The Little Chef

Brand Identity and Packaging

Developing the brand identity for The Little Chef was part naming, part brand exploration, part packaging development and part experimentation with Digimarc’s new invisible barcode technology. Digimarc has developed technology so that designers no longer have to place ugly barcodes on their packaging forms ever again. It’s pretty exciting that the entire packaging piece is a connected package allowing you to literally scan anywhere on the box with a POS scanner or phone. The Little Chef brand identity and packaging system was a perfect opportunity to showcase this new technology.

Pasta variations: Lemon, Garlic Rosemary, Roasted Red Pepper

Our goal was to create a level of sophistication, that matched The Little Chef’s pasta while keeping the identity approachable and fun. We mixed modern and hand-drawn design elements throughout the identity to achieve this intention. Our hero—Little Chef—was created with a whimsical wink as he happily runs to make a meal while carrying fresh, oversized ingredients. With several different infused pasta flavors within the line, we embraced a fully kinetic logo system. The adaptable, Little Chef features a different ingredient with each pasta product to highlight the infused flavor cues. Each packaging piece is also paired with a modern colored striped pattern that mirrors the actual striped flavors within the infused pasta. 

“The brand system needed to feel refined yet playful—just like the pasta. We wanted the experience to be incredibly approachable and never take itself too seriously. We married these two values by creating whimsical illustrations in a more sophisticated style.”
Carpenter Collective

We knew we wanted an inventive way to show the product without having to rely on a photograph of the pasta on the package. Our solution was to create a custom die-cut window reflective of the shape of the pasta, revealing the pattern of the inner box that reinforces the visual and flavor cues. 

Our Italian grandfather inspired the Little Chef brand. His love of Italian cuisine always taught us that the way to someone’s heart was through their stomach! The exterior of the box showcases the inspired Little Chef beginnings along with other fun pasta facts and details of the made from scratch pasta.

“What excites us about Digimarc and their products is how they solve problems by using technology and design.”
Tad Carpenter

Just as Little Chef has turned traditional practices on their head, with its innovative pasta, so has Digimarc with their proprietary barcode technology. Digimarc unobtrusively repeats data across the entire surface. Little Chef was the perfect case study to showcase this technology. With the white exterior background of the packaging, the barcode pattern is still undetectable. For a more reliable, efficient consumer process, scan The Little Chef packaging anywhere on the box.