Hot Cocoa Labels

I have worked on a bunch of fun projects for The Silk Road Spice Merchant over the last couple of years that I didn't end up posting about. One of those projects was designing labels for their line of hot cocoa mixes.

Because the hot cocoas aren't spices, they wanted the labels to have a different look than their spices, but still feel like one of their products. To accomplish this, I decided to keep the same basic format as the spice labels with the company logo front and centre and product info on either side. But I wanted to do something interesting with the names of the cocoas and the background.

Mulling-Spices-Label

This is an example of what the spice labels look like.

The project was wide open; I was free to present whatever I wanted to the owners. That was actually quite challenging as I had trouble initially settling on a direction. Should I include illustrated elements or keep it typographic? Use digital fonts or hand drawn lettering? Should the letters be printed or script? Should the style be more funky or classic? I tried several different looks in the beginning.

Hand-Lettering-Early-Experiments

hand-type1

early-experiments

hand-lettering-experiments-2

Because the hot cocoas are blended by hand (as is everything at The Silk Road) I liked the idea of making the labels feel handmade as well. I decided to hand letter all of the main text and use water colour stains to differentiate the different flavours. To keep with the old world feel of the physical store, I wanted the label to feel like it had been around for a long time so I used tea stained paper for the background.

hand-lettering-tests

Hand-lettering-for-labels

There are 6 different flavours and each one needed to have it's own colour and identity. In order to emphasize each flavour's colour, I played with having a coloured bar at the bottom of the label or a frame around the logo.

Colour-Palettes-1

This was my first attempt at the palette. I felt like the colours represented the flavours well, but despite my efforts, the two blues were still too similar, as were the two greens.

 

Colour-Palettes-2-frames

The final colour palette.

In the end, we decided to go with the the coloured bar at the bottom.

Final-hot-Cocoa-labels

Final-Hot-Cocoa-Labels-In-Context

 

All of these hot cocoa mixes are really delicious too. My favourites are Mountain Mint and Spicy Mexican.