No Comments

TwoFish Baking Company: Packaging As Good as the Granola!

Written by in Profiles

Good Design That's Good For You, Too!

When was the last time you read the package while you were enjoying your morning cereal?  As an adult? Josh Chen and his colleagues at Chen Design in San Francisco are bringing back the tradition. This San Francisco design firm is skillful at distinguishing fine brands on an overcrowded shelf—and making packaging as appetizing as the product within.  They sent us some seriously crunchy and fun work for Twofish Baking Company — a feast for the tummy, the eyes and the mind.

2011.04.05 CDA Shoot Twofish-059_rgb

Smart, funny copy.

Twofish Baking Company was  named as a nod to co-owners Margaret Smith’s astrological sign and co-owner Hilla Ahvenainen family name, which means “little fish” in Finnish. It opened in 2003 as a retail outlet and café serving pastries and lunch. Their is an interesting story… go read about them.

1) What % of your current customers are  insisting on high PCW content?

I wouldn’t say that they are insisting, but that more and more clients are educated about post-consumer waste and the benefits of using paper with PCW content. Gone are the days of us trying to make a case for going “recycled”. Given this has always been a very natural starting place for us, it’s nice that neither party has to convince the other party of the reasons.


Yes, it is.



The Chen design team spent three days at the bakery before starting this project, which I think was the key ingredient in the success of it all. They spent the time to get to know us and they totally got the bakery. Our little bakery is also the community hangout. So, there is a lot of personalities going on there all the time. Lots of banter back and forth and it can get quite goofy at times. I think Chen managed to absorb that and made it a key ingredient in the packaging. That box truly represents the bakery, which is so very cool. — Hilla Ahvenainen

2) How do you get them to overcome the perception of high cost when the amount of choice in PCW and other FSC papers are causing prices to come down?

I find a lot of times that just by showing high quality printed samples on PCW and other FSC papers, and then doing a quick side-by-side comparison of the cost per unit, clients are very agreeable to doing the right thing.


Irresistable graphics.


Rich, tasty goodness.

3) Describe your Twofish client to us… how big, where, kind of people, what they do and wear and where they live — are they exactly like their target buyer?

Hilla & Margaret are two of the most down to earth and generous people you will ever meet. They both left behind big jobs to start this business. They wanted more time for friends and family. They work hard and love their customers and the contact they have with them every day in the cafe and store. Let me quote us quoting them on their website: “Twofish is about sharing the sense of ease and well-being we bake into our food. Think of it as a spontaneous standing ovation. Everybody deserves one of those once in a while, just because. Because good food gives us so many ways to feel good. Because it awakens our sense of connection — to pleasure, to possibility, to one another. Because real good food makes a real difference.”










Design Credits

Joshua C. Chen, creative director

Margaret Hartwell, brand strategy director
Carol Miller, Max Spector, writers
Max Spector, Kathrin Blatter, designers