Exclusive cigar brand gets a minimalistic makeover

Designer Alex Pabian uses old naval symbols and a minimal design to reinvent the packaging for an exclusive brand of cigars.

Alex Pabian is a Polish/South African graphic designer and art director, currently based in Miami, Florida. Recently, she undertook a project that involved the redesign of the case, labels and tubes for Phantom Cigars.

Giving this exclusive brand a new look and feel was a big challenge, admits Pabian. "The cigar market is a very old, and very narrow-minded one," she explains. "Tobacco shops are filled with packaging that all looks alike: over-decorated with traditional and cultural motifs. With a target audience ranging from 40-70, breaking that cycle is not easy."

Smoke signals

He settled on an approach centred around traditional visual elements and typography; that way, "the traditional concept of trade is brought across in a minimalist, modern manner". She created a trademark in the form of the stylised sihouette of an octopus; "a very old symbol for the sea, yet presented in a clean, refined way".

Pabian adds: "The use of touches of gold foil and paper give the much-needed feel of luxury that the target audience yearns for in a case of expensive cigars. The concept is fully brought across in the 'code' used to denote cigar flavors. Old naval symbols are used to illustrate and describe the flavor of each cigar."

Check out Alex Pabian's website for more examples of his work.

Like this? Read these!