I didn’t know whether to eat it or propose to someone with it. This was my first impression of one of the cute creations they handed me at this small locally-run bakery based in Somerset. What was evident in my initial interaction with the owners of Perdita’s (who were also the bakers) was their drive to make their creations exquisitely beautiful and thus shareable on social media. Of course, they tasted light and divine also – and let’s not forget that.
But it was this beauty factor which I felt was a lot different and consequently more interesting than the usual bakery chains that either market their business as cheap and accessible or charming and rustic – which back in 2012 was the buzzword to communicate authenticity, a major differentiating factor in the landscape of cheap and cheerful brands. But what is more authentic than a group of women wanting to make little edible baubles for a local community? So it was this differentiating factor which became the vision to communicate.
Angling Perdita’s on the beautiful, rather than cheap sausage rolls or flour-splashed loaves, would be the mission for the project, asking questions such as: Could we develop something high-fashion and feminine without alienating everyday ‘pop-in’ customers? Could we suggest that these little eatable creations are to be admired with the eyes before their subsequent disappearance? To be shared not just for the matter of taste but to also simply be gazed upon – Eye-candy as well as just, well, candy?
The fleuron set which was made bespoke for this project proves the main motif for the identity. Taking inspiration from the ornate symmetry of 19th-century haute cuisine, these individual and alternative patterns suggest both the decorative focus of Perdita’s while also alluding to the sheer variety of offerings coming out of that kitchen. The fleurons are essentially simplified, top-down impressions of pastry tops and cupcake creations. In fact, one was actually an apple turnover.