Packaging and Spirits
This was a personal project that started with the idea to design a product that represented my heritage.
Aimed towards Tequila enthusiasts willing to spend the extra buck for quality.
“The tradition of enjoying a good tequila with the ones you care for will always bring new stories that will transcend for generations. Azuara Tequila is a proud example of an experience that can only originate in Mexico. We want to share this experience with other families and all our friends. We want our traditions and roots to be a gift to the world.”
Began with second hand research to know the industry and the business aspect of it. Apart design, I wanted to see what opportunities were in the market and what could actually work.
In short, Tequila can only be produced in Mexico yet there is better market for it in the United States as the market in Mexico is more saturated and taxes for alcohol are too high to compete. Popularity of Tequila in the United States is rising and Mezcal (a spirit that originates from the same plant) will also start to grow yet it is believed that it wont be as popular as Tequila because its flavor is harder to grasp.
My approach to the brand came with the opportunity found to design a brand that represented a quality product competing in the $35 per bottle range. Meaning that I wanted to offer a more elegant and good looking packaging than more pricey brands such as Patron but with the same or better quality of Tequila and for a better price. I wanted to stay away from the known college "lets get crazy" brands and start a new culture of quality affordable Tequila.
NAME AND LOGO
Azuara is my mother's last name and is also a name that can be pronounced in English and was not copyrighted. Needed to communicate elegance and tradition in the design
When entering a bar, I noticed a bunch of bottles stacked next to each other, making it hard to distinguish one from another. This observation made me remember the streets of New York and how crowded they always seem, yet someone can always stand out if they decide to wear certain things like nice suits, flashy accessories, bright colors, etc... I used this thought to design my bottle so it could stand out with its elegance when next to others and got inspired to create shapes in the bottle that reflected more light from the glass.
I tried prototyping straight into glass but the designed form was too complex to be hand blown into a mold. I then went for 3D printing with cheap plastic to make a rubber mold I could use to pour clear resin. I will end up using the 3D printed model and resin model for the final prototypes.
PACKAGING AND PRINT
Approached a very classic and simple packaging to not complicate transportation of the product and cost.
19 out of 20 people chose Azuara among others describing it's appearance as more elegant, better quality and "would look good to display on a shelf".
Two high-end prototypes used to photograph and display in space and a collection of renders to communicate the full line of products.
MANUFACTURING AND PROJECT OUTCOME
After I was done designing and had a clear idea of the product I wanted to make, I reached out to Tequila manufacturers in Guadalajara, Mexico and got invited by one owner to visit so we could talk about my project.
I learned way too much about the industry and business with the owner, he showed me the process in person and pretty much narrowed down to the fact that making Tequila was the easy thing, manufacturing the bottle I designed was complicated because I needed an injection molding company and the only few ones in Mexico work very large quantities for companies like Coca-Cola which would prove very costly for me to produce more than a few to start. But the real problem came with distribution. Once I had all my bottles, figured all the papers needed to get them to the U.S, paid the taxes and had them stored in a warehouse, I would have to find a distributor that would sell my product at a descent price for it to not be too expensive and for them to still get a percentage out of it which made things pretty hard without much capital and with a saturated market of big competitors. Most successful small Tequila brands survive because the owners distribute the product themselves (they own a restaurant or store and sell directly to consumers).
With that said, I decided to not take the risk of manufacturing unless I have more capital or find a way to distribute later in the future. Never the less, I learn way too much on this project and maybe one day I will venture back and have Tequila Azuara on the shelves.