Champions of Design – Toblerone
What defines an ‘iconic’ design? It’s an overused expression, but, by my reckoning, Toblerone fits the bill. For me, an iconic design features a graphical or stylistic property that symbolises the brand’s values and attributes, thereby creating charisma. One also has to apply best practice: the tenacity, over many years, to focus on the core iconography and keep investing it with meaning.
Toblerone has a distinctive shape and comes in a distinctively shaped pack. One that looks like a mountain, of which you find many in Switzerland. So this is definitively ‘Swiss’ chocolate. In truth, mountains might not have inspired the original shape, but original intentions are irrelevant – myth and meanings attach themselves to iconic brands like iron filings to a magnet.
It all sounds simple, but such apparent simplicity is a spark of genius. Over time, the iconography has allowed the pack to transcend its category. This is no longer another chocolate bar. Rather it’s ‘Toblerone’ and it lives in a category of one. For proof of its genius, consider that Albert Einstein (employed by the Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property in Bern)supposedly signed off the design – some endorsement. Another myth? Perhaps. But “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
A top tip: if struggling to separate the last two segments of a big bar, use two fingers to push the mountain tips together. They will snap apart with ease. Some designs you just love, in all their dimensions. This is one of them.
By Silas Amos, Creative Director, jkr