5 big trends in spirits packaging for 2014

Stuart Chapman of design research agency The Big Picture predicts how the look of spirits will evolve in the coming year.

Following on from our recent article on beer packaging, we’ve been looking to see how the trends identified in our annual Trends Analysis report are distilling into the world of spirits packaging.

Take a look below at the top five emergent design trends we can expect to see this year in the packaging design of hard liquor.

01. Machined

AnestasiA Vodka's packaging is unashamedly technical

Rem Koolhaas might have had a hand in inspiring this trend, which kicks out the friendly, human curves and skeuomorphism of times past.

Unashamedly technological, this trend is defined by aggressively chamfered shapes with a distinctive sci-fi feel. In spirits, that code is used by AnestasiA Vodka to communicate a crisp, pure taste.

02. Art Deco Revived

Tanquerary Ten looks back to a vintage era

Moving from a forward-facing trend to one which looks back. Art Deco Revived takes the baton from the well-underway 50s retro revival and rewinds a few more decades to puts a modern spin on an era of classic design.

Diageo has refined the glamour of the period in its new bottle for Tanqueray No.Ten, which uses the trend to reflect the booming desire for classic cocktails, such as the Martini.

03. Drawn Freeform

Tomoka's hand-lettering is gorgeously quirky

A trend which is also surfacing in the world of brewing is the use of drawn idiosyncrasies which add individuality and character to products.

Big brands like Absolut are also following the trend

In brewing, it’s largely limited to small craft beer brands, but in spirits it’s growing across both the smaller brands, such as Tomoka and 3R Tequila to larger global brands including Absolut Vodka.

3R tequila's hand-crafted look gives the brand added authenticity

04. Monochrome

Black Vodka's packaging is uncompromisingly monotone

The bold, attention-grabbing combination of black & white (which has momentum in fashion via Issey Miyake & Chanel) is being used in spirits to convey an intriguingly understated message suggestive of hidden potency.

Lock, Stock & Barrel whiskey's packaging couldn't get much blacker

Lock, Stock & Barrel whiskey and Black vodka both use this to powerful effect.

05. Black Magic

3Howls' packaging call to mind the darker side of fairytale imagery

The Guillermo del Toro of design trends, this movement sees the darker side of fairytales come bubbling to the surface through graphics that promise the adventure and excitement of potions, spells and witchcraft.

Coven Vodka

Evil Spirits vodka, Coven vodka, The Empiric gin and The 3 Howls all exemplify this most wicked of trends.

The Empiric gin

Evil Spirits vodka

Words: Stuart Chapman

Stuart Chapman is associate director at The Big Picture.

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