Responses by Ivan Bell, group managing director, Stranger & Stranger
Background: Norway’s largest wine and liquor wholesaler, Arcus, approached us to update and repackage its premium segment leader, Aquavit brand Gammel Opland. We were tasked to elevate the brand by adding craft and premium cues, while not losing the heritage and timelessness of this iconic Norwegian brand. Our packaging design brief was simple: to make Opland more visually relevant to both existing and new younger consumers alike.
Reasoning: Our priorities for the repack were to stand out and be noticed on shelf, differentiate our offering to visually reflect a brand leader position and communicate Opland’s rich heritage craft story while balancing contemporary and continuity. For the packaging, we added iconic elements to the new label, creating elegance and increasing quality perceptions, while making the brand easily recognizable. We needed to “own the glass” on shelf, and have a glass bottle that is unique and distinctive for Gammel Opland.
Challenges: Understanding the Norwegian language to be proposed on pack, and getting the right tone of voice. Luckily, our client was super helpful and nothing was missed in translation!
Favorite details: The glass structure of the flared neck finish that was inspired by the type of blending room bottles used in the process. The border detail of the new label also reflects the “old school” label borders found on historic blending room bottles at the distillery.
Visual influences: The iconic “red dot” branding took inspiration from historical labels now interpreted with a contemporary twist, reclaiming lost heritage. We’ve also strengthened the red dot used on the original branding and developed a series of secondary supporting brand iconography, inspired by the process and the humble caraway seed. These now appear in new lock-ups and subtle patterns across the range used both on and off pack.
Specific demands: The Arcus team, both marketing and pack development, were very open minded from the start, giving us total creative freedom to do what we do best—design! We worked closely with our client team and its approved suppliers throughout, being present at press checks and on engineering meeting calls, acting as part of its team. As a consequence, we are proud of the quality of the end results, as is our client.