How Peru’s First Silkscreened Beer Bottles Incorporate Andean Design

When Candelaria needed some updated packaging designs, Sed went above and beyond. The new look is bold and eye-catching, but it’s also silkscreened—a first for Peruvian beer. We spoke with Sed to learn a bit more about the importance of culture in design, making design dreams a reality, creating an experience for consumers, and more.

Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

Sed: We have been working for Candelaria since its beginning. That means we have been part of many conversations about what is important for the company, for the product and what we should say and stand for as a brand. Our client is absolutely in love with Peru and the Andean culture. That is why “being proud of our culture,” showing its richness and doing a constant homage to it is something vital in all the designs we do for them.

The “Fiesta de la Candelaria” is a festival in honor of the Virgin of Candelaria, the saint of the city of Puno and is comparable to Rio’s Carnival in Brazil, but only few people know about it yet. The “Diablada” (devils dance) is one of the many typical dances that take place during this festival.

For Candelaria Lager the challenge was to create the most popular and symbolic bottle for the brand. Of all the possible symbols for this brand the devil’s mask was the most amazing in detail and impact. That is why we chose it.

Why did you choose to silkscreen the bottle for this design?

Sed: This is about getting further as a brand. Dreaming big and then finding the way to make it possible. There was no Peruvian beer silkscreened so far, so Candelaria decided to take the first step.

But it also has to do with senses. When you hold a beer and drink it, if it is silkscreened you can feel that it is cold not just in your throat but also in your hands. It’s a different experience of drinking.

What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Candelaria packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Sed: We wanted customers to perceive and value this bottle as a symbol of their culture and also as a design object, not just as a disposable product.

We accomplished it by doing a lot (and with a lot we mean a lot!!!) of sketches. We worked until we found the ideal amount of details for the illustration, along with Orlando Aquije. Not too much, because it would not have worked on silkscreen. Not too few, because it could have lost impact.

When the client told us they heard stories of people keeping the bottle as decoration for their homes, we were extremely happy. Of course we want them to drink it, but it was wonderful to hear about the appreciation for the bottle itself. 

What was the most challenging part of this project?

Sed: The silkscreen technique offered us only a very small palette, so we had to choose just three colors from it.

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Sed: It represents our Andean culture and we hope it will become a symbol that makes people proud of their origins.  

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Sed: That we Latin American designers, and perhaps even designers worldwide, have to start searching for inspiration in our own cultures. In people, places and traditions that are around us and have been there for ages.

We usually get inspired by other designers from Europe, and that’s fine, we should learn from them. The thing is, we shouldn’t copy what they are doing, but find our own style.