Graphics and Packaging
Antiga Barbearia de Bairro
Leite de Colónia
After a trip to Portugal in April this year I became a big fan of all things Portuguese. Surprisingly, it was only when I visited the gift shop at Lisbon airport and saw so many amazing Portuguese products lined up on the shelves, that I realised that the Portuguese have a particular knack for producing beautifully branded and packaged products . Unlike your typical gaudy airport outlet, the shop was crammed full of carefully selected gourmet foods and luxury bath products. Since then I have seen these designs popping up in design publications and small design stores everywhere. Here are a few of my favourites, both new and old.
Lisbon based brand Jose Gourmet have taken Portugal’s traditional sardines and given them a hip new look. The father and son team launched their brand in 2008 and commissioned Portuguese illustrators to decorate their packaging and Portuguese poets to write their recipe cards. See here for more beautiful photos.
Portuguese brand Confiança launched their first line of soaps in 1894. While the recipes have been altered and improved the packaging uses the original logo and illustrations. The design shown above is based on a range from the 1920s.
Similarly, Portuguese company Antiga Barbearia de Bairro have created this retro styled packaging for their Principe Real soap collection. The design takes inspiration from the particular shade of green found in the garden and in the architecture that characterizes the Príncipe Real square in Lisbon.
Another product from Jose Gourmet, this time their olive oil from Trás-os-Montes which is packaged in a clever stack-able bottle.
These products by Leite de Colónia were originally created in 1960. In this case the contents have remained the same but the brand was relaunched in 2009 with these updated packaging designs that reference the brand’s past whilst incorporating modern day materials.
My favourite Portuguese design is the Excelsior Shaving Brush; an iconic Portuguese product that was launched in 1955 by family run business Semogue. The brush is handmade in Portugal and the company boasts that each brush has a lifespan of ten years, even when used daily. Each brush features a hand painted wooden handle and a brush of fine badger bristles. At the base of the knot is a silver metal band which Semogue use on all of their brushes to maintain the shape of the brush loft as well as provide a stiffer backbone and prevent the brush from splaying out excessively. Their attention to detail and love for their craft has earned them loyal fans all over the world.
Lisbon based Italian chocolatier Claudio Corallo is widely credited as creating the best chocolate in the world (Having stopped by his shop in April I can confirm that it is pretty tasty – especially the ice cream) Read more about his chocolate here. However I was also quite taken with his packaging designs that feature hand printed text on uncoated board wrapping and embossed paper.