Stefan Jandl details the design and development of Favorit & Co's Swiss-made products
Favorit & Co’s handmade collection of eau de parfums, room scents and cosmetics are devised in Zurich by graphic designer Stefan Jandl and a team of seasoned craftsmen. Through the use of locally sourced ingredients and straightforward presentation, the brand is a timeless solution to loud overconsumption. We caught up with Stefan to find out more about his inspirations and future plans.
EM Hi Stefan. Can you tell us about yourself and what you do?
SJ I have worked within the field of graphic design for over 10 years. Besides the daily commissioned work I always try to push boundaries and try out design related to weird projects. When I look back, there was one specific moment which inspired me through the years. In 2006, I had the chance to meet the legendary Massimo Vignelli in NYC. His advice, his approach, his multidisciplinary work and his timeless creations left a deep impression. There is a book about him titled ‘If You Can’t Find It, Design It’. A statement which might be quite fitting to my recent works with my friend, Andreas Zellweger, who has been the perfect companion to bring these product and design ideas to life.
EM What inspired you to start Favorit & Co?
SJ As believers in beauty bringing small moments of joy to everyday life, we just started creating products as such. Our creations contain inherently Swiss properties such as clear designs, quality awareness and traditional, local manufacturing. The ‘& Co’ stands for the best possible collaborators, retailers and most of all customers, who share our high-quality awareness. We make things for people who are tired of today’s loud overconsumption. To create long-lasting favourites against the fast pace.
EM As an industry that somewhat relies on new products, what part do you think graphic design can play in countering overconsumption?
SJ This is a good question that we’ve discussed quite a few times. You could say that it’s some kind of contradiction to counter overconsumption by designing new products. Nevertheless, we believe that we must prioritise long-term thinking in the matter of product development. Connected to this, our emphasis is placed on the aesthetics of timeless graphic design. Our Swiss-style may seem to serve pure functionality at first glance – and it does. However, the facets of simplicity enable us to find beauty in functionality and – vice versa – the functionality of beauty. We are aware that overconsumption is a global challenge that needs to be addressed in many ways. Timeless design combined with valuable manufacturing represents one first step towards a sustainable mindset, and consequently, towards sustainable consumption.
It might take weeks and months to reach perfection in some cases, just a few hours in others.
EM How do you decide on the scents for each product?
SJ First, there’s a basic idea. It could be a smell related to childhood memories, a travel experience or a particular person. Then, a dynamic olfactory process evolves. This is the most exciting part. It might take weeks and months to reach perfection in some cases, just a few hours in others. We know we have a finished scent once the composition feels exciting, enables us to trigger emotions or memories while being finely balanced.
EM How about the cardinal directions for the product names, how did you come up with that?
SJ We’ve always enjoyed travelling and having adventures and experiences within new environments, being surrounded by many different cultures. Cardinal points are short and sweet triggers of emotions, memories, associations, longings, and wanderlust. They provide orientation – may it be in a familiar surrounding such as your neighbourhood or in a new and unknown environment. We find that a variety of settings create beautiful frames for beloved fragrances.
EM The woodwork is made in collaboration with St Jakob Foundation in Zurich. What does that process look like?
SJ We discuss and work out the details and possibilities of the designs and functionalities with the team leaders of the carpentry. The actual production is done under their supervision, by fellow men with handicaps, to whom the St. Jakob Foundation has been providing jobs since 1902.
EM How about the rest of the product – how and where is that made?
SJ The glass bottles are made and decorated by a specialised shop in Austria. The packaging is produced and screen printed in a traditional, small factory near Zurich, Switzerland. The perfume itself is composed, produced and bottled in Zurich. The Shower Gel is hand mixed in a small laboratory just around the corner. We produce as much as we can locally. Even the typeface was considered to be Swiss-made.
Imperfection is what gives it a soul.
EM Aside from the connection to the name, what else drew you to Favorit as the brand’s typeface?
SJ The fact that the typeface is a namesake is indeed a very lovely coincidence. On one side, Favorit looks very Swiss, strictly composed and timeless. On the other side, it has its understated oddities and surprising details. These characteristics made it to be the perfect match. We love the unbalanced ‘R’, the ugly ‘y’ and the wrong ‘8’. Because imperfection is what gives it a soul. Just like the handmade products.
EM Why did you go for an acorn as the logo?
SJ It’s actually a Swiss pine cone. We appreciate its local character and the simple classiness of its unique shape. If looked at closely, the cones reveal a delicate, beautifully shaped surface, resembling our attention to detail. Swiss pine wood not only slows down the heart rate, it also stands for the timelessness and longevity of our products. Pine trees can live to be hundreds of years and adapt to harsh mountain conditions as in the Alps. Little details build a bridge to our typography. The icon is filled with a pattern made out of Favorit’s ‘F’ and the shaft is made out of a serif from the logotype’s ‘C’.
EM What can people expect from Favorit & Co in the future?
SJ We will continue to make things with people, for people who care about simplicity, quality, responsibility and the joy of good design.