The Bedlam vodka bottle is intended to act as the brand’s loud-mouthed ambassador on store shelves. The brand’s wry voice and rugged aesthetics are displayed prominently on the bottle—showcasing not only its attitude, but its history, as well. The objective of the bottle design was to stand apart on the shelf while telling the story of Bedlam’s Irish heritage and taste that are an absolute departure from the traditional “clean” vodka profile. A closer look reveals that the bottle isn’t perfectly symmetrical, nor is it crystal clear like neighboring vodka brands. This bottle was designed to disrupt mundane vodka displays while the brand disrupts the industry.
The Republik team completed the bottle design in about five weeks, while simultaneously creating the brand identity. “Such a quick turnaround forced us to work past expected answers quickly,” says associate creative director Matt Shapiro, who worked on everything from the concept to handlettering, design and art direction of the packaging design/logotype. “Working on the identity of the brand as we were designing the packaging gave us the unique opportunity to develop a package that felt truly integrated into the brand’s DNA.”
Creating a package that reflected the rebellious position inherent in the brand’s name and history posed the largest challenge during the design process. “Through that process, we landed on a design that became entirely handlettered, which had its own set of challenges, particularly balancing a raw aesthetic while maintaining correct hierarchy without feeling cluttered,” Shapiro says. But the process of handlettering was something the team came to really enjoy. “Stepping away from the computer screen and working with physical objects interrupted our normal flow and forced us to really slow down and make elements even more intentional,” Shapiro says.
The client was ecstatic when they saw the first rendering of the bottle. “This being the first product they released, it really helped solidify the attitude and vision for their business,” Shapiro says. “From there, the Bedlam bottle became a beacon for our client to turn to when making any choice for the brand.”
Title Bedlam Vodka Bottle | Design Firm The Republik, Raleigh, NC; www.therepublik.net | Creative Team Robert Shaw West, executive creative director; Matt Shapiro, art director/designer/illustrator; Brandon Guthrie, art director/designer; Luke Rayson art director; Dwayne Fry, executive strategic director; Rachel Wells, strategic director; Neil Hinson, copywriter; Luke Rayson, production manager | Client Graybeard Distillery