Friday 5 February 2010

To Absinth friends

Absinth was once the favoured tipple of bohemian French cafe society. Regular drinkers included Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec and it soon gained notoriety for its powerfully intoxicating qualities. Its associations with the French Impressionist movement meant that Absinth quickly became synonymous for the decadence and promiscuity which characterised artistic circles at the time. In the end the product was banned and only recently a century later it is finding its way back into accepted circles, although without much of the promiscuity and decadence associated with its earlier incarnation.

Minale Tattersfield's newly designed packaging draws quite heavily on the product's heritage but finely tuned to today's market. A unique typeface has been created which bears traces of the Art Nouveau style popular at the end of the last century but has been simplified for a more contemporary appeal. The stylised decoration which surrounds the brand name is also reminiscent of this period, but applied with today’s fresher colours due to improved printing techniques makes the label look contemporary and new.

Due perhaps to its 'magical' effects coupled with the unusual green colour of the product, Absinth gained the nickname, 'la fête verte' (green fairy). The nickname has been picked up in the packaging where the illustration of a hermaphroditic character recalls the green fairy. The product is endorsed with a quote from Oscar Wilde: "Absinth has a wonderful colour green. A glass of Absinth is a poetical as anything in the world . What difference is there between a glass of Absinth and a sunset".

I absolutely love this quote and truly enjoyed working on this label with Aristlend Ltd, the importers of Prague Absinth, so on completion of this project we all filled our glasses with the fête verte' and drunk to all our Absinth friends!

Marcello M. Minale
Febuary 2010 © Minale Tattersfield

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