Rebranding backgammon

By Yiouli Eptakili

It's a simple, smart and fresh idea that fits in perfectly with the trend for “rebranding Greece.”

Under the Greek White label, Sandy Tsantaki and Eleni Koulouvatou came up with the idea and the design for an on-the-go backgammon set made of beautiful Greek fabrics. “Backgammon a la Grecque” is crafted by hand and is an ideal travel accessory, elevating the humble “tavli’ with an attractive new look.

The designer duo advocates a minimalist version of the timeless board game defined by a Mediterranean Sea flair, a carefree spirit and, naturally, the idea of Greek white. Made of 100 percent cotton, the backgammon set includes 30 playing pieces, three sets of dice and a doubling cube. It is easy to carry and, more importantly, will not disturb fellow bathers on the beach with the clatter of dice and discs.

Greek White hopes to liberate non-utilitarian objects from their folksy look and the new backgammon set is a good first example of this effort. The coexistence of style, art and tradition in all that defines Greece is the aim here. Besides, in keeping with the Greek tourist sector's makeover, such independent initiatives, though limited in size, may prove particularly useful. Visitors will appreciate bigger or smaller objects that will serve as a reminder of their trip to Greece but which are defined by originality and creativity.

Greek history and tradition remain an inexhaustible source for creative spirits to draw inspiration in order to deconstruct, reconstruct and remodel familiar symbols as well as to redefine the notion of the celebrated Greek summer.