Introducing Omnom Chocolate – a young Icelandic firm with packaging that is as delicious as the scrumptious, dark delights that it holds within. Today, the company has launched its latest new flavour: the Sea Salted Almond + Milk bar.
'Omnom is a little dream project that has been in development for a few years now; then, early last year, we started experimenting and designing our chocolate,' explains Kjartan Gíslason. Made from just two basic ingredients – cocoa beans and sugar – the team at Omnom like to experiment with this canvas of dark chocolate, with salt, coffee and smoke. This all got our tastebuds tingling, so we decided to have a chat with graphic designer André Úlfur Visage to find out more.
How did Omnom come about and who is behind it?
Omnom Chocolate is a collaboration between Óskar Þórðarson, Kjartan Gíslason, Karl Viggó Vigfússon and myself André. Everyone has different backgrounds – from pastry chef to designer – with a common goal: to make a really good tasting and beautiful chocolate.
What is the essence of Omnom?
We produce hand-crafted chocolate from organic cacao beans, originating from the Caribbean, South America, Asia and Africa. We source only premium beans with the most interesting flavour profiles. Our beans are hand sorted, roasted with care and precision, cracked, winnowed and grounded down slowly to achieve the ultimate flavour, texture and consistency. The only other addition is raw cane sugar, with the exception of the Icelandic milk that is added to our milk varieties.
What is the process for creating new flavours of chocolate?
Simplicity is our vision, from creating the recipe to our design and at the same time it should taste and look beautiful, something we would like to eat and see. We go by our instinct and taste. Having years of experience in fine dining restaurants and pastry shops, we kind of approach our recipe-making in that sense: at first through experimentation, then we keep perfecting it until we are happy.
How did you come to be involved?
In December 2012, I was approached by my long-time friend Kjartan Gíslason to work with them on developing packaging for a bean to bar chocolate. We started working with several different formats and ideas. Packaging is the first visual and final physical contact a brand has with a customer and I wanted it to be a lasting one. So I decided to produce something that would add value and function to what otherwise would still be an amazing mind-blowingly tasty chocolate bar.
What is the story behind the packaging design?
The packaging was developed from a plain folded A4 wrapper, through various forms and stages, into the envelope box that it is today. The design concept is a box that represents a secret chest of happiness. The process of opening it up and the option of closing it again was important to me, instead of a throwaway wrapper. It doubles-up as a tray while sharing and enjoying Omnom and also as a safety chest to protect any uneaten chocolate securely and neatly.
And what about the Omnom family of animals?
The illustrated characters were created out of inspiration from living and travelling in Iceland between 2007 and 2011. They are both real and mythical. The original drawings were developed for a personal project in 2009, and re-visited during the development of Omnom packaging. We are developing a continuous adventure world of Omnom that will be added graphically to the packaging as the brand grows and expands.
What future flavours are in the pipeline?
Well, today we launch our first new bar for 2014, Sea Salted Almonds + Milk, which features an Icelandic ram (hrúturinn) on the packaging. For the launch today we are running a competition on Facebook (see here), where one lucky person has the chance of winning a first batch box of the new bar. Good luck!
Designer André Úlfur Visage
Education BSc Architecture | Multimedia Design
Motto Nothing is original
Best advice received Travel often
Best tip for designers Don't be too serious
Three things every designer needs Freedom, fun, sense of humour
If this tasty morsel has got your senses tingling, then anyone who is in Amsterdam this Thursday evening should get along to Ninety Minutes of Frame #2.
Full details are available on the event website here.