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When you’re a creative agency putting together a little gift for your lovely clients, you can’t really go wrong with good design and good chocolate… but when we made Complements, we didn’t really expect it to go so right. What started out as an end-of-year gesture of appreciation evolved into an entire product of its own, which has now made its way to more than 20 countries. That’s pretty sweet.

  • Brand strategy
  • Naming
  • Visual identity
  • Brand writing
  • Packaging design
  • Product design
  • Structural packaging design
  • Art direction
  • Photography

What’s all this then?

Complements are modular artisan chocolates that form unique flavour and colour combinations, depending on how you decide to pair them. They’re great on their own but, like any good relationship, combine them and something truly special happens. In this case, a mouthwatering team greater than the sum of its parts.

Any insights?

We spend our days partnering with some of our favourite people to make great projects so, at the end of every year, we like to give them a little gift. And, if there’s two things we (and our clients!) love, it’s good design and good chocolate.

And what seems to be the problem?

A few years ago we got to thinking... what kind of gift reflects a rewarding relationship? We set about designing our own, and Complements were born.

So how’d you go about it?

After exploring a wide range of interlocking shape designs, we chose a clean, modular staircase that could combine with another flavour and create a single bite-sized cube. Once we’d selected a diverse flavour range, we worked on a vibrant mix of colours and painterly finishes like airbrushing, dips and marbling. With the designs locked in, Jen from Meltdown Artisan worked her magic to bring our idea to life.

A very sweet surprise

We sent them out and, well, we weren’t expecting the success of these little treats. They received 100+ press features around the world. Dezeen, Etapes, Under Consideration, Designboom, Gestalten, HypeBeast, and the Daily Telegraph picked up the story, and we even got some printed mentions in IdN, Form, and PAGE magazine. And then there were the awards and accolades: #1 in Wired Loves Top 100, a Sydney Design Award, Frankie Good Stuff Award, Best Design Award, AGDA Award, Golden Pin Second Stage Nomination, and even a biennale exhibit.

Doing ourselves a flavour

As a result, we decided to make Complements available to purchase. We spent nearly a year perfecting them with Aymee Slaviero from Cocoa Nib, developing new flavours, getting rid of others and making sure they looked as good as they tasted.

After much debate (and extensive tasting!) we settled on salted caramel, black sesame, lavender, blackcurrant, strawberry, cookies & cream, pistachio, mango, matcha, raspberry, single origin dark, and lychee and coconut — each of them handmade with ingredients as varied as Belgian couverture, Australian grown nuts, fruits from the New Zealand alps, and the humble Oreo.

Creating a complementary brand experience

The packaging and chocolate design play with contrast — bringing flavour, colour and texture together — so we brought that out in the typography too, with a wordmark that hints at what’s to come. As the main touchpoint, the website needed to look the part too. It’s chock-full of delicious imagery shot with photographer Christopher Morris and stylist Jessica Johnson. Our art direction was bold, textural, and a little bit luxe.

And the end result?

Although the idea was conceived in 2016 as a simple thank you gift, they’ve since taken on a life of their own. Once out in the wild, they were met with a huge amount of enthusiasm, publicity and demand to buy them, having been sold and shipped to over 20 different countries. We thought that was a pretty sweet outcome. 

Another project...
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