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Boosting Simón Coll's Brand Image

Boosting Simón Coll's Brand Image

Redefinition of the role and territory of a brand of chocolate with a long history and application of the new strategic platform to its visual identity and to its restructured product range.

Full development. Concept and brand narrative, brand identity design, stationery, brand brochure, packaging for line of chocolate bars, product catalogue.

WELL-DESERVED ASCENT

With 170 years of experience manufacturing chocolate from cocoa beans to chocolate bars and deep-rooted criteria as an expert in its field, SIMÓN COLL produces chocolate with a distinctive, personal flavour. All in all, a project with a clear strategy: to do the brand justice, to make SIMÓN COLL finally look like what it really is.

The brand had previously kept a low profile. Its more popular products could do well on their own, almost without brand support. They seemed not to need to be marketed specially in a distribution channel, pastry shops and confectionery outlets, where the brand-customer relationship is often regarded as the link between supplier and retailer rather than with the end consumer.

Brand transparency is always a serious constraint in the success of any initiative, not to mention that it exposes the company to a permanently weak competitive position. However, there was nothing unsubstantial behind the SIMÓN COLL brand. On the contrary, its history and present status contributed to build a relevant brand for both distribution channels and consumers; a brand with an age-old mastery in each and every aspect of the alluring world of chocolate.

In the first place, a new strategic platform was proposed and agreed on, thus defining the SIMÓN COLL brand and territory. The visual consequences of this new strategy began with a new brand identity design and new packaging for its extensive line of chocolate bars, which is the product line with maximum exposure to consumers.


Simón Coll, Strategy

Simón Coll Brand
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Simón Coll Brand

Over 170 years the brand's visual identity had gone through all kinds of evolutions and regressions. The previous design consisted of the name in an italic typography with script capitals, which was not perfectly legible. The brand name was sometimes associated with an old illustration of a sailboat. This sailboat, in a rather coarse drawing and often just a sketch, was evocative of the Atlantic voyage raw materials like cocoa had to take in the 19th century.

The traditional and expert dimensions of the brand were values that could be enhanced in order to convey a higher perception of quality. But basically because they correspond to a bare fact to be capitalized on: the company continues to produce chocolate using to its own traditional methods, importing cocoa beans and roasting them in a unique way that gives its chocolate special flavour. The sailboat stood for this continuity. SIMÓN COLL had to appear, as was its right, as a genuine chocolate maker and this is expressed through the description "Xocolaters" in the brand's base line. The use of Catalan reveals the brand roots as well.

Changing the typography to capitals recovered the original style of the brand and greatly improved legibility. The cleaner and more important presence of the brand allowed us to add elements showing its values and to include a new version of the SIMÓN COLL sailboat illustration as a watermark.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Brand

Chocolate Bars Mould
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Chocolate Bars Mould

Having updated the brand and the design in the wrappers of Simón Coll chocolate bars, the task remained of personalising the bars themselves, which had been anonymous up to that point. In addition to this first aim, changing the mould of a chocolate bar involved adjusting the portion of consumption, although we had to maintain its overall dimensions and total weight.

This was therefore compensated according to the thicknesses and the reliefs in the chocolate, aspects which would be defined by the volumetric design of the bar. Being very easy to shape, the fine granulometry of our chocolate enabled very delicate lines to be reproduced in the mould. The new design of the bar identifies the surface of each portion with the brand, while the depth of the groove that surrounds it makes it easy to break off.


Simón Coll, Brand

Simón Coll Sailboat Range Catalogue
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Simón Coll Sailboat Range Catalogue

SIMÓN COLL’s sailboat range is made up of all its chocolate bars plus the Spanish style "chocolate a la taza", and the drinking cocoa powder. As brand image material, the catalogue follows the visual guidelines defined for SIMÓN COLL. It conveys an elegant simplicity, focusing on showing the product images and their practical information in a clean and organized way. Touch provides added value through quality paper and print finishings, such as the stamping and embossing on the cover.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Catalogue

Simón Coll Brand Brochure
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Simón Coll Brand Brochure

An element of the new positioning for Chocolates SIMÓN COLL, the brand brochure literally and visually expresses this, emphasising the brand's more than 170 years of experience.

For this purpose, full texts were written, classified in sections and illustrated with images. Just as with its complementary document, the product catalogue, the brand brochure sticks to the same design features and a completely coherent perception with the rest of the design projects that have been developed for SIMÓN COLL: the brand's corporate identity and packaging for its line of chocolate bars.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Catalogue

Simón Coll Chocolate Bars
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Simón Coll Chocolate Bars

Although the redesign of the SIMÓN COLL chocolate-bar line maintains the structural features of the previous packaging, the aim was to take a significant step forward in the brand's perceived value, a role this product range had to take on as the main public element of the renewed SIMÓN COLL, a brand dating back to 1840.

The types of chocolate, -50% cocoa, 70% cocoa, milk and white chocolates, chocolate with almonds, and sugar-free options-, had previously been codified using a different background colour for each bar. Now each variety is identified by a different coloured stripe. Visually, the rest of the packaging follows the brand architecture, using a high quality linear paper in white, the colour of the brand's most popular chocolate bar.

The colour stripe divides the space between the logo area and the new illustration of the sailboat below, which identifies the chocolate-bar line. With the restyling, the wrapping system for the whole formats range (200g, 85g and 18g) has been modified from the former folded paper sleeve to a one-piece wrapping.

The simple, clean lines of the packaging are enhanced with the use of embossed paper with the texts and the sailboat illustration printed in gray, reserving black only for the brand name.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Simón Coll's Small Chocolate Bars
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Simón Coll's Small Chocolate Bars

Scaling of the new chocolate-bar image to smaller formats, the 18g chocolate-bar line and the 5g "napolitanas" line. This small, square chocolate for coffee is the only format where the SIMÓN COLL brand logo is fully displayed, with the sailboat in the background as a watermark, following the corporate version.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Simón Coll 1880 Artwork
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Simón Coll 1880 Artwork

The SIMÓN COLL brand kept some of its more traditional chocolates in their original packaging dating back to the end of the 19th century. This is the case of, for instance, the thick bars of "chocolate a la piedra" (stone chocolate) also known as "chocolate a la taza" (chocolate by the cup), which evokes the origins of chocolate in Europe, when cocoa beans were ground on a stone, the Aztec "metate", and chocolate was consumed exclusively in drink form.

This old design features the illustration, appropriately naive, of the original SIMÓN COLL sailboat between two landscapes, with people ploughing a field and collecting sugar cane respectively, symbolizing both shores of the ocean. Once the brand had been redesigned and was ready to be applied to these products, we not only kept the historical pattern but also took the opportunity to make it more faithful to the original artwork.

This execution is part of the global project SIMÓN COLL.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Taps al Marc de Cava Truffles
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Taps al Marc de Cava Truffles

It is not surprising that one of the traditional specialties of this century-old chocolate company based in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, capital city of cava sparkling wine, is a marc de cava chocolate truffle. Like the "bouchons", a similar product from the region of Champagne, “Taps al Marc de Cava” are chocolates shaped like champagne corks. They are traditionally sold in a dark-green cava bottle with an opening in the bottom to remove the chocolates.

The result of their previous packaging (see image 3) was a product that, when placed on a store shelf, did not stand out at all from a real bottle of cava, going unnoticed except by those who were aware of this specialty. For this reason, when faced with imagery from the two categories of reference (cava and chocolate) in the redesign, we chose to tip the scales towards the latter.

The choice of a more selective bottle that stood out and was more transparent not only helped avoid any confusion but also allowed for a better view of the chocolates. In terms of graphics, the label design responds to an ornamental style while still maintaining the visual neatness that characterizes Simón Coll’s packaging. Both chocolate and cava references share values of tradition, wealth and celebration, as well as a particular graphic style that links the historic graphic code used for cavas and that of the most traditional chocolates. Often given as a gift, the Taps bottle is presented inside an elegant white cardboard box.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Chocolate
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Chocolate "Turrones"

"Turrones" (almond nougats) as well as chocolate “turrones” are one of the traditional foods eaten at Christmas in Spain. Simón Coll produces, only for the season, a number of types of chocolate “turrones” with different varieties and presentations geared towards either food stores or pastry shops and bakeries.

White folding boxes with a window showing the product variety were chosen for this range to be sold in pastry shops and bakeries. The result is a serious, high-quality appearance in line with the image expected of products sold through this distribution channel.


Simón Coll, Packaging

High Cocoa Content Bars

High Cocoa Content Bars

For a company backed up by 175 years of producing chocolate from the cocoa beans it selects and imports directly, offering chocolate bars with a high cacao content is today almost a requirement. The Simón Coll chocolate bar range - the one with the illustration of the sailing ship that transported the cocoa over the seas - ended up with a maximum of 70% cocoa. The new range now includes three new tablets, made up of 70% cococo with cacao nibs, 85% cocoa and 99% cocoa.

So that they could present a specific identity compared to the others, the three new varieties include illustrations based on cocoa - on its beans, on this tropical tree and on its leaves. Its colourful presence bursts out above and below a format which is kept vertical and shares the clean and qualitative elegance associated with the Simón Coll brand.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Drinking and Cooking Chocolate Bars
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Drinking and Cooking Chocolate Bars

Dating back to the 1840 origins of this chocolate producer, the bar for making drinking chocolate is possibly Simón Coll’s most long-lasting product. Its image, which maintains the graphic style of the 19th century, has made it one of the brand’s iconic products.

The interest it arouses in consumers in both the domestic and export markets is supplemented by the growing importance of chocolate as a culinary ingredient. As a result of this, Simón Coll decided to complement the classic version with three new varieties for drinking or cooking. 60% cocoa and cinnamon, 60% cocoa and vanilla and 70% cocoa with chilli and pepper. Visually speaking, the breakdown of the flavours shares the historic monochrome appearance of the design of the original product by allocating a single distinctive colour to each variety in a wrapping whose background is in a much more tenuous tone of the same colour. A display box has also been designed for the three new products.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Home Baking Range
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Home Baking Range

Bakery professionals have always had a range of products and formats which Simón Coll produces and markets according to their needs. The recent fondness for homemade pastries and for cooking which uses chocolate as an ingredient has boosted the demand for products that were previously restricted to the professional sphere. In their corner shops, consumers look for products to use in different ways - to melt for preparing sauces or bathing desserts, as chips to add when making homemade pastries, or for finishing off an ice cream with a topping of chocolate vermicelli or a tiramisu with powdered cacao.

This situation gives Simón Coll the opportunity to have a presence at points of sale where it is not normally found, making it known to a wider target audience as a traditional brand expert in chocolates, through more specialised cocoa products. The range, packaged in bags and canisters, includes a variety of chocolate types (according to the percentage of cacao, with milk, white, etc.) and in different forms (drops, vermicelli, powder, etc.).


Simón Coll, Packaging

Chocolate Bars with Whole Almonds
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Chocolate Bars with Whole Almonds

The chocolate bars with almonds - 50% chocolate and 70% cocoa and two milk chocolate formats - initially formed part of the common presentation of Simón Coll bars that reproduces the symbol of the brand, the ship that transported the cacao in the time when the brand was created (1840).

The redesign seeks to highlight products which coexisted too discretely with all the other bars. Products which are very highly valued due to the flavour provided by the quality of the almonds used - always from this country, whole and toasted every season - combined with the chocolate in the Simón Coll style, produced from cocoa beans which are toasted in two stages following a special process that enhances the flavour of the almonds.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Winter chocolates

Winter chocolates

The Christmas-theme chocolate bars are supplemented by new themed illustrations, which can extend the temporary duration of this type of product to the whole winter season. The winter motif chosen for the three illustrations is one of snowmen, and maintains the line created for Simón Coll in all the previous productions, as regards always offering very attractive, high-quality production which transmits empathy and warmth.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Simón Coll's Cacao Nibs
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Simón Coll's Cacao Nibs

In the technical language of the cocoa experts, the word "nibs" refers to sliced, toasted cocoa beans. Obtaining the cocoa nibs is one of the first stages of the chocolate-making process.

Being chocolate manufacturers from bean to bar, Chocolates Simon Coll decided to introduce an unprecedented product concept for its domestic market based on these cocoa nibs. This initiative perfectly highlights the company’s expertise obtained through their more than 170 years of experience. The marketing guidelines were to launch an adult chocolate snack, geared toward impulse purchases and individual consumption as it was packaged in small tins sold in display boxes. The target audience is adults that enjoy bitter dark chocolate because this is not your average chocolate. Although every little nib is covered in 70% dark chocolate, its crunchy core, the nib itself, is pure cocoa and thus quite bitter.

The consumer’s lack of previous references regarding the nature of this product led us to include educational elements in the packaging and display box design. The decoration around the small dispenser of cocoa nibs shows, with a level of detail of a botanical illustration, the branches of a cocoa tree with its pods. This attracts customers and demonstrates the visual quality necessary to entice them to try this product.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Simón Coll's Three Wise Men and Santa Claus
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Simón Coll's Three Wise Men and Santa Claus

One of Simon Coll’s traditional specialties is making foil-wrapped chocolate figurines, which are purchased at Christmas as gifts for children or used to decorate the Christmas tree. In line with all the work previously done for the brand, the goal was to revalue a very good chocolate product aimed at children, avoiding the banal appearance and carelessness that usually prevails in this product category and making it attractive to adult buyers as well.

By updating the decorated foil wrapping, we were able to connect with contemporary tastes and put these wrappings on par with the quality and expressiveness of images, for instance, in the present-day illustrated children's books. The excellent reception these received when presented at international fairs led to the creation of new assortments based on drawings of Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men.


Simón Coll, Packaging

The Three Wise Men and Santa Claus chocolates
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The Three Wise Men and Santa Claus chocolates

One of Simon Coll’s traditional products, this simple 18g chocolate bar, becomes the perfect seasonal item with just simple changes to the packaging design, attracting much more attention and making it a commercial success in any market.

For this reason, after the Three Wise Men came the more recognizable Santa Claus and, after Christmas, many other holidays that may provide an unexpected sales boost for Simón Coll’s high-quality milk chocolate bars.


Simón Coll, Packaging

Simón Coll's Assorted Christmas Figurines

Simón Coll's Assorted Christmas Figurines

The impact of the characters on the individual wrappings is enhanced by the same images shown on the cardboard packaging that seals each bag. This product’s appeal and ability to awaken children’s imagination makes it stand out in this category in which, in general, not enough attention is given to design.

Having aroused the interest of many international distributors, more cardboard bag closers were created with new illustrations of different assortments of chocolate figurines.


Simón Coll, Packaging

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