Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 25 July 2018
El Pintor is a high-quality tequila and mezcal brand said to have been handcrafted by the world’s second certified maestro tequilero. El Pinto’s approach intends to create perfectly equilibrated spirits through the intersection of science and artistry. This artistry forms the basis of El Pinto’s graphic identity and packaging design developed by Anagrama. This is characterised by colour blocking, tapered bottle, distinctive screw cap and irregular label arrangement.
Anagrama draw together a visual and material immediacy under the theme of art and artistry. There is, in the work, a pleasant confluence of name, colour, graphic and structural expression that effectively links two products whilst avoiding the gimmicky in its simplicity. The art reference within packaging is intelligible but not blunt and has a distinction and conviviality that is memorable.
Solid blocks of saturated colour tap into the vibrant crafts, graphic and material, an international audience might associate with Mexico. This also serves to catch the eye and differentiate. Although regional and to some degree historial—the bright colours of Mexican art can be attributed to the available natural pigments of the past—it leans heavily into the current and contemporary competitive visual language and attention seeking spirits industry. Whether this has longevity absent legacy and story is likely to depend on the quality of the spirit, but its packaging demands consideration.
The real highlight is the structural design. Where often you see a favour for shapes that convey heritage through relief, the occasional and international irregular wall and glass impurities, as well as legacy images, El Pintor is marked by its playful form language. This evokes but does not mimic the tapering and lid of oil paint tubes. And the loose labelling calls to mind the self-labelling of custom paint mixes but also of import-export labelling in its patterns and foiling. This balance of structural designs; a simple but solid colour retail box and a distinctive bottle shape balance in-store with on-trade considerations. Both appear to have been made well, although the interior base of the bottle appears slightly off.
There is the implication of heritage and craft in the wordmark, in its stroke contrast and foiling, although the silver subverts this a little but ties it neatly to the cap. The art direction really makes the artistry connection really very blunt. This feels very much loaded with the pin-able sentiments and necessities of today. This comes through in the colour blocking, compositional simplicity and immediacy of the visual language employed. More work by Anagrama on BP&O.