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How we redesigned a brand: Butterfly Cannon x Montezuma’s

Meet BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduates Chris Murdoch and Andy Coy, who work for award-winning graphic design agency Butterfly Cannon as Design Director and Junior Designer. We invited them back to campus to talk us through how they branded Montezuma’s, a national chocolate company, who have recently opened a shop in Norwich.

Design Director Chris Murdoch and Junior Designer Andy Coy of Butterfly Cannon design agency, and BA Graphic Design graduates, stand in the doorway to chocolate shop Montezuma's on Gentleman's Walk in Norwich. Chris and Andy both branded the chocolate company.

About Butterfly Cannon

Butterfly Cannon are an independent, award-winning graphic design agency who specialise in ‘aspirational brands’ and have worked with clients such as Farrow & Ball, Hennesey, Don Julio, Ciroc, Moet & Chandon, as well as No7 and Coty. They live by their motto: “Powerful stories, beautifully told”.

Monetzuma’s chocolate

Montezuma’s, named after the Aztec King Montezuma, is a premium craft chocolate brand founded by lawyers Simon and Helen, who after travelling the breadth of South America camping on cocoa plantations, returned to the UK with a new idea and decided to quit their jobs to make chocolate.

Montezuma’s approached Butterfly Cannon wanting to revamp and expand the brand.

A flatlay of colourful chocolate bar packaging showing the previous Montezuma's branding
Above: The original branding and packaging for Montezuma’s

“With their previous branding, it was hard to get an idea of what they were about in terms of story, stance and so on” said Chris. “They had lots of different styles of packaging because they have a vast range of chocolate – they had 132 different pack sizes!”

Visualising the brand

Step one: Brand Immersion

“The very first things we do with rebrands are talk to the client, their staff and consumers about who they [the client] are, what they’re about, what the brand means to them” said Chris.

“We also look at competitors and what they’re trying to communicate, and compare Montezuma’s to them. It’s about trying to work out the space (gap in the market) Montezuma’s can play in.

Step two: Research

“After understanding the brand as much as we can, we then start researching, which leads on to testing potential areas of design and presenting to small groups of 4-5 people.

We would go along with a host and mock-ups to user test the packaging (do you like it, do you understand it, do you recognise the brand, lots of questions!)

This provides an opportunity to get interesting feedback that you wouldn’t normally get when putting these things together.”

Step three: Workshop

“Using the information we’ve found out so far, we moved into a full day workshop with all the key stakeholders and started thinking creatively/strategically” said Chris.

They started to create a character for the brand by finding visual stimulus they felt represented Montezuma’s, such as choosing a celebrity they think is the most ‘Montezuma’s’. 

“We also got to thinking if Montezuma’s was a space, what would that look like?” said Chris. “We thought about a ‘festival of chocolate’, showing different flavours and chocolate experiences, making it immersive and fun. This inspiration was used to inform the full creative process.”

Step four: Creative

“The creative came quite late in this process, mainly because with start-up brands you need to understand a lot more about their story” said Chris.

The team came up with three potential routes for the brand around the theme ‘festival of chocolate’. “We produced lots of typographic variants of the logo, explored packaging illustration and expressive typography” said Chris.

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Step five: Production

At this stage, the creative is signed off so it’s all about getting the design applied to packaging and off to print.

To reflect the ethical and sustainable ethos behind the brand, the team used Butterfly Cannon’s ‘Conscious Design’ system to evaluate, challenge and specify the most eco-friendly materials & inks, create ‘smart’ creative cutter guides and ensure local supplier selection.

The team have successfully made 100% of the packaging for Montezuma’s recyclable, compostable or biodegradable, making them the first British brand in the premium segment to do so. They even shredded the old packaging and reused it as material to protect gift box contents.

“Montezuma’s has a massive range of product, we just designed a section of it to give them the tools they need to roll it out across the rest of the range” said Chris.

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