Olssøn Barbieri brands Ambijus in a dreamy display of abstract illustration and refined typography
Ambijus is a non-alcoholic alternative to wine made with a concoction of herbs, roots, flowers, berries, fruit, tea and “a whole lot of passion and love.” Made through a process of fermentation, the brand is crafted by a team of passionate Norwegians who aim to offer their customers a new option that doesn’t compromise on flavour or pleasure.
Commissioned to design the brand’s identity and packaging, Oslo-based design studio Olssøn Barbieri devised a visual landscape that takes the focus away from the fact that Ambijus doesn’t contain alcohol to instead embrace its intertwined and indistinguishable flavour profile. The centrepiece of their concept is a series of abstract illustrations by French designer Alexis Jamet, which express an evocative visualisation of flavour and bring to life both the emotional and chemical nature of the product. Through a combination of digital and analogue techniques, Jamet’s illustrations result in a dream-like atmosphere that is both soft and bold; especially when in motion.
The illustrations shine on Ambijus’ beautifully crafted bottles, which use pop colour seals to determine the flavour variations alongside the pared-back application of Bureau Brut’s characterful sans serif Ostia Antica. The identity is further defined by the motto ‘The Lab is Our Terror,’ a reference to Ambijus’ experimental fermentation process. It’s expressed through a playful drawing from fellow Oslovian Espen Friberg, adding an additional illustration style into the mix with a layer of lighthearted humour and wit. “The two illustration styles balance each other, making the products feel both intriguing and friendly,” adds Olssøn Barbieri co-founder Erika Barbieri.
The brand name itself was also developed as part of Olssøn Barbieri’s commission, and the result, Ambijus, is an unusual invention that unapologetically captures the ambiguity and newness of the product. It is derived from ‘ambiguous,’ meaning to be open to more than one interpretation as well as in a state of flux; and ‘jus,’ a term commonly used to describe natural wines while conveying a sense of deliciousness – something that Ambijus almost certainly is.