Brand Identity & Packaging Redesign Bacardi acquired the trademark for the legendary Havana Club Rum in the USA years ago, but hadn't cracked the code to convey the true spirit of the brand. The redesign needed to clearly communicate the heritage, authenticity and quality of the original rum created by José Arechabala, the founder of Havana Club Rum, as well as the new provenance; Puerto Rico. The design solution was inspired by looking to the DNA – the soul of the brand via the visual archives. The central seal of the label, the "marca registrada", had been the heroic element of early packaging from 1934, and was redrawn and put back in its rightful place on the new label. Every aspect of the design was developed to convey the authentic spirit and quality of the original, legendary product. The typography was hand-lettered, and each small decorative detail was hand-etched to communicate craft and illustrate the passion, pride and care that go into making this great product.
The brand story as it reads on the label:
"The Arechabala family built their first distillery in Cárdenas, Cuba in 1878. Decades later, this family of rum makers would be forced to flee during the Cuban Revolution, precious recipe in hand. After years of controversy, they would dust off their well-kept treasure and craft the incomparable rum once again, this time in Puerto Rico. The family crest continues to grace the Havana Club rum as a reminder of the tenacious and passionate Cuban spirit that inspired it."
Learn more about the #rumwar over Havana Club from the CBS 60 Minutes segment here
Launched in 2016. Designed for Bacardi via JKR, NY
A Revolutionary Redesign. When given the challenge to reinvent the iconic Smirnoff No. 57 100 proof packaging for the US Market, the solution was to differentiate the variant as the older, bad-ass brother to Smirnoff No. 21 “Red”. Inspiration was taken from the world of masculine luxury; fine watches, cigar bands and custom tailoring influenced the details of the visual language. Once the basic design principles were established, a flavors innovation followed to create the 100 proof Rootbeer and Espresso line extensions. Packaging design received a Bronze Pentaward in 2011.
Launched in 2010. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Global Redesign: Increasing Authenticity & Maintaining Brand Equity. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum has something of a cult following within its consumer base. Understanding the consumer, the brand and the legend of the man behind it was key to the success of the global brand redesign. The main objective was to increase quality, authenticity and heritage cues without losing the lovably rogue nature of the brand. The captain was repainted, the structure was embellished and every aspect of the label was refined to communicate quality, craft, taste and to engage consumers in the authentic brand story.
Global Relaunch Rollout 2010-2012, Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Redesigning a Wine with a Purpose. Chateau La Paws™ is an easy drinking California Wine that combines the company's love of dogs with delightful wines. The mission of the brand is to have wine lovers join in the support of dogs in need, helping them find permanent chateaus of their own. Through a national partnership, Chateau La Paws™ proudly supports the North Shore Animal League America (NSALA), the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue shelter and adoption organization. Since it’s inception in 1944, NSALA has placed over 1MM animals in happy homes.
Awareness of this cause was raised via the branding and packaging design. NSALA shelter dogs were photographed to create the artwork for the labels, and displayed as the heroic element. Careful art direction of the photography was crucial to the balanced composition of the labels. Supportive identity elements were designed with a playful fusion of classical heraldry and simple iconography intended to telegraph the brand purpose and provide premium wine credentials.
Launched February 2015. Designed for Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines
Trademark & Packaging Redesign. Recognized as a premier Spanish wine, Raimat champions innovation, sustainability and precision agriculture. The brand boasts a rich heritage in the Costers del Segre region, dating back to 1910. The key business objective was to make Raimat more relevant and impactful in the highly saturated North American market by developing a distinct and ownable visual character for the brand. The design recommendation (shown below) presents an interplay between heroic letterforms that are both classic and modern, symbolizing Raimat’s established credentials and progressive precision agriculture; a nod to the past with an inspired, future mindset. The artful coexistence of these characteristics is symbolized with the "R" icon. The natural texture and layering effect of the "R" was intended to showcase the delicate nuance and craft the brand has become known for.
Recommended Concept Shown. Designed for Aveníu Brands
Innovation & Comprehensive Brand Identity Design Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines wanted to develop a one-of-a-kind effervescent wine cocktail for off-premise, summer refreshment occasions. Califresca™ was inspired by the California Riviera; the breezy coastline from Malibu north to the Napa Valley, and the chic, relaxed poolside elegance that it evokes.
The process began with naming and visual territory development. Once the team was aligned on the proper expression of the Califresca™ Brand, a brand identity and packaging exploratory followed, ultimately leading to the final product.
The point of sale execution was another crucial step for the brand’s launch, as it needed to telegraph the brand character and promote trial, all while emphasizing refreshment and taste appeal.
Launched in September 2015, Designed for Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines
Brand Re-staging & Revitalization. When Jack Beam broke away from his family distillery to start his own in 1860, he believed the best whisky was made in a special way; in “the early times method... mashing grain in small tubs, boiling the beer and whisky in copper stills over open fires”. Over the last 152 years, the Early Times brand underwent multiple revolutionary visual transformations and shifted away from it’s core story: a portrayal of the once-ideal American way of life. The archives were referenced to uncover historical details of packaging, reinvigorating the brand with authentic character from the founding era. The objective of this redesign was to bring the brand back to its glory days by telegraphically communicating its personality through the design; authentic, real, approachable, grounded, industrious, and unmistakably American-crafted.
Recommendation Shown, Designed for Brown-Forman Corporation
Transforming Foods™ | 100% Raw, Vegan Delights. As a startup in the raw food industry, Angie’s Raw Alchemy was created as a super-premium brand for a wide range of raw food products. Given everything from raw almond milk to raw carrot crackers and raw chocolate truffles; only the purest organic, unrefined ingredients are used.
The delicious taste created by expertly balanced proportions of earth’s purest ingredients inspired both the name and identity. The interlocking letterforms of the central monogram signify balance and integration, while the spirograph elements in the primary logo and the decorative graphics connote precision and the pursuit of perfection. The brand visual language needed to be ownable and differentiated, while signifying a super premium price positioning.
Launched 2013, Designed for private client
Innovation & Brand Identity Creation: Channeling 1930's Shanghai. The task; create an identity for a new to world, super premium vodka with an Art Deco/far east flair. Tell the story of another era through the details and identity expressed via packaging. The secondary challenge was to create a typographic identity that could not be easily replicated, given the problem with counterfeits in East Asian markets. The solution; integrated, hand-drawn letterforms and illustrative details forming an identity with unique character and sense of time and place. Recognized by Communication Arts Typography Annual 2011.
Launched 2009, Asia Markets. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Innovation, Brand Identity & Packaging Design. The first ready-to-drink Pomegranate Sangria for the US market required a design that would immediately signify the flavor point-of-difference. An iconic pomegranate replaced the “O” in the logotype for simple, bold, telegraphic communication. The typographic mark was used as a billboard on packaging, allowing interplay between the vivid liquid color and heroic graphic element.
Launched 2012, NA Market. Designed for Aveníu Brands
Line extensions with meticulously crafted illustration. The Savannah Tea, Pomegranate Martini and Tuscan Lemonade line extensions for US Smirnoff cocktails were conceptualized to tell the story of a specific locale and provide credibility, quality and authenticate the flavor profile. Each required the creation of detailed city scape illustrations which involved careful crafting and nuanced details to deliver the appropriate representation of the highlighted locale. A naming exploratory and liquor call out were also a large part of conceptual development.
Launched 2008-2010, NA Market. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Design Adaptation for UK, Ireland, EU. The success of Smirnoff Cocktails in the US market resulted in an adaptation for the UK/Europe. The shaker-style pack was developed to telegraph the proposition to European consumers who were less familiar with the concept of ready-to-serve cocktails. The shaker was constructed of glass and wrapped with a metallic shrink that allowed the liquid to show through at the base, adding a strong sense of flavor differentiation and taste appeal. Detailed design cues needed to be incorporated to reinforce the quality brand perception and reinforce spirits credentials.
Launched 2009, EU Markets. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Flavor Line Extension | Telegraphic Illustration. Bacardi Flavored Rum wanted to develop an Arctic Grape flavor, with the primary creative differential resting on the illustration. The Arctic Grape flavor needed to promote cool refreshment. The solution was a shape inspired by angles and symmetry found in nature; snowflakes, ice, and frost.
Launch 2013, NA Market. Designed for Bacardi via Spring Design Partners, NY
Brand Redesign. YOGA™ rice needed a more premium brand identity and packaging solution to drive reappraisal at shelf to better compete with brands like Lundberg™ Rice. The new identity incorporates the name into a structured mark of quality; with integrated decorative details that evoke growth and nature, as well as nuanced design elements that add refinement and elegance. The packaging maintains a simple structure, while elevating the brand mark to heroic status via color and value relationships.
Launched 2011, NA Market. Designed for Walmart Stores via Spring Design Partners, NY
Various Clients. Each mark shown here was designed to convey key characteristics of a new-to-world brand. Various styles require various techniques and tools for design development.
Oliver’s Toy Trains was an intensive illustration challenge, with multiple sketches required to bring it to life with just the right amount of detail to convey the appropriate sense of time and place.
Century Farm™ Handsculpted Hardwood Flooring was conceptualized as a simple mark intended to telegraph the natural materials and elegance from being crafted by hand. Wood shavings were hand-planed and photographed, then carefully retouched to represent a delicately italicized monogram.
Town Addiction™ Coffeehouse and Eatery needed to promote the restaurant side of their business with a proud, iconic identity. The letter “A” was utilized as a link to the name and, more subliminally, as a grade of quality. The central star reinforced the quality perceptions and provided a visual anchor for the mark.
Century Farm Designed for Armstrong® Flooring, Town Addiction and Oliver’s for private clients
Special Edition Packaging Design. Seagram’s VO has a rich history, and with the 100th anniversary of the brand approaching, Diageo wanted to create a commemorative bottle to celebrate it.
The story of the VO brand helped inspire the design strategy:
“One hundred years ago, Joseph E. Seagram created a new whisky to commemorate the wedding of his eldest son. He set barrels aside and ordered the workers not to touch it. They labeled it Mr. Seagrams “Very Own” or “V.O.” for short.”
This story demanded a visit to the brand archives; which were consulted for everything from the bottle structure to reincarnated graphic elements. The resulting character of the angular structure was a proud, masculine tribute to the man himself. Joseph Seagram’s monogram was redrawn and configured to create a seal that was incorporated into the packaging as a tribute and more intimate personal detail.
Recommended Concept Shown. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Brand Revitalization & Flavor Innovation | Poland. Smirnoff Vladimir is a standard premium Vodka, and unique in that it exists only in the over-saturated Polish market. The packaging was in need of a face-lift to bring it in line with the global brand identity, and a flavor innovation strategy was designed to expand the brand’s offering. An immersion and review of the semiotics of Polish spirits helped inform the final design direction. An emphasis on gold was utilized to convey an overt sense of value, and was vital in differentiating Smirnoff as a more premium offering, justifying the price positioning against the competitors.
Launched 2009, Polish Market. Designed for Diageo via Landor Associates, NY
Trademark Innovation. The first innovation of it’s kind in the Diageo ready-to-drink portfolio, Long Island Iced Tea was created as a “Jocktail”, or an acceptably masculine cocktail. In-depth research of the 21-29 year old male consumer revealed purchasing motivations and led to strategic design insights. It was imperative that the package design be socially acceptable, allowing the consumer to adopt the proposition as a viable alternative to beer/spirits for off-premise drinking occasions [translation: guys don’t want to get shunned for drinking a ready-to-pour]. The design strongly leveraged the drink recipe which both educates the consumer on the ingredients, and provides ample spirit credentials. The product launched late in 2008 and has been a highly successful Diageo innovation initiative.
Launched 2008, NA Market. Designed for Landor Associates, NY