As David McCullough says: "History is who we are and why we are the way we are." So this case study will unveil the roots of the brand packaging for Bucur, a new Romanian Beer. The colorful history of a European capital city (Bucharest) is yet to be discovered by the new generation. You will understand how the concept idea develops into this brand packaging, from hand sketches to the retail shelf, ready to be bought.
Position of the brand
The newly released Romanian beer brand Bucur is owned by United Romanian Breweries Bereprod (URBB). From their portfolio, you already might know brands like Tuborg, Carlsberg, Holsten & SKOL. Between January and June 2019, URBB registered a double-digit volume increase for premium and super-premium beers in their portfolio. The concept of Bucur brand is based on the idea of rediscovering the true heart of the city and creating an authentical, premium Romanian beer brand.
Branding & Packaging
You may wonder, why is this beer brand different from the rest? What is the message that we are looking to convey in this product packaging design and logo design? Uncommon for other beer brands, this one, caries on every brand packaging an intriguing story of the old capital. Imagine yourself entering a romantic era, a peaceful and prosperous time called "Belle Epoque" in a city where East and West civilizations met, ruled by a king, King Carol the 1st. A city where Neoclassic, Art-Nouveau, Baroque, or Byzantine architectural styles blend in with the local Brancovenesc style to create a unique, colorful, vibrant city life. The main idea was to capture the stories of the most famous boulevard of the city, Victoriei Avenue, where the true heart of the city lies and where, some decades ago, real lions & ostriches walked for the whole city to see them. In 1928 the famous Josephine Baker, an American-born French dancer, and singer, a symbol of the beauty and vitality of Black American culture, that took Paris by storm in the 1920s, was brought here by her impresario Constantin Tanase. She was seen walking through the city in an ostrich-drawn carriage. Another famous name of that time was magistrate Costache Campeanu who, owner of three lion cubs that he kept at home in an iron cage, used to walk with one of them through the city, holding him by the collar chain.
The challenge was to create a brand image that would harmoniously blend the old, Belle Epoque Period, and the new city soul. The creative package was meant to also convey one of the Romanian people's favorite activities, to enjoy a good beer with their friends, out, in the old city center. The old city center is still preserving today the charm of Belle Epoque Period, old street lamps, cafes, bistros, lounges, and many breweries with an amazing history like "Caru' cu Bere". This is the oldest brewery in town, where you can still enjoy the house beer based on a German inspired recipe created in 1879 and kept the same until the present day. Our mission was to deliver an engaging, intriguing, and memorable experience for the brand's target audience.
The logo design had to express in a modern language the vibrant heart of the city that lies on Victoriei Avenue from the late 19th century. The playful and charismatic vibe of the old city is transferred into the present using handwritten style typography. The logo is structured along the imaginary lines of a long street perspective. The gentlemen’s hat, a symbol of that period, is being hand-drawn and added to the composition.
The two types of typographic styles used on this creative package are combining past & contemporary elements in order to describe the story of the brand and its strong connection with the old city of Bucharest. The main font is a vintage-inspired script based on hand lettering, created carefully to make a good flow. An easy, modern secondary font was used in order to add a note of modernity to the composition.
Two major city architectural symbols were hand-drawn, Ateneu & Capsa House. Athenaeum, a neoclassical domed building situated in the city center, is a famous concert hall opened in 1888 and the home of "George Enescu" Philharmonic and George Enescu International Music Festival. The Capsa Restaurant was established in 1852 and was the meeting place for noblemen & artists of that time. The restaurant is not only associated with its exquisite pastry products but is also famous for being a welcoming place for Romanian writers. It was the first French-inspired confectionery shop on Calea Victoriei. The pencil-style illustration offers a deeper view of the city. These buildings of the branding design are much more than just walls and pretty facades, they become symbols of the city and hosted many special events for over a century.
Product Packaging Design
The bottles are designed based on the concept that started from walking maps, traveling through the old town of Bucharest, its architecture, less unknown stories & places. Every element of this product packaging design has its roots in the authenticity of this city. Moments of discovery and humor are created, illustrated & engraved on the labels, telling the unique story of each corner of the capital, rediscovering its personalities, and sharing it with a new generation. A pale, elegant background is used to illustrate the streets of the city. Another city element appears - the street lamp from a period of Tango & Charleston dances, and seems to guide the eye over the entire composition. During the packaging design printing process, a challenge had to be overcome. The paper material that was chosen at the beginning for the brand packaging was replaced with a more flexible, thinner type. We decided to conduct more color tests to find the proper colors that could replace the initial ones without damaging the initial style of the beer label design.
In order to set a more classical tone, two hand illustrations of old bike design and phonograph are being featured on the top of the neck bottle, using a one-color background. Mita Biciclista, was the first woman to ride a bicycle in the great metropolis of Bucharest. Mita, was such a good rider that she was invited to ride the king’s bike. The story says that King Ferdinand gave her a classic Baroque mansion in a great part of the town of Bucharest.
On the back of the label, unique stories are being introduced to the public in a journalistic style appearance. Much more is yet to be discovered...