Alcohol is for many a sensitive topic. During my own childhood I had close encounters with grownups who could not handle their liquor a little too often, and I quickly learned the signs of an intoxicated person as to know when to stay away. Since becoming an adult myself I have worked in the restaurant business for many years, and seeing the behaviour of guests, combined with dates gone wrong due to one of the parties drinking a little too many drinks, I wondered: why is our culture shaped in such a way, that if we want to meet up with friends, coworkers, dates et cetera, after work, maybe have a dinner together, that alcohol is more or less expected?
This branding is for a dry bar (alcohol free bar) in Vancouver BC, where you go to have the complete bar experience, simply sans alcohol. Here you can bring your family, your date, friends and coworkers. No one will ever ask if you are pregnant just because you are not drinking; your sober alcoholic friend will not be uncomfortable (and bored) ordering that diet coke; and your date will not have an opportunity to hide themselves behind a veil of alcohol.
The concept direction is based on the question how alcohol relates to the dating world. That so many people are insecure of themselves, enough to feel like they have to drink in order to pick up the courage to flirt and to tell someone how they feel. But how about the animal kingdom? What does animals do when they cannot empty a glass? Anyone who has seen the tropical birds in nature documentaries, knows that they have intricate mating rituals that would impress anyone. They wear colourful and creative costumes, they practice their mating dances to perfection, they sing like nothing you have ever heard before and much more. This inspired the concept for The Canopy, where the visitors can unabashedly roost together under the treetops. The visual style includes handdrawn elements with bright colours to further point out that we are all original, special and beautiful in our own way and that we should be proud of being us.
The main conceptual packaging kit is a picnic takeout box, perfect for picking up at the bar, ordering your special mixed cocktails and bring with you on a hot date at the beach or to the park. The idea is for it contain everything you might need on a picnic, except possibly the blanket. Inside the outer container you will find a holder including the two dry cocktail bottles and a double set of cutleries. There are crackers, canapés, macarons, truffles, napkins, paper straws, chutney and salsa.
Packaging design process.
The menus doubles as centerpieces on top of the tables in the bar, the fun asymmetrical shape looks great folded flat in an accordion, but can also stand pulled out, or folded together in a triangle shape. The idea is for it to have a layered jungle look, with added depth from the abundance of leaves.
Every conceptual name for the cocktails are named after different kingfisher birds, meanwhile the canapés are named after hummingbirds.
The extensions include sets of three posters, coffee mugs and coasters. The posters can be found inside the bar, with different encouraging bird-related idioms, which might also work as pick-up lines or conversation starters, and they can also be bought to hang on your own wall.
The coffee mugs contains the different conceptual portraits with their names in hand-rendered letters, so that you can drink your morning coffee with the bird that you most personify with, or maybe that resembles someone close to your heart.
Finally the coasters include different bird calls, as to symbolize different way of greeting each other, once again to start up a conversation.
The conceptual gift vouchers each include a graphic representing a citrus slice made up of a circle of flying hummingbirds. Furthermore, the colour choices matches the worth of each voucher: Lime green for the smallest amount; orange for the medium and grapefruit pink for the voucher worth the largest amount.
The conceptual invitations consists of two invitations for a speed dating night, one for women and one for men, since apparently there are usually more men than women attending, so the invitation for women has an extra call to action, “Early bird gets the worm”, telling them that if they arrive early they get half the price off at the bar.