A year ago, Charles Bréant and his four brothers decided to open a cheese production line in a bid to diversify the family farm located in Bermonville, at the heart of the Pays de Caux, north west of Rouen. Instead of inventing a new variety, they chose to go back to basics and settled on making Camembert, Normandy’s most famous cheese. The idea wasn’t revolutionary, but it marked the opening of the only Camembert production site in the Seine-Maritime département.
What makes the Bréant family’s cheese so special then? First, it’s a Camembert fermier, meaning the entire production process is completed on the farm. All the milk comes from the family’s own herd of 200 dairy cows, and Charles knows exactly what they’ve been fed. Only raw milk is used, and the cheeses are moulés à la louche (moulded by ladle), just as they should be. After a month’s ripening, they are boxed and packaged on site, bearing a very distinctive label. [from Normandy Foodie]
For the label displaying the brand name Le 5 Frères (The 5 Brothers), the Bréant brothers asked the type designer Jean-Baptiste Levée, born and raised right next to their production site, to take care of the packaging design.
Levée and his Production Type team handled the design with great care, avoiding clichés picturing “a lazy cow or an idyllic Norman village”. Instead they dug intensively into the Maciet collection in the library of Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, in the hope to refer classy packaging from the past at a time where the cheese was still a luxury product.
Eventually, they ended up with a minimalist composition: a geometrical perspective made with five triangles, one for each brother. The blue and white alternance evoques burrows in a plowed field or an endless path reaching the horizon. They paired Proto Slab (nicely set on a curve) with an early version of the now freshly released Antique Gothic (derived from a type originally designed for Louis Vuitton). Antique Gothic’s distinctive ‘5’ and its various capital heights helped the brand define its own voice on the stalls of local shops and delicatessen.
‘We really wanted to try something different and our main aim was to target a younger audience with our packaging,’ says Charles. The blue and white triangles sure do stand out!
Photo(s) by “Steve” on Flickr.
Contributed by Stephen Coles