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Celebrate Authentic Mexican Craftsmanship with Cráneo Organic Mezcal

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 12/27/2016 | 4 Minute Read

Cráneo Organic Mezcal is a spirit that honors the culture of Mexico and the well-trusted methods of distillation. Designed by Van Heertum Design VHD and David Ravandi (123 Spirits), the bottle features an Aztec Goddess, hand blown glass, and other carefully chosen details to truly bring it to life. The inspiration for the packaging is fully realized, giving consumers an experience from the moment they see it on a store shelf to when they empty their first glass.

“Inspired by the celebration of life, Cráneo Organic Mezcal is a single village artisanal mezcal handcrafted by local maestro mezcaleros and agave aficionado David Ravandi in the heartland of Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, Mexico. VHD got the inspiring challenge to create the suiting packaging. ‘The result is a design, that tells the brand story using all parts of the packaging,’ Rob van Heertum, VHD’s Strategy Director and Partner, says.”

“Cráneo Organic Mezcal begins with hand selecting 100% organic agave grown at 5,600 ft. Harvested when fully matured, charred pit oven roasted piñas are then crushed by a massive stone tahona to extract their sweet juice. Once natural fermentation occurs, small batches of Cráneo Organic Mezcal are distilled twice in copper pot stills capturing bold, complex flavors of agave, rich fermentation notes and smoke.”

“Dedicated to the preservation of ancient Oaxaca methods of artisanal distillation while sustaining the highest quality of production, founder David Ravandi combines the experience and respect of those who have produced the finest mezcal for generations with his own vision and passion.”

Every detail of Cráneo Organic Mezcal is a delight, with nothing overlooked. From the wooden cap and natural cork to the recycled paper and soy-based ink, it embodies what the finest Mexicanl mezcal should be. The sacred skull on the front represents an Aztec goddess, with leaves of agave sprouting out the top. A handmade illustration and font style was used for the label, speaking to the carefully crafted and organic nature of the mezcal.

“These organic and artisanal brand values, together with the authentic Mexican craftsmanship, needed to be communicated through the packaging. So instead of just using the graphic design, we chose to also use all materials and production techniques available, to underline and strengthen these brand values. Hand-blown glass was chosen to create the bottles from 100% recycled glass; the labels are produced from recycled paper, are printed with soy-based inks and glued to the bottles using vegetable based glue; to top it of, wooden caps are used.”

“The graphic design of the labels continues on this road of organic design perfection. Honouring century-old Mexican traditions, the sacred skull depicted on the label was inspired by the Aztec Goddess Mictecacihuatl 'Meek-teka-see-wahdl,' the guardian of the bones, which symbolizes strength and influence, complementing the artisanal mezcal that derives its strength and character from agave espadin. Only black and white is used, symbolizing the pureness of the transparent organic spirit. The artwork of the skull was hand carved into wood (symbolizing the craftsmanship of the production of the Mezcal) and the prints from this wooden piece of art, are the base for the actual print work (with soy inks) onto the recycled paper. To give the label the real hand carved feeling, the carvings were embossed into the label.”


Designed by: Van Heertum Design VHD, David Ravandi (123 Spirits)

Client: 123 Spirits (USA, Mexico)

Country: Netherlands

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