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.


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.





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.



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.


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.



The final colour palette.

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




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

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