Carta Blanca

Posted by Steve on May 11th 2015 in: Are brands re-discovering ‘visual authenticity’?, Wines & Spirits

Bacardi Old and New Packaging on Shelf

Most famous spirit brands have a long history and a complete archive of labels and bottles past. That makes it easy to research and bring back elements of an old favourite from an appropriate period.

The challenge is to make it look not like a special nostalgia edition, but to emphasise the craftsmanship of those earlier days; to unearth the authentic and remove currently fashionable elements that suggest your brand is more about marketing than intrinsic product quality.

In this example everything gets straighter and more masculine, the previous designs curvy label and bottle shoulder suddenly looking decidedly girly and 1980s (funny how out-of-dateness seems to exaggerate itself, the design is actually early 2000’s).

The new design introduces a raft of properly authentic elements, most notably the bat symbol from a century ago. This uses the original illustration style (possibly the original artwork), which is delightfully anachronistic and hence utterly convincing.

The labels are full of crafted typography, much of it in Spanish and devoted to the story and symbology of the Bacardi family. Perhaps my favourite detail is the heavily embossed base and neck areas of the bottle. These spell out the founding date and ‘UNA EMPRESA FAMILIAR’ (A family company) in the bold style of early bottle decoration technology.

In contrast the previous design sported the founder’s signature in the glass itself, something from a far more modern era and which in today’s climate looks almost fake.

With a dozen more exquisite details that simply couldn’t be ‘of today’, this is a superb example of a brand claiming back its craft mojo.