Shooters Vodka: how EO Space created a brand and packaging system to embody the college experience
Within the alcoholic beverage market, it’s rare to see a brand truly and authentically capture the college experience. Based in Texas, and aimed at a young collegiate crowd, Shooters Vodka is a brand like no other. For one, it’s for ‘shots only,’ and pairs perfectly with a drinking game, friends, and a party. The brand identity and packaging were designed by EO Space, a creative agency based in the North American state of Arkansas. They channelled the spirit of the college lifestyle through bright cartoon-inspired illustrations and bold typography, which all culminate in a playful logo, capturing a moment between two friends saying “cheers!”
With the youthful Texan consumer in mind, Partner & Communications Director John Ferrante explains that, for the typographic direction, Darrell Flood’s Subtle Curves and Daniel Hernandez’s Sanchez Regular felt like the perfect pairing. “We liked the soft but rough Western feel of Subtle Curves,” he explains, “and believed the simple decoration of Sanchez contrasted well with Subtle Curves when carrying the various body and meta text elements. Together they stand out against traditional solutions you see used in the vodka market.”
Whilst Shooters identity does bring its own unique flavour to the market, it pays homage to the existing market too. EO Space included ultramarine blue in the colour palette, allowing it to fit in with the traditional blue of vodka bottling. “So when someone looks at the array of bottles on a shelf,” Ferrante notes, “we wanted the Shooters bottle to fit the mould and break it at the same time.” Furthermore, he suggests that the mahogany hues offer a warm contrast, appropriate for a drink that’s about making memories with your friends (or should I say your ‘Shooters’).
The illustrations seen throughout the identity and packaging were created in-house by EO Space’s Creative Director Matthew McMillan. “If you look in his notebook you’ll see these doodles littered everywhere,” Ferrante tells us, “and there’s probably a lot just like them in your student notebook, too. We believe there’s something freeing and limitless about illustrative character work – they can be who you need them to be, while still feeling like they’re themselves.” In the context of Shooters, the playful roster of characters also acts as a ‘pick your character’ type of experience that friends can joke about. “They encourage diversity and imperfection among friend groups and remind us that in a world of curated self-images, it’s cool just to be yourself,” Ferrante adds. “Real friends will love you anyway.”
Looking to the future, EO Space hope that, with the introduction of new flavours, more colours will be introduced to the packaging. “It is currently for sale in various Texas markets and expecting growth so there might be another flavour on the horizon soon (which we’re stoked about),” Ferrante concludes.
Subtle Curves by Darrell Flood
Sanchez by Daniel Hernandez
Sol Nox Studio