-Conceptual Packaging & Branding
Mystic Sauce is the elixir of rad, the grand achievement of the Alchemist and the epitome of all that is hot sauce.
Born in the cramped quarters of a lonely alchemist in the bedlam of Manhattan, Mystic Sauce concerns itself not with the artificial, the unnatural or the unsavoury, but harnesses the power of only sacred elements. Experimenting exclusively with the freshest and most natural of ingredients, this hot sauce contains no weird elements, no weird flavours, but all the weird vibes of the most enticing concoction.
Hand sketched illustrations and scrawled typography are integrated with neon accents and the wonderings of a crazed mind, all to introduce the venerable alchemist, and his mystic on goings, to the present day
Small potion like glass bottles are used to keep the elixirs, whilst sturdy cardboard tubes encase the bottles for any journey they may undertake. Adorned with the most sacred of elements, gold, both bottle and tube have flavours indicated with striking fluorescent and gold stickers.
With a bottle of Mystic Sauce at any meal, the alchemist lives once more.
Branding - Graphic Design - Art Direction
From the creation of the Thinkpackage brand, to the art direction of all marketing material, in house design and product photography I was responsible for all Thinkpackage branded material.
In essence this was not just a re-branding project, it was a rebirth. Thinkpackage, the packaging company formally known as PTI Imports, was shedding it’s distribution skin and was stepping out into the world as the packaging power house it is today. Working with some of the top chefs, bakers, chocolatiers, retailers and entrepreneurs New York and the world has to offer, Thinkpackage needed to present itself as a company whom these prestigious clients could trust and who others would seek out.
The company had a strong and positive reputation in New York already, but the name was newly forged. This sense of quality, sophistication and hard work needed to be reflected in their new identity, the name Thinkpackage needed to be synonymous with outstanding performance. Thus the Thinkpackage typographic logo was born, utilizing a play on the verb to think and the boxed concept of Packaging. The subtle additions of the brackets alludes to the physicality of work Thinkpackage undertakes, whilst the utilitarian nature of the logo allows it to be applied to all manner of company paraphernalia.
Design & Art Direction: Eugene To & Pilar Basa
Per Se is renowned chef Thomas Keller's 3 Michelin Star restaurant located in New York City. From it’s inaugural year open, Per Se has been ranked in the top 50 restaurants of the world and continues to attract distinguished dinners and culinary recognition from around the globe.
After out initial meeting with the team at Per Se it was decided that we were to conceptualise and develop a packaging item for their dinners to transport home safely some of the coveted chocolates Per Se provides at the close of their dinner experience. This was soon followed up by a request for a custom box for their gift card program. Our design was not only to elegantly display and protect their products but also to bring the exquisite experience of dinning at Per Set to the homes of all their dinners.
Working very closely with the chefs and team at Per Se we developed a sound understanding and sympathy for the needs and inner workings of such a prestigious establishment and brand. This solid foundation was integral in helping us to pay exceptionally close attention to product samples provided and developed the packaging you see presented. From sizing out their chocolates, exploring packaging options, selecting appropriate materials, handling manufacturing and conducting in house tests at every phase of the project, great attention to detail was paid dutifully to every aspect of this packaging line. The look, the sounds, the movement, the weight, the luster under the dinning rooms lights, all the these facet used as words to portray the class, quality and sophistication of Per Se in the unspoken language of packaging.
Design & Art Direction: Pilar Basa
Client: Per Se / Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
-Branding + Packaging Design
Seeking to open a multifaceted French culinary destination in Houston, Texas, the team at La Table sought strong and distinctive branding, with packaging to match their elegant approach. The new venture was to house 3 tiers of rustic French dinning: a casual bar and bakery, a fine dinning experience and an exquisite private dinning arena.
A hand lettered logo was crafted and bordered with a dainty and classic plaque. Stemming from this, 6 sub logos were created for the different dinning experiences within La Table: Marché, Chateau, Priveé and Chez Vous. Signage for La Table’s other physical spaces soon followed.
Working with La Table, a beautiful and highly effective packaging system was created. Spanning form collapsible boxes, plastic to go cups, coffee cups, shopping bags, napkins and my favourite: a house shaped PET truffle box.
-Photography & Art Direction
The talented team at the 3 Michelin star Le Bernardin came to Thinkpackage in need of some packaging assistance. They were discontented with their old petit four packaging and wanted to upgrade. Classic, elegant and timeless, whilst enhancing the experience of their brand, were to be the focal points of this design.
I took inspiration from all aspects of their restaurant, the twisted silver strips adorning their walls, their new addition of signature plates and the luxurious ambiance of their dinning room. Presenting several differing structural ideas, we settled upon a classic rigid 2-piece box.
The feel of the soft touch paper lid evokes grandeur whilst the gem textured leatherette paper base is akin to the restaurant’s signature plates. A classic structure wrapped with this dynamic tactile combination creates a unique experience for this box, which eloquently emanates the Le Bernardin character and also keeps the petit fours safe on their journey home
Design: Pilar Basa
Client: Le Bernardin
There is much legend surrounding the Gray Kunz spoon. It was a spoon designed by the great man himself. Its perfect balance, subtle narrowing and impeccable performance all gave way to the absolute cult following that this iconic spoon has today.
For this particular project a limited number of 2000 golden spoons were to be produced and sold. The client maintained a lucid vision as to how the limited edition run was to be seen, held and treasured. The packaging was to be rigid, reflect the Gray Kunz brand, be timeless and make something of a museum piece of this spoon, and of course it need to be under budget.
If ever there was a time to worship a mere spoon, it was now. The subtle features of this box, the UV varnish, the gold foiling, the inner dais all combined to exemplify dignity and beauty which in turn take this spoon from the back of your kitchen drawer to the pride of place on your mantle.
In the end, the spoon sold out almost instantly. It’s golden presence can be found amid the Wall Street Journal, Grub Street and most avidly on Instagram (#graykunzspoon or try #goldspoon). The resolution for such a unique project was packaging that was neither overly opulent nor too obtainable. It was an appropriate throwback to utilitarian nature of the industrial kitchen. The content is what it is . . .a golden work spoon.
Design: Pilar Basa
Client: Gray Kunz / JB Prince