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When Destilerías Bernal sent Estudio Maba the task of branding a rum that would revitalize the distillery’s existing Constitución brand and reach out to a younger customer base with a more casual “summer nights” style, the Murcia, Spain–based design studio could not ignore the company’s history or the inspiration for its original brandy, founder Don Juan Bernal González. Also, Dominican rums often evoke the values and symbols of pre-Columbian tribal chiefs known as caciques, but Estudio Maba wanted to go one step further and reference the origins of the Dominican spirit—the essence and personality of the Taíno people who inhabited the Caribbean before the arrival of European colonists. The concept and naming of the new brand was established right at the outset with the word papaúpa, or “distinguished person,” which combines the eminent figure of Don Bernal with the Dominican Republic’s Taíno roots. Estudio Maba then turned to the design of the bottle. The Ron Papaúpa rum label had to convey the product’s Dominican spirit as a Caribbean rum aged on the shores of the Mediterranean in brandy casks, while at the same time conserving Destilerías’s trademark identity. So Estudio Maba created a totem-style mask made up of organic lines typical of the Dominican Republic’s pre-Columbian culture. To give the label a more distinguished appearance, Estudio Maba foil stamped the label onto the rounded glass and added metallic nuances. The result serves as a background for a rounded lettering panel and a stamp that references the company’s beginnings in 1889.

estudiomaba.com

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