It certainly doesn’t hurt when good design comes in an edible form. An example of such is the ongoing collaboration between Commune Design and Valerie Confections. The two Los Angelenos have been working together for the past six years, pairing memorable packaging design with even more delectable contents.
‘The collaboration came about very organically,’ remembers Valerie Gordon, proprietress of the sweet shop. ‘Commune used our chocolates for client gifts for a year or two and eventually said we should do something together. It’s been very simple and easy, and the nature of our relationship and creative process really hasn’t altered since.’
From chocolate granola mixes to chocolate-covered sandwich cookies, the Commune+Valerie choices are undeniably moreish. What’s more is that each product embraces Commune’s retro-tinged, folkloric style. Be it the Austrian secessionist posters or 60s-style hippie photography that influenced the design of the Good Mix bars, or push-pin graphics, early 20th century Swiss chocolate bars and boxes, the combination of different references makes for vibrant and inviting packaging.
‘We usually look at a few things and then mix them up. The idea is for the packaging to be super graphic, fun and hopefully a collectible,’ says Commune’s Roman Alonso. ‘[Each product] demonstrates the same approach and process, which is layered and rooted in the things we love around here. But we do like them to have their own personality, like siblings.’
The newest addition to the line is a duo of chocolate bars, enriched with fruit, nuts and seeds. Based on the Good Mix – a gluten-free chocolate granola that mixed roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, vanilla paste, cacao nibs and sea salt – the Good Mix Bars (one version is spicy, thanks to a hit of paprika and peppers) bring all that deliciousness into a 61 per cent dark chocolate bar form.
Unwrapping the bars reveals a cheeky surprise – as seen in the images here. Gordon says, ‘The look of the Good Mix Bars is incredible – the way it unfolds, the imagery. There is a narrative within the design, making it insanely compelling.’
Alonso adds, ‘We love the idea of people pinning the two wrappers on a wall side by side, like Adam and Eve.’