Responses by Mark Bain, designer, Rice
Background: Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat is known for creating high-end gourmet chocolate bars, which are made from rare and exquisite cacao from six distinct regions in Vietnam. Because of the careful work that goes into the bars, they end up being expensive items. Provisions Marou is a new product range created from the same sources. The range is targeted at people who like to add ingredients to their day through cooking or simple food preparation at home.
Reasoning: As one of the world’s only chocolate makers working at the source of cacao in Vietnam, Marou’s team is most often found in the countryside. Provisions Marou is the brand’s homage to its own rough and tumble real world. This is the Marou “basics range.” It required a straightforward visual language, which evoked camping. The high quality tins can easily take abuse on a hiking trail, or live comfortably on the shelves of the world’s finest gourmet shops. The brand hopes that these cans will find second lives, long after the chocolate is gone.
Challenges: Maintaining the extreme simplicity of the overall design, through the overarching system. We had different sizes and a wide range of languages. We worked hard to keep the end product looking ridiculously simple.
Favorite details: From the beginning, we were set on our choice of substrate and vessel—a classic tin container with a paint can–style opening. This type of vessel was basically unheard of for this size and purpose, so we had to innovate and find the right supplier to execute our strict criteria. We chose the tin can because of its durability. This product is meant to embody the adventurous spirit within the brand and we wanted to create something that could withstand the rigors of an explorer’s lifestyle. If it could tumble into a waterfall and remain intact, it would be a success!
Visual influences: We were heavily inspired by military ration packages as well as common household containers. We created a front facade that is simple and clear with a rugged and brutalist tone that embodies that adventurous purpose. Our backside sticker is functional and adaptable to many languages, enabling the product to be understood across the world.
Anything new: The glory is in the details. This project was as much an achievement in production as it was in design. We worked tirelessly with our supplier to ensure each and every aspect of these containers was adjusted and realized to our requirement.