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A booklet about my fictious cocoa company from Mexico. A project for my GD251 Digital Publication class.


  • Michelle Clark

    Mt. Hood Community College

    GD 252, 2009


    Like Festive Fire

    by Michelle Clark

  • 4


    This book demonstrates the creative process and the

    outcome of the Fiera Chocolate project. The objective

    of this project was to create a visual identity system

    for a fictitious cocoa company that is a member of the

    World Cocoa Foundation, who practices ecological

    and sustainable cacao farming.

    My process included researching a country in which

    the company originates, choosing a name, develop-

    ing a target audience and positioner for the company,

    creating and designing a logo, and designing packag-

    ing for three chocolate products that are relevant to

    the companys vision and the country from which the

    chocolate is produced.

  • 5Mexico



    Most Mexicans would describe themselves as Mestizos,

    which is someone who is a descendant of both Native

    Americans and Europeans.

    Culture, tradition, and family are seen as the center

    of life and society in Mexico. Family is the center of

    the social structure, and even outside of major cities

    families are still generally large and retain traditional

    roles. The father is the head of the household, the

    authority figure and the decision maker. Although

    mothers are greatly revered, their role continues to be

    secondary to that of their husbands.

    Mexicans are very warm, generous, and social people.

    They welcome anyone into their country, as long as

    they are shown the proper respect. Physical contact

    happens upon meeting, even before exchanging a

    verbal greeting. Men shake hands and women touch

    each other on the right shoulder. Mexicans celebrate

    holidays with colorful festivals known as Fiestas. Every

    Mexican city, town, and village holds a yearly festival

    to commemorate their local patron saints. They also

    hold large parades with fireworks, dancing competi-

    tions, beauty pageants, and food in the market places.



    Tabasco is the true Birthplace of Chocolate. To this

    day it plays an important role in the economy and

    the life of the people of Tabasco, serving as the base

    of some of their traditional meals and drinks.

    Located to the southeast of Mexico, Tabasco is a

    tropical land with exuberant vegetation. The land-

    scape is composed of thick jungle, lagoons, rivers

    and marshes. Coffee and cacao grow in abundance

    here, as do banana and rubber trees. The cacao tree

    bears fruit twice a year are planted along with avo-

    cado, pataste and arbol de pan to provide shade.

    It is also a land of history and rich in tradition.

    It remains the flowering of one of the most ancient

    and important Mesoamerican civilizations. The

    Maya dominated this region, and before them the

    Olmec, Mexicos oldest culture as well as the first to

    make use of cacao as a drink for the societys elite.

    The tradition passed to the Maya and the Aztecs,

    who used it as a ceremonial and medicinal drink.

    The Mexican Indain word chocolate comes from

    combing the Mayan word xocoatl and the Aztec

    word cacahuatl meaning water and foam.

  • MISSION: The World Cocoa Founda-

    tion supports a sustainable cocoa economy

    through economic and social development

    and environmental conservation in cocoa

    growing communities.

    Millions of small, family farms grow cocoa in equato-

    rial regions around the world. For many cocoa farm-

    ers, the crop is a major source of income for their

    families and their communities. Yet each year, they

    face significant challenges ranging from crop loss due

    to pests and diseases (on average, 30 percent annu-

    ally), limited access to the latest farming practices, and

    other cocoa farming issues.

    The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) was formed in

    2000 to address these issues. Today, it plays a leading

    role in helping cocoa farming families by developing

    and managing effective, on-the-ground programs,

    raising funds and acting as a forum for broad

    discussion of the cocoa farming sectors needs. Its

    nearly 60 member companies support the Founda-

    tion financially and through active participation in its


    These efforts are enhanced through public private

    partnerships organized between the WCF or its

    members, and a range of interested institutions. The

    combination of public and private expertise brings

    real benefits to farmers and their families.

    In addition, WCF member companies contribute

    their valuable expertise in cocoa farming and related

    issues. Based in Washington D.C., the WCF has a staff

    of professionals, with in-depth experience in agricul-

    tural, sustainable development and rural economic

    issues, led by WCF president Bill Guyton.

    WCF is a non-profit organization.

    The World Cocoa Foundation programs are based on

    four key principles:

    Long-term solutions matter more than quick fixes.

    Partnerships drive success.

    Community involvement is essential.

    The chocolate industry plays a key role.


  • 9

  • Fiera Chocolate Like Festive Fire

    Fiera Chocolate captures the passion and spirit of Mexican culture.

    The name Fiera means spitfire in Spanish, and is also used to describe a

    wild woman or can simply mean festive fire. To taste Fiera Chocolate with its

    generous amount of cinnamon and chile powder balanced with smooth, sweet,

    natural vanilla is like sparks shooting up from a from a lively fire.

    Each of Fieras products are created by combining dark chocolate, natural va-

    nilla extract, raw sugar, cinnamon, and finely ground almonds for an authentic

    Mexican flavor. As a special addition we also infuse chile powder into all of our

    products. Fiera Sipping Chocolate is a cocoa powder drink, reminiscent of an

    ancient Aztec hot chocolate recipe, used for ceremonial and medicinal pur-

    poses. Our Gourmet Chocolates are sure to give a decadent boost of energy and

    vitality. They have a rich, spicy flavor and creamy texture, as well as a 60% cacao

    content and ground nibs sprinkled on top of each chocolate. The Raw Choco-

    late Bark bar, Fieras speciality item, contains a strong 75% cacao content, and

    has large pieces of cacao nibs mixed into the dark chocolate.

    Fiera Chocolate is rich, spicy, and invigorating-much like Mexicos own cul-

    ture. People of Mexico are warm and vivacious with a true passion for life and

    love. Fiera Chocolate conveys this energy, warmth, and vitality with our special

    confectionary recipe full of spice and rich, dark chocolate. Fiera Chocolate

    products make great romantic gifts, especially our Gourmet Chocolates.


  • Fiera Chocolate provides products are not expensive. Many people of

    Mexico are not wealthy in assets, but are still wealthy in spirit, and many

    have large families to provide for. We want to bring this traditional yet

    dynamic recipe to those who will enjoy it the most.

    Fiera Chocolate uses the finest in cacao and cacao nibs grown in Vil-

    lahermosa, located in the state of Tobasco, the heart of ancient lowland

    Mayan civilization. Villahermosa is located just an hour outside of

    Comalcalco, Tobasco where large cacao fermentation facilities reside.

    These facilities assist in efforts to strengthen the cacao industry and to

    alleviate extreme poverty in southern Mexico. Our farmers grow cacao

    on a private plantation and sun dry each and every bean, then bring

    them here to be fermented.

    Fiera Chocolate distributes its products annually at fiestas all over

    Mexico. Of course, our biggest event being The Cacao Fiesta San Isidro

    de Labrador in Tabasco. We also distribute our products annually such

    as the Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadeloupe and the Mexico City Christ-

    mas Festival. We also sell our chocolate at Los Reyes Magos, the Festival

    of San Jose, Mexican Independence Day, and the Cancun Carnival.

    Chocolate products can also be found in North America as well, where

    imported chocolates are sold. Our products can also be found online




    Fiera Chocolate offers features three different chocolate

    products in our gourmet selection. All products are made

    with at least 60 % cacao. We use a traditional Mexican choco-

    late recipe, created by combining:

    dark chocolate

    natural vanilla

    raw sugar


    finely ground almonds.

    In addition, all of our products contain cacao nibs and just

    the right amount of chile powder, to give our chocolate and

    our consumers an extra special lift.


  • Photo credit by Nicholas Hill



    Fiera Gourmet Chocolates have a

    60% cacao content. They have a

    sweet, and slightly spicy Mexi-

    can chocolate flavor and creamy

    texture, composed of dark choco-

    late, natural vanilla, cinnamon,

    and chile powder. For a special

    touch, they are sprinkled all over

    with finely ground cacao nibs.

    These chocolates provide a natu-

    ral boost of energy. They come in

    a small decorative box and make a

    wonderful treat for parties and a

    great romantic chocolate gift.

    Photo credit by Nicholas Hill


  • 15

    Photo credit by Nicholas Hill


    Fiera Sipping Chocolate is cre-

    ated from a traditional Mexican

    hot chocolate recipe with the ad-

    diton of chile powder and finely

    ground nibs for a sweet, invigo-

    rating drink.

    Our sipping chocolate is made by

    combining rich cocoa powder,

    raw sugar, vanilla, cinnamon,

    finely ground almonds and cacao

    nibs, and a hint of chile powder.

    To make our spicy hot chocolate,

    simply add the contents of one

    packet of sipping chocolate to

    one cup of hot whole milk, stir,

    and enjoy!.

  • 16


    Fieras Raw Chocolate Bark bar is the

    purest form offered of our special choco-

    late recipe. Containing 75% cacao, this

    bar posesses the richest chocolate flavor

    of any of our products.

    Like all of our products, our Raw Choco-

    late Bark is made by combining authentic

    Mexican flavor with the invigorating spice

    of nibs and chile powder. We use dark,

    bittersweet chocolate and cacao nibs,

    raw sugar, pure vanilla extract, ground

    almonds, cinnamon and chile powder.

    The result is a bold, specialty chocolate

    bar with an truly Mexican chocolate flavor

    enhanced by an ancient Mayan tradition

    of adding chile to chocolate.

    The Raw Chocolate Bark bar broken into pieces to show texture.

  • 17

    Photo credit by Nicholas Hill

  • 18

    When I first began designing the logo for Fiera

    Chocolate I wanted to stay true to a Mexican

    cultural look and feel and wasnt as concerned

    about catering to my chosen direction and audi-

    ence. These explorations show big, block letters

    and primitive art style icons native to Mexico.

    After I discovered that the block lettering wasnt

    working for my company vision, which relies

    heavily on passion and liveliness, I began explor-

    ing more hand-drawn and script style fonts. I

    wanted to make the logo appear more natural

    and elegant.


  • 19 19

    These are icon explorations that I paired with logo

    text from the facing page. I chose to use organic

    shapes to communicate the vivacious, passionate

    vision for Fiera Chocolate. I tried circular shapes

    paired with historic Mexican pattern styles to stay

    true to the cultural art.

    These are the final logo choices for Fiera Choco-

    late. I tried a hand-drawn font and after altering

    the text I saw that this font had the vision I was

    trying to achieve. The movement of the letters and

    sharp, fiery points say spitfire and the F itself

    dances alone to the tune of, like festive fire.

  • 20

  • 21



  • 23 23

  • Color is everywhere

    in Mexico.

    Street and market, food and

    dress, home and garden are satu-

    rated with it. The colors come

    from nature-green of cactus and

    lime, blue of water and sky, red

    of tomato, chile peppers, and

    the bullfighters cape, orange of

    marigolds, pink of Hibiscus and

    Flamingo, and gold of the sun,

    the Aztec calender.

    In Mexico, every color goes with

    every other color. This visual

    affluence stems from Mexicans

    comfort with chance, luck, and

    fortune. It is what artist Chucho

    Reyes refers to as, an adventure

    of disorder.

  • 26

    Excerpt on photo collage, pages 24-25:

    Cohan, Masako Takahashi, and Melba Levick. Mexicolor. San Fransisco: Chronicle Books, 1998

    All photos are credited by various Internet sources, except as noted:

    All Fiera Chocolate product photos by Nicholas Hill, 2008 - Mt. Hood Community College Integrated

    Media program-Digital Photography divison.

    Photo collage credit, pages 24-25:

    Holmes, Amanda, Elena Poniatowska. Mexican Color. New York: Stewart Tabori & Chang, 1998

    Photo credit by Amanda Holmes.

    Melba Levick, Masako Takahashi: Mexicolor.