Leading creatives design pastry box stickers for EnsaimadArt

Work of Australians Vince Frost and Benjamin Hennessy
Spanish designers Astrid Stavro and Pablo Martin have tasked leading international creatives to design a sticker to be placed on boxes containing ensaimadas - a Majorcan sweet pastry. Pictured is the work of Australians Vince Frost and Benjamin Hennessy
(Image credit: Vince Frost and Benjamin Hennessy)

EnsaimadArt (opens in new tab) is one of those rare and heart-warming things - a small-scale charitable initiative that has ended up becoming a global phenomenon, attracting the participation of international stars of design, illustration, photography and cuisine such as Wim Crouwel, Vince Frost (opens in new tab), Paul Sahre (opens in new tab), Javier Mariscal (opens in new tab), and three-star Michelin chef Carme Ruscalleda (opens in new tab).
 
The project, first hit upon by Spanish designers Astrid Stavro (opens in new tab) and Pablo Martín in January of this year, has brought together a who's who of the visual arts to design a sticker to be placed on boxes containing ensaimadas - a Majorcan sweet pastry.
 
The ensaimada isn't just any old pastry mind you. It may appear to be little more than an oversized croissant, but the spiral-shaped delicacy is a national institution in Majorca, shared among local families every Sunday and eulogised by Picasso (opens in new tab) and Miró (opens in new tab). 'Around six or seven million people visit the island every year and a huge number of them will take home ensaimadas,' explains Martín. 'To Majorcans they have the same cultural significance as the hamburger in the US.'
 
Stavro and Martín, who together run Majorcan-based publishing house Infolio (opens in new tab), moved to the Balearic island three years ago and were impressed by the beautiful vernacular design of the pastry's traditional octagonal boxes. 'We hunted around all the bakeries on the island looking for good examples to put in a book,' says Stavro, 'but sadly the really good ones were all from the past. We started thinking, "This needs a revamp."'
 
At the beginning of this year the designers were working for Majorcan charity Amadip.esment (opens in new tab) when they suggested the EnsaimadArt concept as a means of celebrating the foundation's 50th birthday and raising funds: all profits from the sale of the limited edition boxes will contribute to programmes aimed at improving the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities.
 
The call was sent out to a carefully selected roster of international names to create a design that would 'make people smile', accompanied by a pithy brief posing questions about the relevance of design in society. Something about the unabashed idealism of the project struck a chord - and the entries started flooding in.
 
'Not only did almost everyone come back with an emphatic "Yes",' says Stavro, 'but we couldn't believe the speed of the turnaround. Even a design legend like Wim Crouwel sent his back within a week.'
 
At this stage the project took on a viral element, with word spreading throughout the design community - to the point where leading exponents of the craft were submitting unsolicited entries simply because they loved the idea.
 
By the time the closing date rolled by, Stavro and Martín had collected 176 wildly eclectic designs from all over the globe. Many of the designers and illustrators on the list are names Wallpaper* has worked with in the past, such as Alex Trochut, A Practice For Everyday Life (APFEL), Hort, Henrik Kubel and Lucienne Roberts.
 
'The appeal of this project was its breadth coupled with its simplicity,' says Roberts of her decision to take part. 'The brief asked "can a sticker have a positive effect on society?" This chimed with me instantly. On the one hand graphic design is usually ephemeral, and therefore presumed to be inconsequential, and yet it is seen and used by almost everyone.'

Roberts drew inspiration from the spiral shape of the pastry and the octagonal box, which, she says, 'seemed to lend themselves to some kind of visually abstract but flamboyant solution in support of the celebratory message of opportunities for all'.
 
For Stavro, it's the 'solidarity' element of the project that has engaged people. 'It's fun,' she says, 'but it will also help to improve the lives of others. In the middle of a tough recession it's nice to do something that isn't simply about making money.'
 
Fittingly, given the number of ensaimadas bought as souvenirs by visitors to the island, the project (and its accompanying catalogue) will be launched at Palma de Majorca airport on 13 December, with luggage belts displaying the limited edition ensaimada boxes.
 
After the launch the boxes will be continue to be sold at Palma de Majorca airport but they, and the catalogue, can also be purchased, via the Amadip.esment (opens in new tab)'s website.

Ensaimada box sticker

Ensaimada box sticker by Barcelona-based Alex Trochut. Profits from the sale of the limited edition boxes will go to Majorcan charity Amadip.esment and its initiatives to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities

(Image credit: Alex Trochut)

iDISFRUTA DE LA VIDA! box sticker

The designers and artists were challenged to create a design that would 'make people smile'. London-based A Practice for Every Day Life's offering asks people to 'enjoy life'

(Image credit: press)

Sticker by Wim Crouwel

Sticker by Wim Crouwel, Netherlands

(Image credit: Wim Crouwel)

Sticker by Hort

Sticker by Hort, Berlin

(Image credit: Hort)

Sticker by Lucienne Robers

Sticker by Lucienne Robers, London

(Image credit: Lucienne Robers)

Sticker by Biel Capllonch

Sticker by Biel Capllonch, Majorca

(Image credit: Biel Capllonch)

Sticker by Angus Hyland

Sticker by Angus Hyland, London

(Image credit: Angus Hyland)

Box Sticker by Bunch

Sticker by Bunch, London

(Image credit: Bunch)

Sticker by Henrik Kubel

Sticker by Henrik Kubel, London

(Image credit: Henrik Kubel)

Sticker by Javier Mariscal

Sticker by Javier Mariscal, Barcelona

(Image credit: Javier Mariscal)

Sticker by Daniel Eatock

Sticker by Daniel Eatock, London

(Image credit: Daniel Eatock)

Sticker by Dean Poole

Sticker by Dean Poole, New Zealand

(Image credit: Dean Poole)

Sticker by Fraser Muggeridge

Sticker by Fraser Muggeridge, London

(Image credit: Fraser Muggeridge)

Sticker by Fred Birdsall

Sticker by Fred Birdsall, London

(Image credit: Fred Birdsall)

Sticker by Hey Studio

Sticker by Hey Studio, Barcelona

(Image credit: Hey Studio)

Sticker by Inigo Jerez

Sticker by Inigo Jerez, Barcelona

(Image credit: Inigo Jerez)

Sticker by Isidro Ferrer

Sticker by Isidro Ferrer, Huesca

(Image credit: Isidro Ferrer)

Sticker of Hat-Trick Design

Sticker by Jim Sutherland at Hat-Trick Design, London

(Image credit: Jim Sutherland)

Sticker by Marion Deuchars

Sticker by Marion Deuchars, London

(Image credit: Marion Deuchars)

Sticker by Miriam Rosenbloom

Sticker by Miriam Rosenbloom, Australia

(Image credit: Miriam Rosenbloom)

Box Sticker by OK-RM

Sticker by OK-RM, London

(Image credit: OK-RM)

Sticker by Pablo Juncadella Mucho

Sticker by Pablo Juncadella Mucho, Barcelona

(Image credit: Pablo Juncadella Mucho)

Sticker by Present Perfect

Sticker by Present Perfect, London

(Image credit: Present Perfect)

Sticker by Studio Makgill

Sticker by Studio Makgill, London

(Image credit: Studio Makgill)