BPO


Monachus Distillery by Bedow

Text by Richard Baird.

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Atop of Croatia’s Istria peninsula, just where the land slips into the Adriatic sea sits the tiny small-batch gin distillery of Monachus. Stone shores, botanical covered hillsides, the smell of pine and scattered pin cones characterises the landscape. Drawing on this, the natural history of Istria and the name Monachus, borrowed from Monachus Monachus an endangered Mediterranean monk seal, Swedish design studio Bedow created a visual identity and labelling for the distillery.

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Monachus is a story of Anja and Luka. Their desire to move closer to the sea, an interest in distilling local fruits and herbs, time spent together forging, distilling and packaging, and a month-long experience at Mitosaya Botanical Distillery in Chiba Prefecture learning from Japanese master distiller Hiroshi Eguchi. It is on this trip the duo acquired an understanding of fermentation and maceration, about distilling and mixing flavours, picking and foraging for edible flowers and herbs, as well as bottling and packaging.

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Monachus Monachus is the Latin name for the Mediterranean monk seal. With a population of less than 700 it is a critically endangered species. One individual, a female, lived close to the location of the distillery. With the intention of raising awareness of the plight of the species, Monachus borrowed the name and made the seal a mascot. Bedow have honoured this with a beautifully crafted marque. The seal tumbling in a wave, balancing positive and negative space is a lovely, playful and positive gesture, neatly set within the bounds of a circle and becoming a stamp across labels. The rough edges captures a natural landscape with an the oversized eye bringing in something of an old-world charm.

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

As with many distillers, the brand becomes mythology, of story and scene setting. Imagery and the words of the Monachuswebsite sets this up well, crafting a compelling story of a new life by the sea, a place of unspoilt natural beauty, a simple existence of forging and distilling, and a trip to Japan to learn their craft. This is beautifully distilled down into the labelling of the bottles through the confluence of material shape, colour and typography.

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

A pine cone, salt and stone, wind and waves set up a form language that alludes to geography, and weaves in something of a Japanese craft, peacefulness and serenity through shape and space. Typography and colour, a stamp and batch numbers, and the subtlety of a die cut label work together to set a tone and convey a mood which is supported and given richness through words and images online. More work by Bedow on BP&O.

Design: Bedow. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts: TBC

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

Logo and packaging design by Swedish studio Bedow for Croatian small-batch gin distillery Monachus

If you liked this then you may also like:

Packaging Design – Lone Wolf  Packaging Design – Chaos  Packaging Design – The Clydeside Distillery


Support BP&O



Thank you to everyone who has visited BP&O since its beginning in 2011. As many of you know, BP&O has always been a free-to-access design blog that seeks to offer extended opinion on brand identity work. It has sought to be the antithesis of the social media platform that often disentangles form, context and content. Writing articles can take 2-4hrs and are carefully researched.

I am passionate about design writing and believe that spending time to write about work, rather than just posting images, furthers design discourse. If you have enjoyed this article, have been with the site from its early days and would like to help contribute to its future, please consider supporting the site with a small PayPal donation. This will go towards the costs of hosting, CDN (to make the site quick to load) and Mailchimp, and cover some of the time it takes to research, write-up, format and share posts.