The Daily Heller: Do You Like Chocolate? Yes, I Love Choc-a-lot

Posted inThe Daily Heller

Pasta is the most comforting food in my world, but Italian chocolate appeals to all the human senses. Chocolate is hot and cool—especially the packaging.

Angelini Design, founded by Carlo Angelini, has long been a go-to design firm for its unique blend of historical and contemporary visual sensibilities. With offices in Rome, Turin, Paris and Shanghai, it is truly international, yet when all is said and done, classic Italian companies seek their enviable attention to graphic detail. A good example of that is the following redesign and refinement of Strega, known for its Alberti confections and liquors.

Angelini has been dipping into the tasty typographic legacy of Strega to honor and advance the graphic language that makes the brand so recognizable. Partner Michele Angelini, Carlo’s son, has been running the Shanghai office for two years, but always finds time to talk about his love of his heritage. I asked him to whet our appetites through the following conversation.

How long did this project take?
Here you can see four different projects, each one with its own challenges and specificity. The two chocolate packaging system—Strega and Strega Alberti—took around three months from brief to the delivery of the execution files. The limited-edition sleeve (above) took us around one month. The Easter packaging system (below), around two months. In all these projects there was an initial deep research on their vast graphical and visual history that then inspired us through the whole projects.

Strega fits your vintage aesthetic perfectly. Were you in heaven doing this?
Strega fits perfectly our vision of design, a work which is always based on cultural roots. We call it “brand heritage.” In the last years we worked more and more with brands that have a strong history and background. It requires a specific approach to understand their tradition and values and translate them into future vision.

Strega is a perfect case without a unique positioning; it is a brand with more than 150 years of story that is really part of the Italian culture. Strega worked with the best illustrators and advertising masters of the past (from Depero to Dudovich), and it always promoted culture and innovation through arts. Just an example: In 1947 Strega created the “Strega award,” which is still today the most important award for Italian literature.

Did you have to create custom type and lettering, or was it all there for you?
All type was created by us. Strega has always had a very variegated language in his history, both in terms of type and illustrations. In our pack we tried to show off this richness and variety.

I see you had a chance to mix it up—for example, with the two chocolate lines.
Strega—which is the line with the liquor Strega—has a unique type design; each product/pack is different from the other one. Strega Alberti—the line without the liquor—has a more consistent typography throughout all the packs.

All I can say is, bring them on. I am addicted.