Pentagram partner Angus Hyland has created the brand identity deZaan’s a new range of premium cocoa powder. Dutch manufacturer deZaan is part of Olam Cocoa, one of the world’s largest producers of cocoa products for industrial manufacturing.

Hyland was brought in to create a distinctive new identity for DeZaan’s small pack range (500g, 1kg and 5kg), and to make its packaging more sustainable and “futureproof”, according to Pentagram.

One of the key aspects of the brief was to create a new audience for the cocoa products, aiming to appeal to the likes of bakeries, cafes and hotels; as well as maintaining deZaan’s existing trade sales through its distributors and online. The team was commissioned to look at the naming, packaging, labelling, colours, art direction, website design and communication approach for the new products.

A naming system was developed based on the colour and flavour profile and the suggested end uses of each specific cocoa powder. The range now comprises True Dark, the name that the system initially drew from, as well as Crimson Red, Terra Rossa, Carbon Black, True Gold and Rich Terracotta.

These variants had to be easily distinguished from one another, while also forming an identity that positions deZaan as an “expert in the industry, and demonstrate its premium quality,” say7s Pentagram.

The original logo uses a typographic wordmark and an image of a sailing ship,a refrence to the fact the company was founded in 1911 on the banks of the Zaan River in the Netherlands. The wordmark and symbol were redrawn and modernised, and the team also created a circular “quality stamp” featuring a windmill to signify deZaan’s premium brand status and emphasise its authenticity and Dutch heritage.

The modernist-inspired geometric sans serif font Neutrif Pro is used throughout the brand identity; while a new, “sophisticated” primary colour palette was created comprising a “rich deZaan Blue,” black and white. Olam grey, copper and copper foil used are used as complimentary colours.

The new identity also features illustrations created in-house that wrap around packs, which are all inspired by famous Dutch art scenes that depict boats. The six illustrations use colour combinations that emphasise the different qualities of the cocoa powders inside the packs and relate to each variant’s name. The back of the packs use “playful” icons that demonstrate the applications that the cocoa powder is best suited to.

Photographer Angela Moore was commissioned to create the photography for the identity. As well as images that show the cocoa powders in their wet and dry states, Moore also created styled recipe images that are used on the deZaan website.

The site was also designed by Hyland and his team, and acts as a platform where visitors can learn more about the ingredients, order samples and browse recipes.

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