Brand & Packaging Design for Monachus by Bedow — BP&O
Text by Richard Baird.
On the Croatian peninsula of Istria, right where the country slides into the Adriatic, there is the tiny little gin distillery of Monachus. The landscape is characterized by stone banks, botanically covered slopes, the smell of pine and scattered cones of needles. Based on the natural history of Istria and the name Monachus, which was borrowed from Monachus Monachus, an endangered Mediterranean monk seal, the Swedish design studio Bedow created a visual identity and label for the distillery.
Monachus is a story by Anja and Luka. Her desire to get closer to the sea, an interest in distilling local fruits and herbs, the time spent in forging, distilling and packaging, and a one-month experience in Mitosaya Botanical Distillery in Chiba Prefecture, which they learned from Japanese distillery master Hiroshi Eguchi . On this trip, the duo gained an understanding of fermentation and maceration, the distillation and mixing of flavors, the picking and foraging of edible flowers and herbs, and the filling and packaging.
Monachus Monachus is the Latin name for the Mediterranean monk seal. With less than 700 inhabitants, it is an endangered species. One person, one woman, lived near the distillery. With the intention of raising awareness of the plight of the species, Monachus borrowed the name and made the seal a mascot. Bedow has recognized this with a beautifully crafted brand. The seal, which tumbles in a wave and balances the positive and negative space, is a beautiful, playful and positive gesture that is within the confines of a circle and becomes a stamp on the labels. The rough edges capture a natural landscape, with the oversized eye bringing in some of the old world charm.
As with many distilleries, the brand becomes the mythology of history and the setting. Pictures and the words of the Monachus website form a good basis for a compelling story of a new life by the sea, a place of untouched natural beauty, a simple existence of forging and distilling and a trip to Japan to learn their craft. This is wonderfully incorporated into the labeling of the bottles by the confluence of material shape, color and typography.
A pine cone, salt and stone, wind and waves form a formal language that alludes to geography and incorporates a Japanese craft, calm and serenity through form and space. Typography and color, a stamp and batch numbers as well as the subtlety of a die-cut label set a tone and convey a mood that is supported and enriched by words and pictures on the Internet. More work from Bedow on BP & O.
Design: Bedow. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts: TBC
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