How Hunt and Brew Got Tattooed
by Natalie Mouradian on 09/04/2017 | 5 Minute Read
We’re suckers for a great cold brew coffee and Hunt and Brew’s inspired flavors from around the globe are skillfully complemented by the bold, illustrative designs featured on the bottle. We got a chance to speak with designer Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis of Boxer & Co. and she shared her thoughts on the project.
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: We needed to appeal to design savvy hipsters and give them a product that looked as good as they’d get in specialty coffee shops. The brief called for an alternative and edgy design, so I jumped at the opportunity to draw inspiration from a personal passion for tattoos and tattoo culture to create concepts synthesized from a blend of traditional tattoo aesthetics and modern design principles.
We presented an initial round of concept sketches to the client, paired with reference imagery and our recommended illustrators. The client chose their favorite concept and it was developed further, never losing sight of the bold simplicity and originality of the concept sketch.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Hunt & Brew packaging and how did you accomplish it?
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: One of our biggest goals was to create a brand that was genuinely authentic and on par with the quality and personality you find in cafes. I wanted the brand to be the first to do something really different - to set the standard for a relatively new category. I think we accomplished this by retaining the purposeful, single-minded idea from the concept on through to the finished design.
How did you decide on the illustration style? What important aspects of the brand do you feel like this style represents?
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: I wanted to find a balance between clean simple design and unique tattoo style illustrations that echoed the concept of this brand - leveraging an everyday product like coffee and using a new brewing process to break out of the expected with a new and authentic product offering. I decided to use a juxtaposition of fine detailed lines to represent the care and craft of this product with realistic predatory animals to represent the strength and personality of each origin and flavor. Kerby Rosanes’s illustration style was perfect for what I wanted to communicate; he captured the energy through each animal‘s pose.
How did you choose which animal you would feature for each origin?
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: I researched each origin and looked through every warm and cold-blooded animal native to the region. I wanted to find strong predatory animals to tie into the name we gave the brand – Hunt and Brew.
The Harpy Eagle was chosen for Brazil because it is one of the world’s largest and most powerful eagles and the Spectacled Bear for Colombia as it is the largest land carnivore in South America. The Jaguar was chosen for Honduras because it’s the biggest feline in the Americas and a beautiful animal to illustrate.
I wanted animals that could be illustrated in hunting and preying poses to look bold and energetic on the package. The longitude and latitude of each region were also worked into the illustrations to add further depth and meaning to the design.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: Finding the right illustrator - we sourced a mix of illustrators and tattoo artists but struggled to find someone who could capture exactly what we wanted. Kerby agreed to the project and he was perfect for what we had envisioned.
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?
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: I must say I’m quite proud of every aspect of the finished design as this project is very close to my heart! I’m proud of how the design barely changed from concept to finish. I like that the animals tell a story about the origin and have their own unique personality while looking strong on the package.
Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.
Nicoletta Braach-Maksvytis: To always try and stay true to your initial idea and concept - it’s so easy to lose sight of your vision during the design development process. Use your own personal experiences and influences to bring a uniqueness and individuality to your design. Look for inspiration outside of the design world to create authentic pieces of art that tell a story, rather than just creating “pretty” designs for the sake of it. Be a leader, not a follower.