Appearance is the first thing we unconsciously evaluate when we see a stranger. The same happens with packaging. An aesthetic appearance makes us take the product in our hands, look at the details, and get acquainted with the characteristics. An unattractive design does not catch the eye and does not arouse emotions. There is a high probability that the product will be lost on the shelf, among dozens of analogs. That’s why you should pay special attention to visual design.

Today the market of goods is saturated with a variety of options. However, the vast assortment not only helps the buyer to choose the products that meet his needs. Because of the great competition every year it is more and more difficult for producers to stand out from the crowd. The customer will not appreciate a high-quality drink if the bottle looks mediocre.

This is why visual identity is considered to be the main lever of brand promotion. If the customer gets “hooked” by the product packaging, the chance of buying this particular brand increases. With alcohol in this sense, things are a bit more complicated than, say, with cars, where the logo with the horse already makes you pay attention to the brand, causing associations with legendary auto marques.

Designers from all over the world strive to develop the brightest, most unusual, and most alluring package designs. The alcohol industry is no stranger to the world of fashionable things. Alcohol packaging design plays a major role in its positioning. Especially when a brand is being presented to the market for the first time. The label design is able, in the direct sense, to create or crush the success of the brand. No matter how excellent the quality of the drink itself is, the package design is the first thing that customers see and is the basis for their purchasing decision.

So, how do you make a bottle of beer or whiskey from your brand make a customer want to take it home?

Although there is no strict stylistic framework, there are generally accepted rules for choosing the color scheme of the logo, depending on the type of drink. After all, the style of the label should match the target group that the product is designed for, and it should also convey the taste or other associations you want your brand to convey.

So, the basic rules of logo design by type of alcohol:

  • Beer. The most common drink is consumed often and equally popular on all continents. Beer is drunk not only in bars and at home, but also at different events, on vacation in the fresh air, and on the beach. This drink takes the leading position on the market because of its availability. The design of the beer label is usually executed in black, swamp, green, brown, blue, or straw color scheme, depending on the variety.
  • Whiskey. Refers to a group of strong grain beverages aged in oak barrels. Today the market has a growing number of new brands of whiskey, which successfully compete with well-known companies. The main thing in the design of the whiskey label is to carry the vision of the traditional production and nobility of this type of alcohol. The status is expressed in the conciseness of the forms and colors. The most common are brown, gold, and black tones, as well as muted shades of blue.
  • Vodka. Hard liquor is mainly intended for the male audience, and first of all, is associated with winter and northern countries. The packaging of this type of alcohol usually aims to visualize a frosty winter, scalding cold, strength of character, and crystal clear water. To enhance the effect, an image of pieces of ice, snowy mountains and mountain springs, or northern animals is applied. The main shades for vodka brands’ visual identity are traditionally blue, silver, and white.

Graphical references

Visual perception of the brand is one of the main marketing values. If the customer is not attracted by the appearance of the bottle, the likelihood of purchase is extremely low. In order not to repeat with competitors by implementing the same stylistic techniques, in addition to color solutions, producers of alcohol develop their graphic elements, which can be both primary and additional participants in the label.

Some common templates can serve as the basis for forming a unique image that suits your brand.

For spirits brands: heraldic elements and an emphasis on the history and heritage of the Brand. Coats of arms and shields, wild animals, winter landscapes, ice blocks – all these elements inspire confidence in the potential buyer, and form a subconscious picture of crystal purity and freshness, and, therefore, of quality.

For brands of light alcohol: here there is much more room for imagination. Many brands of beer, cider, or alcoholic cocktails choose animated emblems with a playful mood and bright colors. Light and funny images convey the mood you get with the contents of the bottle. For sparkling wines and champagne, images associated with luxury and wealth are often used, most often with the addition of glitter.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.