Love Conversations Over Cocktails? Meet Kiki's Premium Bottled Cocktails
by Chloe Gordon on 02/07/2023 | 4 Minute Read
Fabulously flamboyant illustrations and vibrant color combinations grace the label design for Kiki, a premium bottled cocktail brand. The packaging, designed by Oat Studio, creates an ambiance ideal for gossip and a drink in any setting, from a picnic to a house party. Each of the characters on the label is inspired by characters that visit the brand owner's London-based bar, bringing a real-life edge to a brand that feels beautifully whimsical. Not many cocktail brands lean into a quirky and mischievous attitude, but Kiki's packaging has fun with its distinctiveness.
Last year, the founders of Kiki approached Oat Studio to rebrand the identity and packaging for their premium bottled cocktail brand. After launching prior to working with us, they had found that the bottle labels didn’t have the required impact to grab people’s attention on a crowded shop shelf.
Following a lengthy stage of market research and competitor analysis, we defined an area where Kiki could make a big splash in a competitive market. The previous packaging designs featured some great illustrations, but were used in an overly complicated design with a low-contrast, muted colour palette. The previous design studio had given the priority to the illustrations, and whilst they were great, it meant that the brand’s logo was relegated to the side of the bottle and not visible on a shop shelf. The initial learnings, including customer feedback, formed the basis of the new design brief.
At Oat Studio, we were keen to continue using the illustrations as they were a unique and easily recognisable asset and we knew that if used correctly they could have great value. In the redesign of the packaging, we focused on gaining maximum impact from a distance. This meant stripping back the label design to its purest elements – logo, illustration and product name. The founders had referenced the concept of ‘Kiki’ – loosely defined as a gathering of friends for the purpose of gossiping and chit-chat, which fitted with the idea of sharing cocktails anywhere, from a house party to a picnic in the park. Social gatherings were represented by illustrations of a variety of different people; the founders have a cocktail bar in London, so the characters were all based on their regular customers. The full set of illustrations includes a mixture of ten men and women, but they felt strongly about launching with the first five cocktails being represented by the female characters.
To expand on the fun concept, we created a curvy and characterful logotype, and the chunky letterforms were designed to fill the space at the top of the label. The looser illustrations overlap the bold new logo, much like a model might interact with a fashion magazine’s masthead. We also introduced a bold and playful supporting typeface, the cheeky kicks on the ‘R’s providing bags of personality. One of the biggest learnings from the previous packaging design was that we needed to use colour to make the cocktail packaging jump off the shelf. A lot of competitors were using black as a base colour, which although looked good in hand, looked lost on a dimly lit retail display. In opposition to rival brands, we wanted the colours to feel warm, welcoming, punchy and fun. Using a distinctive hot pink, bright orange and deep blue sparingly on an off-white base, the high-contrast palette gave us the impact needed, whilst retaining a fresh and premium feel.
To extend the informal, conversational feel of the Kiki brand, and further identify each different cocktail, they have individual typographic slogans which can be discovered on picking up the bottle. For example, the Cosmopolitan has a Sex and the City reference ‘And just like that...’, helping cement the brand’s light-hearted character, and creating ideal social media content which customers have loved to share.
The final outcome is a unique and engaging brand for Kiki, that perfectly captures its playful fusion of company, conversation and cocktails.
- Designed By: Oat