Typography in Pop Culture | Entry 4:
Absolut Vodka Typography
Absolut Vodka has been distinct in design since its creation in 1979. Their bottles and their logo are bold, clean, and futuristic. Absolut also maintains its Absolut Art Award, which acknowledges talent in art and writing while also offering collaboration opportunities. They have worked with musicians and artists as big as Andy Warhol and have become iconic in pop culture. Absolut has clearly branded themselves as a creative company and with that they continue to explore new design.
Absolut calls their advertising strategy “experimental.” They go beyond most brands by producing their own content and hosting experiences, such as pop up bars, rather than ads. Absolut decided to proactively rebrand their iconic bottle design, starting with their flavor line. Each Absolut flavor’s bottle design is expressive and vibrant and calls consumers to celebrate. Adding to the energy, the artists executed the designs in a Swedish fashion by creating hand made marks.
After the success of the flavors campaign, Absolut redesigned their classic vodka bottle. Their distinguished logo is close to perfection how it is so there was only slight changes made. Absolut Vodka’s typography is custom yet is essentially a modified Futura Condensed Bold. The geometric, san serif font is extremely fitting to the brand’s style and philosophy since Futura is reminiscent of Bauhaus design, which emphasized modernism and universality. However, to rebrand, Absolut commissioned master calligrapher Luca Barcelona to add copy below the Futura word mark. Luca said he wanted lettering that was a little less decorative than most scripts. Luca also embraced the Swedish practice of hand made marks by writing out the Absolut sentence for hours at a time for several days until perfection.
The combination of san serif and script isn’t groundbreaking however the leading and sizing is certainly untraditional. Typically in product design the headline should be clearly bolder than the secondary copy. In the case of Absolut’s new bottle, the scripted copy below the logo takes up more space than the logo itself. This shows Absolut’s philosophy of independence and innovation. Along with this change, Absolut also added a complimentary “A.” letter mark on the backside of the bottle. The design is minimal and modern.
Aboslut Vodka’s branding relies solely on typography yet it has become distinguished in our popular culture. If you liked this piece about Absolut Vodka typography you can go here to learn more.