As part of its expansion to new markets and new products, Bono, the award-winning producer of extra virgin olive oil and house purveyor to the James Beard Foundation, is unveiling a modern new logo and colorful graphic labels designed by Sicilian artist Alice Valenti.
The family-owned company is bringing the same artistry to its olive oil labels as wine makers bring to their bottles as a way to stand out and express their unique personality. Launched first in Europe to great acclaim, the new designs have already garnered prestigious recognition including the Silver Award for packaging from Olio Officina’s Le Forme Dell’olio and four total stars for design and packaging from the Berlin Global Olive Oil Awards.
For each of the six olive oils in Bono’s lineup, Valenti has developed a character and essence, inspired by paladins (knights) from 13th century Sicilian marionette opera theater. Using these characters, Bono has combined the essence of each extra virgin olive oil with a piece of Sicilian history: a mix of art, culture, and flavor.
“Valenti shares our passion for Sicilian history and helped us bring a modern twist to our story we hope will resonate with consumers in supermarkets and specialty stores across the U.S.,” said Salvatore Russo-Tiesi, president and CEO of Bono USA. “Olive oil companies rarely devote much effort to branding and label design. We saw an opportunity to celebrate our Sicilian roots by visually combining the best of traditional and modern Sicily in one cohesive look.”
Valenti is known for her talent at merging Sicilian folklore with contemporary design. Her prior work includes branding collaborations with well-known Italian brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Averna and Smeg.
“Listening to the Bono family tell me about the oils, talking to me about the various crops from the most fertile areas of Sicily and the different characteristics of each, the members of another family emerged in my mind, each with its own character and precise facial features,” Valenti explains. “It was then that all the protagonists of epic-chivalric Medieval literature appeared in my mind. A system of values and archetypes that I borrowed to give a ‘human’ connotation to each variety of oil.”
The new label designs display a different paladin on each variety of Bono Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
- PDO Val di Mazara, represented by the wise and courteous Queen Galerana
- PDO Valle del Belice, represented by the strong and cunning King of Zaragoza Marsilio
- PGI Sicilia, represented by the beautiful and valiant warrior Bradamante
- Filtered and Unfiltered Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, represented by the noble and generous Emperor Carlo Magno
- Novello, represented by the pure and audacious warrior Ideo
- Selezione Bono, represented by the courageous and sincere Orlando
Bono’s line of products, which also includes organic citrus marmalades and olives, are available in all 50 states at specialty retailers and supermarkets including Whole Foods, Stop and Shop, Wegmans, King’s, Central Market and Bristol Farms. Its products are also available online on Amazon and Vitacost.
Established in 1934, Bono is the largest producer of authentic extra virgin olive oil in Sicily. The family-owned company is based in Sciacca, Sicily, in the Val Di Mazara region. The region is coveted for its terroir, considered one of the best in the world for the production of high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Its U.S. division is in Fairfield, N.J.
The company has won more than 50 awards in the past ten years, including the 2021 New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC) Award along with quality awards and recognition around the world from Paris and Japan, to Italy’s prestigious Gambero Rosso in 2021 alone. Bono also received the 2020 sofi Award from the Specialty Food Association. Bono is the exclusive house purveyor of extra virgin olive oil for The James Beard Foundation.
Bono’s PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) extra virgin olive oils receive unique serial numbers, which are traceable to the exact groves that supply olives for production. The brand also produces organic and conventional Sicilian Blood Orange, Orange and Lemon marmalades, made with fresh, organic fruit as well as Nocellara Del Belice olives, which are cultivated exclusively in their native environment in Castelvetrano, Sicily.
About Alice Valenti
Born in Catania, Sicily, in 1975, Valenti still lives and works in the city. She graduated from the Conservazione dei Beni Culturali di Pisa and returned to Sicily where she trained in the Maestro Domenico di Mauro in Aci Sant’Antonio, the prestigious workshop of Sicilian carts. Many years before, the paths were laid for the master and the pupil to cross: for Valenti the discovery of carts came from her interest in “objets d’art” and the “roots of her family”. The two of them, together with a very small circle of artists, tell the story of a world that is now distant, but not yet lost. As the only woman among the very few painters of carts to inherit this age-old and complex decorative art, she studies the multiple aspects of the popular artistic tradition. She draws inspiration from a personal interpretation of Sicilian folklore and its traditional themes. Alongside her production of painted furniture, paintings, and everyday objects, she also works in interior design, fashion and theatre, all with a subterranean vein of irony and a touch of nostalgia.