Michelle Clark Mt. Hood Community College GD 252, 2009
FIERA CHOCOLATE Like Festive Fire
by Michelle Clark
THE PROJECT This book demonstrates the creative process and the outcome of the Fiera Chocolate project. The objective of this project was to create a visual identity system for a fictitious cocoa company that is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation, who practices ecological and sustainable cacao farming. My process included researching a country in which the company originates, choosing a name, developing a target audience and positioner for the company, creating and designing a logo, and designing packaging for three chocolate products that are relevant to the companyâ€™s vision and the country from which the chocolate is produced.
PEOPLE OF MEXICO Most Mexicans would describe themselves as Mestizos, which is someone who is a descendant of both Native Americans and Europeans. Culture, tradition, and family are seen as the center of life and society in Mexico. Family is the center of the social structure, and even outside of major cities families are still generally large and retain traditional roles. The father is the head of the household, the authority figure and the decision maker. Although mothers are greatly revered, their role continues to be secondary to that of their husbands. Mexicans are very warm, generous, and social people. They welcome anyone into their country, as long as they are shown the proper respect. Physical contact happens upon meeting, even before exchanging a verbal greeting. Men shake hands and women touch each other on the right shoulder. Mexicans celebrate holidays with colorful festivals known as Fiestas. Every Mexican city, town, and village holds a yearly festival to commemorate their local patron saints. They also hold large parades with fireworks, dancing competitions, beauty pageants, and food in the market places.
CACAO & TABASCO Tabasco is the true Birthplace of Chocolate. To this day it plays an important role in the economy and the life of the people of Tabasco, serving as the base of some of their traditional meals and drinks. Located to the southeast of Mexico, Tabasco is a tropical land with exuberant vegetation. The landscape is composed of thick jungle, lagoons, rivers and marshes. Coffee and cacao grow in abundance here, as do banana and rubber trees. The cacao tree bears fruit twice a year are planted along with avocado, pataste and arbol de pan to provide shade. It is also a land of history and rich in tradition. It remains the flowering of one of the most ancient and important Mesoamerican civilizations. The Maya dominated this region, and before them the Olmec, Mexico’s oldest culture as well as the first to make use of cacao as a drink for the society’s elite. The tradition passed to the Maya and the Aztecs, who used it as a ceremonial and medicinal drink. The Mexican Indain word “chocolate” comes from combing the Mayan word “xocoatl” and the Aztec word “cacahuatl” meaning “water” and “foam.”
discussion of the cocoa farming sector’s needs. Its nearly 60 member companies support the Foundation financially and through active participation in its efforts. These efforts are enhanced through “public private partnerships” organized between the WCF or its
MISSION: The World Cocoa Foundation supports a sustainable cocoa economy through economic and social development and environmental conservation in cocoa growing communities.
members, and a range of interested institutions. The combination of public and private expertise brings real benefits to farmers and their families. In addition, WCF member companies contribute their valuable expertise in cocoa farming and related
Millions of small, family farms grow cocoa in equato-
issues. Based in Washington D.C., the WCF has a staff
rial regions around the world. For many cocoa farm-
of professionals, with in-depth experience in agricul-
ers, the crop is a major source of income for their
tural, sustainable development and rural economic
families and their communities. Yet each year, they
issues, led by WCF president Bill Guyton.
face significant challenges ranging from crop loss due to pests and diseases (on average, 30 percent annually), limited access to the latest farming practices, and other cocoa farming issues. The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) was formed in
WCF is a non-profit organization. The World Cocoa Foundation programs are based on four key principles:
2000 to address these issues. Today, it plays a leading
• Long-term solutions matter more than quick fixes.
role in helping cocoa farming families by developing
• Partnerships drive success.
and managing effective, on-the-ground programs,
• Community involvement is essential.
raising funds and acting as a forum for broad
• The chocolate industry plays a key role.
Fiera Chocolate Like Festive Fire
Fiera Chocolate captures the passion and spirit of Mexican culture. The name Fiera means “spitfire” in Spanish, and is also used to describe a wild woman or can simply mean “festive fire.” To taste Fiera Chocolate with its generous amount of cinnamon and chile powder balanced with smooth, sweet, natural vanilla is like sparks shooting up from a from a lively fire. Each of Fiera’s products are created by combining dark chocolate, natural vanilla extract, raw sugar, cinnamon, and finely ground almonds for an authentic Mexican flavor. As a special addition we also infuse chile powder into all of our products. Fiera Sipping Chocolate is a cocoa powder drink, reminiscent of an ancient Aztec hot chocolate recipe, used for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Our Gourmet Chocolates are sure to give a decadent boost of energy and vitality. They have a rich, spicy flavor and creamy texture, as well as a 60% cacao content and ground nibs sprinkled on top of each chocolate. The Raw Chocolate Bark bar, Fiera’s speciality item, contains a strong 75% cacao content, and has large pieces of cacao nibs mixed into the dark chocolate. Fiera Chocolate is rich, spicy, and invigorating-much like Mexico’s own culture. People of Mexico are warm and vivacious with a true passion for life and love. Fiera Chocolate conveys this energy, warmth, and vitality with our special confectionary recipe full of spice and rich, dark chocolate. Fiera Chocolate products make great romantic gifts, especially our Gourmet Chocolates.
Fiera Chocolate provides products are not expensive. Many people of Mexico are not wealthy in assets, but are still wealthy in spirit, and many have large families to provide for. We want to bring this traditional yet dynamic recipe to those who will enjoy it the most. Fiera Chocolate uses the finest in cacao and cacao nibs grown in Villahermosa, located in the state of Tobasco, the heart of ancient lowland Mayan civilization. Villahermosa is located just an hour outside of Comalcalco, Tobasco where large cacao fermentation facilities reside. These facilities assist in efforts to strengthen the cacao industry and to alleviate extreme poverty in southern Mexico. Our farmers grow cacao on a private plantation and sun dry each and every bean, then bring them here to be fermented. Fiera Chocolate distributes its products annually at fiestas all over Mexico. Of course, our biggest event being The Cacao Fiesta San Isidro de Labrador in Tabasco. We also distribute our products annually such as the Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadeloupe and the Mexico City Christmas Festival. We also sell our chocolate at Los Reyes Magos, the Festival of San Jose, Mexican Independence Day, and the Cancun Carnival. Chocolate products can also be found in North America as well, where imported chocolates are sold. Our products can also be found online at: www.fierachocolate.com
FIERA CHOCOLATE PRODUCTS Fiera Chocolate offers features three different chocolate products in our gourmet selection. All products are made with at least 60 % cacao. We use a traditional Mexican chocolate recipe, created by combining: dark chocolate natural vanilla raw sugar cinnamon finely ground almonds. In addition, all of our products contain cacao nibs and just the right amount of chile powder, to give our chocolate and our consumers an extra special lift.
Photo credit by Nicholas Hill
GOURMET CHOCOLATES Fiera Gourmet Chocolates have a 60% cacao content. They have a sweet, and slightly spicy Mexican chocolate flavor and creamy texture, composed of dark chocolate, natural vanilla, cinnamon, and chile powder. For a special touch, they are sprinkled all over with finely ground cacao nibs. These chocolates provide a natural boost of energy. They come in a small decorative box and make a wonderful treat for parties and a great romantic chocolate gift.
Photo credit by Nicholas Hill
SIPPING CHOCOLATE Fiera Sipping Chocolate is created from a traditional Mexican hot chocolate recipe with the additon of chile powder and finely ground nibs for a sweet, invigorating drink. Our sipping chocolate is made by combining rich cocoa powder, raw sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, finely ground almonds and cacao nibs, and a hint of chile powder. To make our spicy hot chocolate, simply add the contents of one packet of sipping chocolate to one cup of hot whole milk, stir, and enjoy!.
Photo credit by Nicholas Hill
RAW CHOCOLATE BARK BAR Fieraâ€™s Raw Chocolate Bark bar is the purest form offered of our special chocolate recipe. Containing 75% cacao, this bar posesses the richest chocolate flavor of any of our products. Like all of our products, our Raw Chocolate Bark is made by combining authentic Mexican flavor with the invigorating spice of nibs and chile powder. We use dark, bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs, raw sugar, pure vanilla extract, ground almonds, cinnamon and chile powder. The result is a bold, specialty chocolate bar with an truly Mexican chocolate flavor enhanced by an ancient Mayan tradition of adding chile to chocolate. The Raw Chocolate Bark bar broken into pieces to show texture.
Photo credit by Nicholas Hill
When I first began designing the logo for Fiera
After I discovered that the block lettering wasnâ€™t
Chocolate I wanted to stay true to a Mexican
working for my company vision, which relies
cultural look and feel and wasnâ€™t as concerned
heavily on passion and liveliness, I began explor-
about catering to my chosen direction and audi-
ing more hand-drawn and script style fonts. I
ence. These explorations show big, block letters
wanted to make the logo appear more natural
and primitive art style icons native to Mexico.
These are icon explorations that I paired with logo
These are the final logo choices for Fiera Choco-
text from the facing page. I chose to use organic
late. I tried a hand-drawn font and after altering
shapes to communicate the vivacious, passionate
the text I saw that this font had the vision I was
vision for Fiera Chocolate. I tried circular shapes
trying to achieve. The movement of the letters and
paired with historic Mexican pattern styles to stay
sharp, fiery points say “spitfire” and the F itself
true to the cultural art.
dances alone to the tune of, “like festive fire.”
Color is everywhere in Mexico. Street and market, food and dress, home and garden are saturated with it. The colors come from nature-green of cactus and lime, blue of water and sky, red of tomato, chile peppers, and the bullfighter’s cape, orange of marigolds, pink of Hibiscus and Flamingo, and gold of the sun, the Aztec calender. In Mexico, every color goes with every other color. This visual affluence stems from Mexicans’ comfort with chance, luck, and fortune. It is what artist Chucho Reyes refers to as, “an adventure of disorder.”
Excerpt on photo collage, pages 24-25: Cohan, Masako Takahashi, and Melba Levick. Mexicolor. San Fransisco: Chronicle Books, 1998
All photos are credited by various Internet sources, except as noted: All Fiera Chocolate product photos by Nicholas Hill, 2008 - Mt. Hood Community College Integrated Media program-Digital Photography divison. Photo collage credit, pages 24-25: Holmes, Amanda, Elena Poniatowska. Mexican Color. New York: Stewart Tabori & Chang, 1998 Photo credit by Amanda Holmes. Melba Levick, Masako Takahashi: Mexicolor.