Creative Packaging: Smoke Point Vodka

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. So when life handed California wineries the Glass Fire wildfire of 2020, enterprising distillery Hangar 1 decided to make vodka from Napa Valley California Malbec and Merlot grapes impacted by the blaze, with proceeds going to firefighters and their families. Naturally when you have a story this good, you want to share it – something their Smoke Point Vodka does impressively through the use of a unique bottle and intriguing labels.

Designed by our good friends at Stranger & Stranger, Smoke Point Vodka started with a narrow glass bottle featuring raised milliliter markers on one side and a wide, tapered base, giving it the look of a laboratory beaker. A synthetic cork with a trapezoidal head only reinforces this impression.

PaperSpecs Smoke Point Vodka packaging Paper Inspiration

On the front, a brief account of the vodka’s origins was digitally printed by JR Cole Industries above the “Smoke Point” name on an 80 lb. Avery Dennison Fasson Cotton White label. The story is told in a messy, soot-like typeface – an extremely eye-catching detail in today’s world where precision and perfection are the norm.

In the upper right corner of the label, a ‘30s-era bi-plane, Gold hot foil stamped along with the Hangar 1 Vodka name, appears to drop water on a smoky fire that threatens to engulf the text. Look carefully and you can actually see the water leaving the plane in the form of micro-embossed and Flexo Gloss Varnished water droplets you can feel! (The vintage plane, no doubt, is an homage to the origins of Hangar 1 Vodka, which began production in 2001 in an old WWII aircraft hangar.)

Turning the bottle around reveals not only a smaller label containing the barcode and other information, but also a clever surprise.

Peering through the clear liquor you discover the same plane, this time all Black, flying through Black and Gray smoke – all digitally printed on the back of the main label! [PRO members, check out our exclusive PRO Tip to discover how you, too, can print on the back of labels and get this powerful “see-through” effect!]

The neck label, which includes a brief description of the liquor, is printed on 60 lb. Avery Dennison Fasson Uncoated Litho Wet Strength FSC, and looks like something hastily put together on an old typewriter, lending a hand-made quality to the product.

In the end, the labeling for this unique vodka does what all good packaging should – it tells you an exciting brand story with one quick glance… and then leaves you wanting more.

While hot foil stamping brought key elements of this bottle to life, there are so many other foiling options available to you today. Download our free Foil Cheat Sheet right now! In it you’ll find everything you need to know to choose the right foiling technique for the job every time!

Foil Cheat Sheet

Project Details

Title Smoke Point Vodka Packaging Client Hangar 1 Date September 2021 Design Stranger & Stranger
Print J.R. COLE INDUSTRIES
Paper Front/back labels: Avery Dennison Fasson Cotton White 80 lb.
Neck label: Avery Dennison Fasson Uncoated Litho Wet Strength FSC 60 lb.

Production Details

Print Quantity 4,800 bottles produced Printing Method Digital Finishing and Binding Hot foil, micro-embossing, Embossing/Debossing
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