much simpler and direct than designs that were
already on the market.
“It had to embrace the chocolate-making pro-
cess, and it also needed to show that this is a
very high-end, delicious product,” the designer
explains.
Her first trials explored the geographic ori-
gins of the chocolate for each variety. She
experimented with collages of original folk art
motives and patterns. Some designs contained
images of mountains or other bits of topogra-
phy. Even though all of these experiments were
quite abstract, when she shared these with a
focus group, Windeisen discovered that this
approach was still too literal.
So she picked up a sumi brush for the word
mark and oil pastels for the background and
went even more abstract. After many hours of
loose hand lettering with the brush, she cre-
ated the fi nal Theo logo. It’s clearly a work of
the human hand, less calligraphy than lovely
handwriting. The addition of the cacao bean
inserts the illustrative touch she loves.
Because of the weight of the logo’s lines, it works well on a variety
of backgrounds. For the existing product line, the colors on the
packaging refer to the ingredients and their origin through color:
Windeisen’s oil pastel designs are like paintings. Each is unique,
a treat to look at as well as eat.
“I loved this project so much that I couldn’t even sleep at night. I
just immersed myself in it,” she says. “I like to capture the soul of
what the client wants so that the design operates on an emotional
level, as opposed to a ‘rules level’ for corporate design. Every job
must bring out that soul.”
Lush, sweet, full of paint, long eyelashes, and
most of all, emotion—that’s what Marta Wind-
eisen’s work is. Windeisen, a.k.a. Zaara, creates
both design and illustration work in her Seattle
studio, KittenChops. Like a cupid’s dart, her
art shoots a direct connection to the reader
through its simple yet sophisticated style.
The logo and packaging she created for Theo
is no exception. Theo is a very high-end line
of chocolate produced by Windeisen’s client,
Theo Chocolate. Its product flavors include
such delicacies as Saffron Caramel, Burnt
Sugar Ganache, Lavender Jalapeño Caramel,
and Licorice Ganache.
“The whole concept of the client is that it is
actually a factory—they do everything to pro-
duce the chocolate from scratch, like roast the
beans, add only organic ingredients, and more
to make the product, from beginning to end.
There are only a few producers like this in the
U.S.,” Windeisen says.
The name Theo comes from “Theo Broma,”
which means “food of the gods.” The name had
immediate appeal to the artists: “It’s short and easy to remember,”
she says. “It’s spiritual and deeply rooted in tradition.”
The client asked Windeisen to completely steer clear of two
design approaches that are common to the chocolate industry:
rst, an old-world, European look, and second, anything that
spoke of the farming of chocolate. This would include images of
growers, hands lovingly holding beans, or any other literal, Wiki-
like explanation.
Instead, the client wanted a logo that suggested the care and
heart that goes into producing its products, but a design that was
Theo Chocolate
Logo and Package Design
KittenChops, Seattle, Washington
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