Boris is a fruit drink and beer brand owned by Québec-based brewer Brasserie Licorne. The packaging for their two latest products, lemon and peach flavoured alcoholic ice teas - branded and packaged by design agency lg2 boutique - mixes fruit characters, tall typography and a simple but bright colour palette, bound by a stencil graffiti and spray paint aesthetic, infusing contemporary and urban qualities with quirky eccentricities.
lg2's fairly simple illustrated fusion of fruit and character - placing product flavour and brand personality at the heart of the solution - creates a smart duality that neatly reflects the unusual union of fruit tea and alcohol. Each character is distinctive, well drawn and suitably juxtaposes the heavy, static fills and simple line work with the lighter detail, outward momentum and burst of freshness created by the spray paint (a smart juice mist metaphor) conveying both bold flavour and a fine carbonated texture.
The bizarre and bulbous outward facing eyes, classic bowler hat and groomed mustache of the lemon, alongside the slick oversized hair, small face and wide eyes of the peach, although conceptually a little different (a odd mix of British stereotype and comic book manga character) are aesthetically consistent but deliver clear division between flavours. Their execution taps into the continuing popularity of stencil-cut graffiti made famous by Banksy and while perhaps not political in its message still retain and convey an understandably but slightly saturated urban quality that ties in well with the flag waving ‘revolutionary’ aesthetic that runs throughout the Boris brand and its other products.
The duality of the character’s composition and the juice mist as spray paint metaphor also runs through the colour palette’s contrast of neon colour and monochromatic background. The bright orange and yellow is perhaps a little synthetic but has a vibrant and citrus quality that binds urban street energy, fruit and a confident, unique and youthful attitude. Set against the white canvas of the can and foil of the bottle, it achieves an intensity and sharpness with a sense of creativity and quality that should deliver significant shelf impact.
A tall uppercase typographic choice, knocked out of the spray paint, continues to build on the loud, confident and expressive tone of the Boris brand and delivers geometric contrast to the organic nature of the paint. It functions well within the context of the slender can, short bottle and the looser cuts of the Boris logo-type. The ample line spacing, stacked and broadly spaced characters of a secondary san serif adds a utilitarian quality that is a little contrary to the free-street attitude of the illustrative work but appropriately sidesteps the saturated and expected aesthetic of stencil cut letter-forms.
It is a solid contrast of fine detail and heavy fill, fruit and character that gives this packaging solution a unique duality richer than its familar urban execution while reflecting the qualities of the drink. And although its on-trend use of stencil graffiti may not deliver longevity, the uniqueness and expandability of the characters, vivid colour palette and typography could easily evolve to suit a range of future aesthetics and retain its relevance.
Richard is a British freelance design consultant and writer who specialises in logos, branding and packaging. He has written for Brand New and Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine, Logology, Los Logos, Logolounge, The Big Book of Packaging and runs the blogs BP&O and Design Survival.