A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How We Spiced Up Our Annual Holiday Gift

by Katy French

Our wheels are always turning to come up with new and unusual holiday gifts of appreciation for our partners. In previous years, we’ve crafted a deck of cards, honored words of wisdom from a founding father, and turned coffee into beautiful data visualization. While each gift is different, they all express a philosophy or value that is important to us.

This time around, we brainstormed ways to tell a meaningful story through useful, everyday objects—with a dash of artistic flare, of course. Those seeds of inspiration ultimately grew into the Temple of Happiness: a stylized, marbled salt and pepper shaker set celebrating the historic pairing of seasonings displayed on nearly every meal table throughout Western civilization. For us, the set is a symbolic nod to one of our core beliefs: We value our partners.

Salt and pepper shaker

Like every great duo, the union of salt and pepper is rife with meaning. Its pairing tells the story of centuries of health and good taste. In fact, seventeenth-century French cuisine considered pepper the only spice able to enhance the true taste of food without overpowering, while salt preserved its freshness. Over time, the two have become so inseparable that polite social behavior dictates they never part—always passing the pair in unison at meals.

What makes a partnership like this so great? Two entities complementing each other by adding value and lifting one another up. Likewise, our work with each of our partners elevates the experience and preserves our longevity.

To best deliver this symbolic message, we set to work creating the most unique shaker set we could imagine, complete with a decoder and hidden message: Happiness is life’s greatest healer.

Set in a concrete base, marbled ceramic funnel-shaped shakers intersect in a Venn diagram design, a nod to our data visualization expertise and partnered work. On a deeper level, the inverted 8 design shape repeated in the base and shaker shapes also represents the Cantonese symbols for “prosperity” (8) and “joy” (88).

Dual elements were used together throughout the branding application from the shaker colors (blue for ocean, brown for land) to a poster depicting duality in logic relations, further showcasing great partnership. The result is 100 limited-edition, functional salt and pepper shaker box sets displaying our versatile creativity and conceptual thought.

From the pleasures of cooking to changes in brain chemistry, good food not only nourishes the body, but also the soul. Which is why we sent each gift with the hope of enjoyment and lasting partnership for years to come.

Mangia bene!

To see more pics, check out the full photoshoot. And for more of our passion projects, take a look at the People For Periods interactive, which helps destigmatize menstruation, and the Popcorn Project, a brainstorming exercise we created with Girls Inc. of Orange County to empower anyone to achieve their goals.

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