Kept Chocolate
Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 6:34PM
Grace "gracesix" Ilori in branding, case study, color, cookie, flavored chocolate, gracesix, gracesix case study, graphic design, graphic design, identity design, identity design, kept, logo, packaging, sketches, strategy

Why was this project named Kept? Well, I felt there was limitless play with a word associated with so many things.

1 have or retain possession of : my father would keep the best for himself | she had trouble keeping her balance. 
retain or reserve for use in the future : return one copy to me, keeping the other for your files. 
put or store in a regular place : the stand where her umbrella was kept. 
retain one's place in or on (a seat or saddle, the ground, etc.) against opposition or difficulty :
 are you able to keep your saddle? 
delay or detain; cause to be late : I won't keep you; I know you've got a busy evening. 
2 continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc. : [ intrans. ] she could have had some boyfriend she kept quiet about | keep left along the wall | [ trans. ] she might be kept alive artificially by machinery. 
[ intrans. ] continue doing or do repeatedly or habitually : he keeps going on about the murder. 
[ intrans. ] (of a perishable commodity) remain in good condition :fresh ginger does not keep well. 
[ trans. ] make (someone) do something for a period of time : I have kept her waiting too long. 
archaic continue to follow (a way, path, or course) : the friars and soldiers removed, keeping their course toward Jericho. 
3 provide for the sustenance of (someone) : he had to keep his large family in the manner he had chosen. 
provide (someone) with a regular supply of a commodity : the money should keep him in cigarettes for a week. 
own and look after (an animal) for pleasure or profit. 
own and manage (a shop or business). 
guard; protect : his only thought is to keep the boy from harm.
support (someone, esp. a woman) financially in return for sexual favors: [as adj. ] a kept woman.
4 honor or fulfill (a commitment or undertaking) : I'll keep my promise, naturally.
observe (a religious occasion) in the prescribed manner : today's consumers do not keep the Sabbath.
pay due regard to (a law or custom).
5 make written entries in (a diary) on a regular basis : the master kept a weekly journal.
write down as (a record) : keep a note of the whereabouts of each item.

That and I like secrets. As I told my friend (while pitching the idea) not deep-dark-hateful-family-secrets. No no no. Fun-playful-tasty-whispery-secrets, like the kind teenage girls share... or at least used to.
When I created my chocolate company, I thought the package direction could go one of three ways. As you can see above, those choices were lavish (gold lettering,) funky, or fun/funny. In the end, I used all three. Look at this crummy subway sketch. Anyway, I liked the idea of having tiny boxes that could stand alone or be sold together in a variety pack. I felt the small packaging could be a play on "small treasures" or "kept secrets." A bit more fleshed out. When creating my logo, I built them out of previously created fonts. My workmark (then) was a mixture of two fonts. I thought the silhouetted letter shapes were fun and youthful. I especially liked the key shape made in the negative space between the e and p. (Above) What colors make you think of chocolate? Well, when I showed people these National Geographic volcano photos, they thought I was crazy for thinking they looked tasty. I went and did a bunch of (Western) color research anyway and just made sure to include similar colors in my palette. In my research, I learned things like lavender is a "grown up" pink. Who knew?
Here (above) are the swatches I seperated into color schemes (I'll post some later) and a few"lavish" box cover ideas. The lettering is supposed to be gold or silver foil. These colors are much darker when printed. I put the color schemes together using printed swatches. When I pointed the key shape out (in my logo) to a friend and she suggested that I bring some more attention to that area. Here are some tests and the finished product (above).

This is a more completed box.

Here are some of the "lavish box" color schemes I made for that chocolate project (mentioned previously). They are based off some color research I did and those volcano pictures you saw way above. This is also how I knew what the printed colors would look like. Remind me to tell you about mood books later. These were some of my initial patterns (above and below) for the other packaging direction of Kept. I posted a tutorial on the one above a little while ago. As you can see, I needed to work on these more. After sulking a bit, I got some new art supplies and began work. Would you believe I had so much fun? All in all, I created over 48 cover designs, not including colors or variations. I learned that you don't have to sacrifice value or aesthetics to meet a deadline. You can have both! There are a few sleepless nights, but it's worth it all in the end. Some of my fun.

After I got my formula for "secretive enjoyment" (involves tilted heads and smiling eyes) down, I thought long and hard about what the characters for Kept chocolate should look like. I used the 90's girl appeal formula: one long-haired minority + one short-haired "sporty" girl + one full-headed "girly girl" = fun. Proof of this? Think of movies like Clueless and Charlie's Angels. This girl (above) was based on two sketches from the last sheet of paper (further above.) As you can see, she wasn't based on any type of human anatomy. I tried to force a bunch of stylized curves into what I thought would be cute. I wound up with a bit of grief instead. More on that a little later. Here are the original girls! The black girl has an afro only because I wore one (myself) in a show around the time of her conception. Do you like her fingers? My "girly girl" (next to "old") is the only drawing here based on a real person. She was too detailed. As for the "sporty girl," I was told to fix her arm. Understandable! I later went and surveyed 5 guys on what they thought of the characters. Their main "concern" was with our short-haired friend here. I was given a laundry list of changes to make. They included longer hair, bigger boobs, hips (she's a torso,) and a bigger butt. They felt she looked like a man. I'm still a little confused by that one. Here is my compromise just below. New and improved! The girls seemed very happy about their changes. These are examples of the color variations the character boxes went through. [Volcano color scheme above.] Sorry about the aliasing. I don't know why reds do that here. Here (above) are some of the other cover tests. A blurry chocolate set test. Below, a finalized box design.

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