It's an old adage heeded by food stylists and packaging designers alike: you eat with your eyes first. For instance, a classic bright-pink bakery box is sometimes all it takes to start salivating for the confections it holds. That's why pastry chef Roy Shvartzapel enlisted Base Design to conceive of the branding for his latest business, From Roy.
So far, From Roy is just one product: the sweet Italian holiday bread known as panettone. From Roy's version is ridiculously delicious—a fact to which I can personally attest—and only available online. Shvartzapel plans to slowly release more pastries as he perfects their production, rather than trying to do too much at once, a clever approach that builds anticipation for his sweet tooth fans. This unusual strategy seems to be working: as the inaugural pastry has received rave reviews.
Shvartzapel worked with Base previously on the identity for Common Bond, the wildly popular Houston bakery he co-founded in 2014. Though the business was successful, Shvartzapel decided to cast out solo and start a new company. Where Common Bond focused on modernizing southern hospitality, From Roy's centers on artisanal baking through a contemporary lens.
Base's concept is minimalist, and emphasizes the product and storytelling behind the brand.
"The bakery is really about Roy and his philosophy, rigor, and passion," Min Lew, Partner and Creative Director of Base Design New York, says. "We wanted to see how we could portray and capture his dedication." The website and packaging are rendered in crisp black and white. Each box features a "letter" to customers about what the brand embodies—tradition, invention, and quality ingredients—and is emblazoned with From Roy's logo, a wordmark in a custom font that riffs on a signature.
"When you think about great masters, they do what they're passionate about and their signatures are as unique," Lew says. "But we didn't want to do a literal signature because they're crafty and nostalgic—the starting point is that they're personal."
Unlike other artisanal products that have come under fire for masking a mediocre product with a mouthwatering wrapper, From Roy's lives up to the high expectations set by the packaging. "Our mission was how do we bring out the truth in everything, from the quality and the story, in the best possible way," Lew says. "Roy treats each baked good as an iconic jewel."