Branding News: Design choice - Angostura bitters

Some have attributed the cleverness of using every inch of packaging as an advertising medium to Innocent, but for me the accolade goes to the godfather of editorial pack designs: Angostura bitters.

It may not have the chummy tone of voice that now pervades the smoothie shelf, but it certainly got there first.

Perhaps the copywriters at Fruit Towers were inspired by Angostura's unique product descriptor: 'A preparation of gentian in combination with a variety of vegetable colouring matter.' Or perhaps they learned the value of low-cost, single-colour print production; no fancy finishes and foil blocking for this little spirit.

I particularly like the authenticity bit, which tells us the product is not made from Angostura Bark - how foolish of us to imagine it was - but named after Angostura in Venezuela, where it all started in 1824. Now that's what I call provenance! The only catch is that the town no longer exists and the product is these days manufactured in Trinidad.

Above all, my admiration goes to whoever decided to make the label about 50% bigger than the bottle it is stuck to. In an age of blandness, hats off to a brand that is genuinely unique.

Design: In-house.

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