Boudin won a Student Runner Up Visual Communication Award in the 2019 Core77 Design Awards.
Boudin, a bakery and restaurant chain based in San Francisco, is famous for its sourdough bread and its “Bowl of Soup,” which is a hollowed out sourdough “bowl” with clam chowder in it. It’s an inspiringly self-contained, fully edible culinary design. It only makes sense, then, for the brand to follow in its own zero-waste footsteps with the rest of its food packaging.
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A result of ArtCenter College‘s first-ever plastic-free packaging course, designer Yi Mao proposed a rebranding of Boudin’s packaging and visual identity that shifted the company toward sustainability and, as Mao deemed it, “the 21st century vibe.”
Mao’s presentation included physical food packaging (the models dictated the size, dimensions, and functionality of real paper pulp containers); reusable cotton carrier bags; and environmentally friendly wrapping papers, container tags, to-go menus, and business cards.
To produce the models, Mao employed a comprehensive range of compostable biomaterials: algae, food waste, grass, mushrooms, plant cellulose and wood pulp.
The sustainability aspect was only one of the guiding ethos for the project; the other was modernization. “Cleaner typography and more illustrative graphic elements” as parts of a comprehensive visual system would transform Boudin ‘into a brand with a strong contemporary style’,” says Mao of the proposal. This restyling incorporated San Francisco’s history, as well as the bakery’s— Boudin has been a California institution since 1849.
Deeming the concept “Boudin Yuccies” (which stands for Young Urban Creatives), Mao’s pairing of heritage with the crucial element of ecological-mindedness aims to bring the brand’s stature as an iconic San Francisco tourist attraction into a new era, one that fuses with Silicon Valley’s philosophical and aesthetic direction.
Sounds like a fully baked concept to us.
Learn more about the plastic-free packaging project for Boudin on our Core77 Design Awards site of 2019 honorees