As with any discretionary spending on non-essential items, the purchase of liquor is heavily dependent on buying into a lifestyle. People buy into a type of life, even if they do so subconsciously. We’re willing to bet you’re too smart to fall for those silly TV tricks showing off bikini-clad women and life-of-the-party guys dominated every beer commercial. No, you’re your own thinker, preferring instead the sophisticated Johnny Walker Blue Label or Patron Silver. And, we bet you came up with your desire for them on your own, right?
Like it or not, your preference for those brands likely was influenced by the very same lifestyle-selling marketers that peddle party-packed beers to the college masses, they just targeted you in a different way. There’s a big range of techniques they use, but one method is to make the bottle appropriate to the liquor’s target market. Something more sleek is probably going to appeal to trendy, next-big-thing seeking crowd, while more discreet but sophisticated designs will likely appeal to the “old money.” Liquor bottle design plays a big role in selling a certain lifestyle image, and there’s a lot of money that goes into the R&D of what a bottle should look like. So, we’ve decided to go over some of the more interesting designs from the popular brands out there.
Kraken Black Spiced Rum
What do pirates drink? Rum. And what’s enough to make a pirate take up drinking (more so than usual, we mean)? The Kraken, obvs. The stark black and white color scheme of Kraken Black Spiced Rum lends serious class and a touch of the old fashioned to its own quirky design flavor. The simplicity stands out as a welcome contrast to many of the overwhelmingly busy labels you normally find on a liquor shelf. That giant squid/octopus looking thing that’s half vicious-looking, half endearing will grab your attention with all umpteen tentacles. Plus, those evil geniuses snagged the tagline “Release the Kraken.” Actually we might hate them a little for that.
Absolut No Label
Okay, maybe it’s inappropriate to include these buys on a “best labels” list when this one has, in fact, no label. But see, that’s Absolute No Label’s whole schtick. The brand name and bottle design are brilliant together, and the concept itself is one of those things that makes designers facepalm the world over with a collective “Why didn’t I think of that?” This liquor bottle design is actually part of a larger social commentary from Absolut to underline that it’s what’s inside that matters and not the packaging so much. This important sentiment should not be negated in any way by the fact that they then went out and designed an amazing package in order to sell that message.
Not to toot our own horns, but Fighting Eagle is a seriously hardcore package with a hard-hitting mission to boot: portions of every sale are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project to help support our veterans. The bold colors can’t be mistaken for anything but patriotic, although we added a fierce eagle just to underline the point a little more. Brewed in small batches at a private distillery in Austin, Texas, the taste is the equivalent of a 21-gun salute, and the liquor bottle design reflects that.
The designers for Medea were probably sitting around brainstorming—(maybe while testing the product for inspiration)—when someone said, “You know would be awesome? Programmable liquor bottle labels!” And whoever that Einstein is must have immediately gotten a raise and a bonus because that’s exactly what Medea did. Their bottle labels include an actual LCD screen. With capacity for up to six different saved messages and allowing more characters than Twitter, Medea’s high-tech labels offer a clever new way to deliver pickup lines. Hopefully instructions are included.
Crystal Head Vodka
The actual skull shape of the Crystal Head Vodka packaging is fantastic enough to outweigh the possible PTSD flashbacks you might experience if you connect crystal skulls to the fourth Indiana Jones movie. Or, as we like to call it, “What fourth movie?” And as if the bottle weren’t cool enough on its own, the company itself is owned by Dan Aykyrod; if there’s one thing that man knows, it’s the right beverage to drink with two pieces of dry white toast. Although we’re sure it’s good with many other (classier) dishes as well.
Milagro Select Barrel Reserve
To finish off our list, how about something that isn’t vodka? Milagro reminds spring breakers everywhere of the humble origins responsible for their favorite drink: the spiky agave plant. The nose of the Select Barrel Reserve Silver is described as “agave-forward,” but the same can definitely be said about their actual bottles. Every single bottle houses an integral hand-blown glass agave plant within, and each one is unique. Talk about finding your theme and sticking with it.
Next time you’re in dire need of impressing a house guest, give one of these six liquor bottle designs a try. Or even all of them, as long as no one’s planning on driving later on. Not only are you sure to wow them with your random packaging knowledge, but you can even raise a toast together to the creative spirit. L’chaim!