Absolut-ly Wagner

Last year Absolut invited 20 creatives to create their own decorative representations of the iconic vodka bottle as part of their Absolut Blank campaign. In the wake of all that creativity, the company released its first limited edition Absolut Blank product which bears the work of illustrator Mario Wagner. It's going to be on sale in select locations.

The new Absolut Blank bottle design by Mario Wagner

His images focus on the 1960s and have a reproduced print feel to them complete with half-tone pattern showing through in some of the elements. It's all about going to the moon. "Every visual element has its place," he says. "The astronaut is a recurring element in my work and it creates intrigue. With an empty speech bubble I give a voice to the astronaut, but I let the audience decide what he says."

There are also celestial bodies, UFOs, and a huge eye, so it seems like you're looking into a different dimension or another place and time. Wagner had complete freedom to be himself when creating the image.

Wagner's bottle will be launched in Munich on 22 March. Work by all the artists involved in the project was seen in the Absolut Blank TV commercial which was produced last year. Artists and collabs such as Goodwives and Warriors, Eduardo Recife and Pure Product were invited to Lisbon where they worked on their bottle designs hands-on, and were filmed executing their creative processes. The finished work featured in a series of print ads.

Left to right: Bottle livery designs by Bray, Goodwives and Warriors and Eduardo Recife

Wagner's initial design was 30 feet high. Not only did it have to be scaled down to fit onto a normal vodka bottle, but it had to be redesigned too, taking into account the printing process and the contours of the glass. "We couldn't produce the first design on the bottle so I created a sequel to the story we started in the first design, which you can see in the TV ad. Elements like the eye, astronaut, moon and house are still in it, just the story has moved on," he says.

At the moment we aren't sure when any of the other bottle designs will be released but the San Francisco-based illustrator is making his way to Germany to see his new work unveiled. "It will be exciting to see the other bottle designs coming alive," he says. "I didn't see the actual commercial on TV or any billboards. So It will be super interesting to see some of it when I'm in Munich for the launch of the bottle."

The finished bottles