From the trendiest café to the humblest bar, you’ll find friends throughout Italy getting together in the evening to discuss the day’s events over a “Campari Seltz” – a low-alcohol “aperitivo” comprised of 1 part Campari bitters and 3 parts soda water.
When spirits company Campari Germany wanted to organize a trip to Milan – the cocktail’s birthplace – for Germany’s best bar keepers, it asked Denis Widmann Design Studio to create an invitation suite that would be luxurious and memorable. Since this special excursion was meant to transport people to the place where the drink was invented, Denis decided to design an invitation that would take them back in time, as well.
But first he wanted to create an unforgettable unboxing experience.
He began with a beautiful box custom made from 250 gsm (170 lb.) Gmund Kaschmir, its True Red color tying nicely into color of the liqueur. The “Campari” name, “Milan,” and the name of the man who spread the drink’s fame internationally, are all Hot Foil Stamped in a sophisticated Matte Gold.
The choice to hand make the packaging from a heavy sheet rather than going with a rigid box is very on trend in Europe, and offers 3 distinct advantages:
- It underscores the bespoke nature of what’s inside
- It makes the packaging super-light
- And of course it also makes it extremely easy to recycle. Though I can’t imagine anyone being in a hurry to do so with such a beautiful piece.
Removing the lid, the first item you see is a welcome card Letterpress printed on 300 gsm (200 lb.) Gmund Cotton Linen Cream paper, resting in a stepped-down tray, a White ribbon folded over it.
Picking up the card reveals the invitation itself, which takes the form of an Italian passport modeled after those from the 1920s – the drink’s heyday.
The Red cover perfectly matches the presentation box as both are made from the same Gmund Kaschmir True Red Cotton 250 gsm (170 lb.) paper, complete with Gold Hot Foil Stamping featuring the “Campari” name and line art of a glass, with the word “passaporto” just beneath.
Saddle Stitched and decoratively hand-bound with Red thread, this is one authentic looking “passaporto” indeed.
The 110 gsm (75 lb.) Gmund Cotton Linen Cream pages inside are digitally printed with a fine pattern that mimics the appearance of laid paper, while Red Campari hand-stamps throughout lend it that “official” look.
Information outlining the itinerary, travel details and dress code are all included here in that unmistakable passport typography.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance is the personal information pages that not only look a lot like passports of the era, but also include a passport photo of the recipient glued inside, as well as their name and “passport numbers” filled in by using an actual typewriter.
And what self-respecting world traveler would go anywhere without an impressive luggage tag? A Red one made of French leather, featuring the Campari logo Hot Foil Stamped in Gold, can be found tucked beneath the passport in a grotto that’s engineered to its exact shape.
While this invitation suite benefited greatly from the use of luxurious papers and digital printing, it is all the little bespoke touches that make it a powerful “passaporto” to another time and another place – one you can’t help but yearn to revisit again and again.