Reinventing a category and breaking into a monopolized market with a bitters company.

  • Visual identity
  • Packaging design
  • Website design
  • Website development
  • Design production

Whilst I was working with A Studio, Bittertales approached us to help name, brand and package their bitters drink. The cocktail bitters space has had little innovation or engaging brand development in its history, with 80% of the US market being controlled by a single company. Our client saw the opportunity to create a new brand with a superior liquid and needed our help with disrupting the category, and engaging a wider audience.

We started by reaching back into the cocktail world, where we found inspiration in the era of the 20s and 30s when many famous bitters cocktails were created. We wanted to draw visual cues from the art styles of the period to bring an excitement to the product, connecting it to an era of social, artistic and cultural dynamism whilst still making sure it felt contemporary. The name, BITTERTALES, naturally came out of the desire to tell stories through cocktails along with our fascination with great storytelling of the time and how much of it was associated with cocktail and cafe culture.

From here, we discovered the role of Dada in influencing the visual language of jazz, the most prominent music style of the time, that aptly suited the dynamic and exciting cultural changes that were happening in the US. In my mind, the melodic sounds of jazz became an amazing metaphor for the complexities in flavor of bitters and we began trying to connect ‘taste’ to an art form. The bottle label and box artwork was created from inspiration we had collected around jazz and music posters of the era, inspired stylistically by the Dada movement. The result jumps off of the label, you can almost feel the letters within the pattern dancing. This pattern is then contained, tamed and made contemporary through the white strips at the top and bottom that almost frame the label as a piece of artwork. The logo itself is directly inspired by some of the beautiful Art Deco typography we found which we interpreted into a bold and sophisticated wordmark alongside a simple ‘cocktail-esque’ monogram.