Responses by David Schuemann, owner and creative principal, CF Napa.
Background: Solenopsis Distilling came to CF Napa to create the logo and packaging for its new spirits brand, Local Anesthetic. The design needed to be modern, clean and memorable. The brand would be sold locally in Austin, Texas, and used primarily as the client’s “house brand” for its wedding and event catering business.
Design thinking: To develop a sleek, modern brand that exuded simplicity while remaining distinctive. The label design utilizes clean sans serif typography, and a color palette of subtle pastels provides a system for differentiation between the products. We developed a monogram seal logo for Solenopsis Distilling as the final touch to unify the various products as a brand family.
Challenges: Certainly, developing a brand without the primary objective of standing out on a back bar presented unique opportunities to break that mold. The challenge when developing a design this modern and clean was how easy it was to fall prey to the design feeling almost generic. We strove to balance super clean graphics while still expressing a sense of premium quality while also providing some functional solutions, such as the subtle color differentiation between each SKU so bartenders could easily select each product.
Visual influences: The design was inspired by the beautiful simplicity of apothecary packaging. We started by selecting a sleek bottle and silver T-top closure reminiscent of classic tinctures and took our inspiration for the typography from modern fragrance and health and beauty packaging.
Divergent paths: We might replace the brand name currently repeated on the neck labels with the product type instead. This way, if the bottles were put into a bar rail that might cover the main label, the bartender could still read the neck labels for their respective product types.
Specific project demands: The client’s desire to have the packaging so clean that it nearly read as generic was a first for our team. Ultimately, finding the balance to achieve this objective while still creating a recognizable package for the brand proved more challenging than we had expected.