Words by Ioana Păunescu
Photos by Ioana Păunescu, Chocolataria Equador
They say chocolate brings joy. Today, we have a double dose of joy, as we found an interesting collection of patterns covering a wide selection of chocolate.
Chocolataria Equador is the creation of the sculptor Teresa Almeida and the graphic designer Celestino Fonseca, who started the brand from scratch, in 2008, in the search of a product they would entirely and exclusively build as their own creation. Today, Equador has three stores, two in Porto and one in Lisbon, that offer high quality chocolate, 100% handmade, using cocoa coming from Brazil, Ecuador, Cuba and Madagascar.
Together with their master chocolatiers specialized in France, Teresa Almeida and Celestino Fonseca found the right tastes for each product. And then, for each taste, Celestino assigned a unique pattern, be it for the packaging or for the chocolate itself.
The sweet choice of Chocolataria Equador is wide: tablets, bars, bonbons, truffles or macarons, so there’s quite a collection of graphic design to be found here.
The printed images, designed as an unitary background with the inscriptions applied as a label with stamp, underlining the idea of handmade, wrap chocolate tablets that bear more than 20 special blends or flavors such as caramel and sea salt flowers, curry or mixed peppers; fruit as figs, raspberries or cherries; and spirits such as whisky or, naturally, as it is a Portuguese product, Porto wine.
There is also a special design hors serie for the chocolate with coffee beans.
There is also a specially designated image for the Graham’s Six Grapes mix.
And finally, there is a special, seasonal design for each important celebration of the year, including Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day od Mother’s Day, design that comes in the shapes of special chocolate patterns for bonbons, special packaging images and, also, special postcard graphics.
Most of the images are inspired from images of the 1950s, as well as the interior design of the shops, which is a blend of original furniture pieces of that decade, recalling the décor of the cocoa warehouses of the island of São Tomé, various objets trouvés and some industrial and contemporary design accents, such as Tom Dixon’s Beat lamps.
Besides the tablets and bars, Equador displays a wide selection of bonbons, truffles and macarons on a custom made, glass covered bar, so that one can easily see the whole patterned collection unfolding in front of his eyes. The associations of design / flavor go from intuitive, like bright yellow stripes for mango, to purely decorative, as the white curls for the yuzu and cinnamon bonbon (yuzu is an Asian fruit somehow close to a sour mandarin or little grapefruit).