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Sinterklaas at Design Bridge: a celebration of type and tradition

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This year, for Design Bridge Amsterdam, has been the year of chocolate. Working across a range of international chocolate brands we have learnt about the sourcing, farming and craft that takes place at every stage, to create flavours for every type of creation. To mark all that we have achieved this year and just in time for a seasonal tradition we decided to created our very own ‘chocolade letter’.

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Celebrated by Dutch young and old, Sinterklaas is observed by the exchange of gifts & chocolate letters, humorous poetry and, the inevitable, little surprise, so our letter should embody all of that. We believe that chocolate should be an experience not just a treat & on this basis we set about making the most visually delicious letter form possible.

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Breaking from the traditional use of Egyptian typeface for Sinterklaas letters, we decided to draft our own letter form – one which reflects the generousity of the season and the nature of chocolate itself.

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Our very own wordsmith sees his poem revealed in a calligrapher’s pen strokes. Each swash, stroke & serif cut to match the sensorial experience of the finest Belgian chocolate.

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Individually printed sheets of paper use festive red and blue with gold to wrap each chocolate letter. Our poem sits inside, ready to unfold.

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There’s a satisfaction in creating a cast and the moulds that will bring our very own letter form to life in three dimensions. There’s also a sense of pride in seeing them filled with deliciousness by a chocolatier who regaled us with stories while he worked.

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Family owned and run, Huize Geers is renouned in the world of chocolate. Generous with his time and passionate about this trade we got to hear all about this Dutch tradition from a chocolatiers point of view.

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Carefully wrapping, labelling and stickering each chocolate letter by hand in our workshop. There’s something lovely about seeing lots and lots of one thing… and maybe there’ll be some left overs.

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We hope that who ever has received one enjoys the devouring as much as we have the creating. Happy Sinterklaas everyone!

 

by Anna Stanford

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