High-Impact Vodka Label Tells a Unique Story
The story of a small batch vodka developed by a big-name actor and the mountain of challenges that were solved by creating a custom label.
Born and Bred vodka is the result of actor Channing Tatum’s quest to find the smoothest, best-tasting vodka made in America. That quest led him on a vodka taste-testing trip to the Grand Teton Distillery in Driggs, Idaho. Impressed by the high-quality product, Tatum partnered with the family-owned and operated distillery to develop a crisp, American-made craft vodka made with Idaho potatoes and glacial mountain water.
Different inside and out
Part of the uniqueness of Born and Bred is its packaging. While most traditional vodkas come in tall, slim bottles, the Born and Bred bottle is shorter and wider—similar to a brown spirit or a gin bottle. But the unexpected bottle shape wasn’t enough to set Born and Bred apart from the competition; a high-impact label was also necessary to communicate authenticity.
The label is press printed on a textured facestock. The brand’s name is in large, bold typeface flanked by the head distiller’s signature with the bottle’s batch number and a jackalope created by acclaimed illustrator Steven Noble. The on-brand copy reads, “Distilled for a different breed.” A die-cut forms the jagged outline of the Grand Teton range, and the facestock is accentuated with gold foil highlights.
“The design of the label combines the brand’s strategic position with Channing’s personality and values,” says Marcus Bartlett, creative director of Los Angeles-based United Talent Agency, which developed the brand. “Born and Bred is about celebrating local legends. Small towns. Big personalities. Great stories. And in a way, that’s Channing. He’s the local guy who’s turned himself into a global star. He’s also very down-to-earth and authentic, someone with a bit of a mischievous personality. The jackalope is a double-sided icon. It represents that aspect of Channing—a personification of that fun-loving, adventurous spirit—as well as the history of the region and the myths of the local culture. The label needed to be natural and authentic both to that iconography and to Idaho itself.”
Tatum points out the label’s other unique attributes, “On the inside label, once you drink it down or if you get your eye really close to the bottle, it says ‘Cross my heart and hope for mischief.’ That’s just what I want when I pour myself a drink. I want to just cause a little havoc and get into some safe, manageable mischief.”
Solving creative and technical challenges
Mepco Label Systems handled printing and production of the Born and Bred label. “We went through a lot of paper options, both before and after we came to Mepco,” says Bartlett. “We were looking for something that felt a little rugged and natural, something that would evoke the values of the brand as well as hold the ink and have the right level of brightness. It’s a lot to ask of a paper, but we didn’t want the label to seem too gimmicky. And, even more demanding, the label needed to be able to withstand water, knowing it would be put on ice.”
“When the project came to us, we knew it would be a challenge,” says Michael Rodenborn, vice president of sales and marketing for Mepco. “On the surface it’s a one-color label, but the stock needed a flood coat to match the background color the client wanted and there were multiple screens needed in the art. When the moisture barrier came into play, we knew that we had to involve Avery Dennison on this project, which we are accustomed to doing on unique projects such as this.” Avery Dennison used welded technology engineered specifically to meet rigorous wet, cold and damp bottling environments.