Olssøn Barbieri bring playfulness, positivity and inclusivity to the hard seltzer scene for Pursue
Chennai-based brand Pursue saw the opportunity to reimagine the manufacturing and public perception of hard seltzers, alongside their introduction to India’s drinks market, following the enormous commercial success of the genre in the USA. Looking to take and elevate this opportunity and combine it with India’s soda-loving legacy, Pursue turned to Oslo-based branding studio Olssøn Barbieri for a powerful identity and packaging system.
Reflecting not only the inclusivity of the brand but also the local organic flavours and ingredients of their products, Olssøn Barbieri combined Pursue’s context, concept and history to craft a playful graphic language – one pulling on the retro-nostalgic connotations of the past in tandem with a contemporary flair. This sentimental tone is partly due to Olssøn Barbieri’s choice of Radim Pesko’s Agipo as the brand’s hero typeface. “We chose Agipo because we liked its playfulness and eccentricity,” Co-founder Henrik Olssøn tells us, “while it also complements the ‘lengthiness’ and incongruences of Joren’s illustrations,” referring to their collaboration with Rotterdam-based creative Joren Joshua.
Playing a fundamental role in telling the brand’s story and the individual products in the range, Joshua worked closely with Olssøn Barbieri to develop a poetic and playful collection of illustrations – developing captivating tableaus that convey the tastes of each seltzer. “Joren’s illustrations have a naivety and sense of nostalgia that don’t compromise on freshness, energy, and dynamism,” Olssøn explains. “We also liked that he is very good at creating different and unique characters needed for each flavour,” he concludes, bolstered by the collaboratively developed taste-based colour-coded palette, “strengthening the brand’s inclusivity.”
Together Olssøn Barbieri and Joshua captured innocence, youthfulness and joy through their concoction of type, colour and character – a nature complimented by the studio’s naming and copywriting inspiration; The Wizard of Oz. Looking thematically closer to home, Olssøn Barbieri also turned to vintage soda bottles to create Pursue’s distinct figure. Once again, moving away from the slim cans favoured in the hard seltzer industry, resulting in something both premium and accessible.