Brand Design Case Study of Royal Beans

Yagnesh Ahir
Paperclip Design
Published in
9 min readJan 13, 2020
Handmade luxurious Belgian Chocolates

“Rare is the union of beauty & purity”
— Juvenel

When Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis (known today as Juvenel), a Roman poet of the first century AD would have said this, little would he have known that this would stand absolutely true for artisanal chocolates as well.

Royal Beans a premium handmade chocolate brand, curated by professional chocolatiers is driven by this very thought. They are committed to providing world class chocolates to their customers which is why this brand focuses on the highest form of purity of their products. Their handmade vegetarian chocolates do not contain any artificial preservatives & are created with the best quality of ingredients.

Although this brand currently caters exclusively to chocolate lovers & connoisseurs through their online portal but due to the growing popularity of their products they are planning to soon foray in the retail offline segment as well.

So, what’s the challenge?

For any brand, apart from the product/products that they offer, brand visibility & recall are perhaps the most important factor for a longer stint in the market. In the case of an expanding market share & increasing competition this becomes even more important.

Thus when the creators of Royal Beans approached us, they had just one thought in mind : ‘Redesigning & defining the brands visual language’.

The instructions from their end were pretty clear:
I) We had to create a brand refresh for the complete product range &
II) To elevate the brand name through re-branding and packaging

Royal beans’ complete product range and existing brand language when they approached nextUX.

If we had to put it in words or numbers, the brief from Royal Beans pretty much looked like this !

  1. Redesigning the brand identity/Logo
  2. Packaging design for bars — 17 flavors under 4 different categories
    - Milk Chocolate
    - White Chocolate
    - Dark Chocolate
    - Single Origin Chocolates
  3. Wrappers for squares (mini chocolates)
  4. Boxes for squares and bonbons
  5. Brand extensions — Thank you cards, Menu cards, Bags, Catalogs etc.
  6. Brands’ overall visual language
Existing brand presence on social media

The crux of the entire briefing was that a new brand appeal was needed. No sooner than the brief was over we got to work!

A major brainstorming followed. (For us it is very important to understand what needs to be fixed & the root causes of dissent before we actually start fixing something.)

Our initial analysis led to a lot of insights on the existing brand elements, we have shared some here to give you a better understanding of how we go about redesigning a brand’s visual language.

LOGO

The logo of any brand is the core identity of its existence, it functions as the biggest element in an effective brand recall. Remember Nike?

The existing logo of Royal Beans had some major design gaps such as :

  • Heavy visuals
  • Ineffectively established pattern
  • Lack of sync between the logo and the brands visual style
Calligraphy/Script font

VISUAL LANGUAGE

The visual language of the products varied heavily, and the design style of each product and collateral/brand extension was in extremes in terms of colors, patterns, fonts & effects.

Lack of a defined visual language/theme
Inconsistent logo placement and illustration style
Thank You’ cards in different fonts and color

PACKAGING

The way a product is packaged speaks volumes about its brand, and we won’t be wrong if we say that oftentimes it’s the packaging that drives the purchase of a product. We found some really crucial gaps in the existing packaging style & the brand appeal that Royal Beans was targeting at. The existing packaging had some major flaws, few of which were:

  1. Poor print quality of the packaging materials
  2. Thin packaging material that could hamper the product’s Lifespan
  3. Product safety issues due to ineffective packaging
  4. Lack of visual uniformity in the information at the back flap
Information at the back is in two different orientations. Difficult to read.

Some other missing elements

In the pre-existing packaging style the product appeared very small when held in hand and did not give the feel of a premium product experience

Considering the current market of Royal Beans & their futuristic vision of scalability in the retail segment, there were many gaps in the existing brand language and the one that was needed. After an initial brand diagnosis we realised that there were many aspects that need to be addressed to create a scalable market presence, starting with the existing brand language.

Some major gaps we came across were:

The Perceived value

For any brand to scale up in the retail markets, they absolutely need to focus on the perceived value of their product. The price of a product is directly correlated with the size of it rather than the quality of it by the common man.

In the Indian market people find it difficult to pay Rs.150 to 200 for a 50 gms chocolate bar, whereas in the same price, the dominant chocolate brands are offering boxes of its product, where even if the quantity is less, the packaging looks appealing.

As the upcoming TG (Target audience) of Royal Beans is the common man, we had to do something about the perceived value of the product.

Consistent Visual language

What would you go through if the ‘Red Light’ at traffic signals one day behaved like the ‘Orange Light’?

It will be a total chaos! Isn’t it ?

Consistency is the key, especially in communication and more so in visual communication. To create an effective brand recall, we had to streamline the visual communication of Royal Beans.

Scalable visual language

Brands and brand language should always be futuristic!

The existing brand language of Royal Beans was extremely scattered and lacked the vision of future scalability. One of the core needs of the brand here was to stick to a theme that could be extended in the upcoming days and spread a uniform brand message.

Premiumness & Artisanal appeal

In Spite of being an artisanal and premium chocolate brand catering to a niche segment, none of the brand elements of Royal Beans expressed that appeal. A major lack on this front was the ‘Product Packaging’ style.

The study of the existing brand language gave us a lot of insights and we finally knew what we had to do, it was time to get to work.

The Work Begins!

After intense brainstorming and analysis we finally sat down to recreate the brand ‘Royal Beans’ . The first task in this entire exercise was to discover the brand’s new visual language.

Discovering the visual language

Brainstorming brand attributes that best defines the brand

Who said identifying the right fonts for the brand language is an easy task?

So to start with, we had in check the existing brand attributes such as : a premium product, handcrafted by artisans & pure cacao (chocolate), but what about the inspiration?

Our theme inspiration came from the Royal architecture + Contemporary look of the Romans era.

Why royal architecture?

Well the reasons are many but what caught our attention was that : They are exclusively handcrafted for the royalty & thus have a premium factor associated with it.

The results were quite satisfactory as we zeroed down on ‘Thin slab serif’ font for the royal architecture & Josfin Serif font ( a great combination of geometric sans-serifs and modern slab serif designs) to derive the attributes of the royal Roman architecture, targeted at appealing the youth.

Explorations

4 different custom motifs

Next up we had to figure out the cover designs for the products. We went ahead with architectural Motifs. We wanted them to be unique for each category of the product yet be interlinked with the common theme. This led to the creation of 4 intricate & beautiful motifs for the cover designs.

These Motifs were based on the density & type of chocolate.
- Dark chocolate — Very dense and intricate motif
- Milk chocolate — Comparatively less dense
- White chocolate — Very light motif. Open. More spaced out.
- Single Origin — Motif originating from one single point

Interesting isn’t it? Yes we speak through designs!

Motifs created into patterns

The royal architecture inspired motifs & 3 aligning color patches became the main brand elements of Royal Beans across all packaging materials and brand collaterals. We wanted to restrict the color palette to the minimalistic, and so we did!

In this part each color defined the variant of the chocolate.The darker colors were picked up for the dark chocolate, pastels for milk chocolates & primary colors for single origin dark chocolate.

Told you, We speak colors too!

Patterns and 3 color patches forms the main brand elements, extending across other packaging and marketing collaterals.
Color palette based on the type of chocolate and flavours

Defining the premiumness and artisan (Image final versions of logo and packaging)

  1. We made sure that the brand appeal of Royal beans is highly accentuated by added effects & textures to enhance the premiumness and added dimension to the brand visuals. Some of the key additions that we made to the packaging were:
    - Spot UV
    - Textured UV
    - Thermal lamination for matt effect
    - Gold foiling on boxes &
    - Velvet lamination on boxes

Why we moved from box to sleeve?

A sample rendition of the packaging material with the new designs were created and it turned out to be as we had visualised it.

However, in spite of the designs being as per brand language, there was something amiss about the whole package. This is when it dawned on us that the box still looked very small, much smaller than the previous packaging of the product !

We wanted to redefine its perceived value & this was totally not as per our strategy.

This is exactly where we literally ‘Moved out of the box’!

And shifted the box to sleeve packaging as the box design was still not justifying the product price.

Box vs Sleeve

Designing the perceived value

This entire exercise led to the final outcome as envisioned by us : ‘Designing the perceived value’. This included the final Logo, packaging and rebranding of each product segment of the brand.

Amidst all the hustle we had to make sure that the quality of the output is not compromised at any level, for which our team went to great lengths . We oversaw the entire printing process, ensured that there isn’t the slightest deviation in the production of the collaterals & above all, to ensure that our client is happy with what we created for them.

Believe us when we say, it was all worth it. After all we were building a premium brand!

Supervising the production, making sure the quality is not compromised

The Final Outcome

This is the part where whatever we say, won’t be as exciting as to see how it turned out.

So……

Take a look at what we have created!

Yes, We re-defined the entire brand language for Royal Beans, right from the product packaging to the ‘Thank you’ Letters, box designs, mini chocolate sleeves & other brand collaterals.

And this was indeed the ‘Sweetest’ Success !

After as Marty Neumeier says ‘A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or a company’. This is influenced by their visual aesthetic, the sound of their messaging and their overall positioning in the market.

Get a free evaluation of your brand from us to identify key elements that needs to be improvised, which in turn help your brand uplift its perceived value. Get in touch with us at hello@nextux.in

Brand Design Team
Shiva Tiwari, Vishrut Mehta, Kiran Pandya, and Yagnesh Ahir
Content writing help from Sakshi Singh.

Note: Some of the packaging photographs have been sourced from Royal Beans.

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