Not Just a Bottle
Some years ago I met a group of friendly, and good looking, people from Iceland. They used to brag about their pure water resources, wild horses, volcanoes, and beautiful country. During our time together we shared different parts of our culture: photos, believes, legends, food and drinks.
One of their famous drinks is called Brennivin, a liquor made out of potato and caraway (and don’t ask me what caraway is) that contains 37.5% alcohol, therefore its nickname “Black Death”. Around 1935 the Icelandic government tried to make the bottle label less appeling in order to dissuade icelanders from consuming alcohol. Their new black and white graphic design caused the total opposite: sales skyrocket and, to this day, the drink, with its beautiful and simple label, still gives people the worst hangovers.
Of course, I had to keep the bottle as a souvenir: I think its design is timeless and elegant, I love its history, but more so, I think it’s a clear representation of the power of design and how it can change a product, brand, and even the collective conscience of a country.