Stranger & Stranger ‘Bitter & Twisted’ Client Gift

Stranger & Stranger has a unique talent for designing premium alcohol packaging that not only looks enticing but that also compels you to run an appreciative finger over it, as well. So powerful is this combination of visual and tactile allure in their “Bitter & Twisted” client gift, you can practically smell the vintage spice boxes that inspired its design and feel the prick of the tigers’ fangs.

Designed by Stranger & Stranger and produced by Allen Elva Packaging, this gift provides an impressive 1-2 punch as powerful as the pair of cocktail bitters (courtesy of The Bitter Housewife) inside. The pairing of the outer packaging’s modern, offset-printed color palette with vintage-inspired illustrations cleverly captures the unique blended flavors of the bitters themselves.

Then there are the embossed elements – from the logo and monkey heads to the aforementioned white tigers – which make handling the piece a luxurious, haptic experience. But it’s the disciplined use of Hot Foil that truly puts this packaging over the top.

Rather than giving in to the temptation to use shiny foil, Stranger & Stranger instead chose a dignified Matte option. This encourages you to drink in the details of the spoon-in-glass illustration on the bottom and balances out the colors on the top without overwhelming them. It also adds another intriguing texture to the piece that plays well with the multiple embossings. And texture, here, is everything.

Now we come to the second part of this piece’s 1-2 punch. The “outer box” is actually a foiled and embossed sleeve! Remove it and voila – we discover the box underneath consists of a foil masterpiece!

Let’s start with the lid, which is a beautiful Gold Foil recreation of the sleeve top; tigers, monkey heads and all. The foil line work is so intricate, you can easily spend a good 10 minutes drinking in all the exquisite details. The sides, too, are magnificent blends of Gold foil and offset printed Black ink patterns and illustration.

Lifting the lid reveals a pair of glass bitters bottles tastefully presented, resting inside their respective grottoes in a die-cut tray, an ornate spoon occupying the space between. The die cuts not only keep the bottles in place, but also include additional space on the top and sides, allowing the Black paper underneath to be seen. This gives the bottles and spoon a unique dark halo effect, which ties nicely into the Gold foil patterns and Black ink border on the tray’s surface.

Leaving nothing to chance, the tray, which is glued into the box, is structurally reinforced with Black cardboard, preventing it from caving in, while also further guaranteeing that the bottles remain firmly in place. The bottles themselves – one labeled “Bitter,” the other “Twisted” – are equally snazzy; this is Stranger & Stranger’s stock-in-trade, after all.

The labels, digitally printed on Avery Dennison Fasson Rustique Blanc, also include the same complementary colors – Pink and Yellow – found on the box sleeve, as well as the heads of those white tigers. A little Gold foil and some slight embossing also harken back to that sleeve and add some additional tactile appeal.

True to Stranger & Stranger’s mantra “don’t fit it, stand out,” this piece’s innovative use of Gold foil and keen attention to detail captures the recipient’s attention and ensures that they will have a hard time putting it down.

Project Details

Title Stranger & Stranger ‘Bitter & Twisted’ Client Gift Client Self Date November 2018 Design Stranger & Stranger Print Allen Elva Packaging
Paper Labels: Avery Dennison Fasson Rustique Blanc
Sleeve: C1S Matte
Box: C2S

Production Details

Dimensions Box: 232 mm x 173 mm x 53 mm (9.1” x 6.8” x 2.1”)
Labels: 184 mm X 45 mm (7.2” x 1.8”)
Print Quantity 450 Production Time 4-6 weeks Printing Method Sleeve & Box: Offset
Labels: Digital (HP Indigo 6600)
Number of Colors Sleeve: 5 spot colors
Box: 2 spot colors
Finishing and Binding Hot Foil, Embossing, Die Cutting

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