of discovery, creation and refinement, and profiles the struggle, determination and teamwork required to embrace and make the most of the ingredients of each new season. As you would expect from a journal this is delivered alongside the day to day, a transcript of a TedX talk, lists of work delegation, talk of dreams, moments of frustration and visceral scene setting.

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andSons Chocolatiers by Base Design

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Logotype, branding and packaging by Base design for LA based chocolatier AndSons

andSons is a second generation chocolatier and retailer run by Marc and Phil Covitz, two brothers who learned everything there is to know about fine chocolate from their mother. Seeking to offer something new to the world of artisanal chocolate, driven forward by Top 10 Pastry Chef Kriss Harvey who joins the brothers, andSons thrashes out a liminal space between their traditional European heritage and the contemporary creativity of Los Angeles where they are located. With this positioning in mind andSons commissioned Base Design to create an iconic graphic identity and packaging design that would capture the spirit of innovation founded on tradition that was refined and luxurious whilst also being playful and surprising. These intentions are woven together and expressed by way of a simple but elegant logotype, bold colourful forms set against white space, and using colourful foils in conjunction with interchangeable sleeves.

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Rare Harvest by Marx Design

Opinion by Richard Baird.

New packaging by Marx Design for Rare Havest, a limited edition Mānuka honey from The True Honey Company

The True Honey Company (TTHC) dedicates itself to the production of mānuka honey, a monofloral variety produced in Australia and New Zealand from the nectar of the mānuka tree. It has a unique colour and texture and a high level of dietary Methyglyoxal, an organic compound with antibacterial and antiviral properties.

With a price range starting at 60.00AUD and rising to 230.00AUD per jar, and working in a market flooded with sub-standard honey and dishonest marketing, communicating the value of the product and the commitment of TTHC to quality and ethical production through an impactful and engaging brand identity and packaging design was paramount. This task was given to Auckland-based graphic design studio and packaging specialists Marx Design who played with a material and structural language to express the rarity and value of such a product.

Marx Design returned to the project in 2019 to develop packaging for Rare Harvest, a limited edition mānuka honey from TTHC certified at an unprecedented 1,700+ MGO (31+UMF), the highest ever recorded. Marx Design, working in collaboration with Think Packaging, further the material language of value and rarity that characterised the first range, and fold in the theme of Mānuka blossoms.

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