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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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The Golden Hour by Triboro

Opinion by Richard Baird

New Graphic Identity and matchboxes for The Golden Hour by Triboro

The Golden Hour is an outdoor seasonal restaurant located in New York’s The High Line Hotel. It is a place to experience the softening of sunlight with unobstructed views of the Chelsea skyline. The restaurant intends to draw to mind the casual elegance of a coastal soirée rather than the rushing of pre-dinner drinks. The restaurant space is described as being a lush outdoor dining room where brass tables meet tropical vegetation and aisles of topiary. Drinks are centred around the escapement of the summer heat which compliments dishes inspired by the flavours of late summer on the North Atlantic, created to be enjoyed outdoors. There is a theatre to the experience in its spatial considerations, performative aspect, in the transitions that happen over time within the restaurant (small plates to large platters), and the evocation of a time and place. This temporal quality also emerges in the design of The Golden Hour’s visual identity, in the intersection of the graphic and the material, in the use of abstract motif, shape and symbology by American design studio Triboro across menus, coasters, notecards, business cards and website.

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Åhléns by Happy FB

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity, shopping bags, packaging and signage by Happy FB for Swedish retailer Åhléns

Åhléns began in 1899 as a small mail-order business. Aside from it being one of the oldest it has also grown to become one of the largest retail chains in Sweden. By carefully collating a variety of items across brands and price categories, the retailer maintains its relevance today, understanding and responding to the many ways in which its customers have changed over its long history. Happy FB, the Scandinavian design studio behind Åhléns new visual identity, puts it simply “to Åhléns’ urbane and socially conscious patrons, shopping and sustainability are not contradictions. Inspiration and trends do not equate to use and discard. Premium can be inexpensive and cheap doesn’t necessarily mean a drop in quality”. The retailer’s new visual identity expresses this by taking the well-established Åhléns wordmark and single red and builds this out into a range of changing graphic expressions, imbuing a variety of touchpoints, material and digital, with more character whilst retaining a recognisable immediacy through simplicity.

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