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Printing gives distinction to new Sam's Club tequila

Eye-catching graphics that convey traditional Mexico, printed with a special UV technique, give the Calle Azul brand visibility in the spirits aisle.
FILED IN:  Package design  > Graphic
Sam’s Club is making a play for a share of the global tequila market, which has grown 9% in the past decade, led by the premium and ultra-premium segments. Sam’s Club has introduced its own tequila, marketed under the Calle Azul brand.

Collaborating with Dragon Rouge, a design consultancy, Sam’s Club developed a brand that would appeal to consumers looking for top-quality luxuries for everyday enjoyment. The brand identity and package design were built around the concept of “mastering the art of tequila,” explains Eric Zeitoun, president of Dragon Rouge’s New York office. The idea was inspired by Mexico’s enduring passion, culture, and history that uniquely cultivated tequila’s refined taste and excellence.

The brand experience starts with the product name. Calle Azul suggests the path to the blue agave source and region. The brand’s visual identity, expressed through the package, balances the best of old and new for Mexico.

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A modern font conveys the contemporary feel of Mexico, and the signature sun icon references Mexican heritage and its central role in nurturing the qualities of agave. “The sun’s presence has inherently mysterious qualities, similar to those associated with tequila, and is further enhanced by the dark blue, almost black color palette chosen,” says Marcus Hewitt, chief creative officer in Dragon Rouge’s New York office.

The graphics are printed in four colors directly onto the glass bottle surface with UV ink screening, which is similar to an applied color label but has a different curing temperature than an applied color label and doesn’t have ink color limitations because of toxicity challenges. Vitro provides the 750-mL bottle.

The rich colors on the clear glass bottle contrast with the color of the tequila seen through the bottle, and they accentuate the richness of the 100% Agave Añejo tequila. The sun image repeats, in a different color pattern, in the neck of the bottle.

A cork/cap closure provides a sense of traditional-looking tequila packaging, and the cap area is sealed with a clear shrink-wrap, from Continental Packaging Solutions, for tamper evidence.

“Dragon Rouge’s development approach produced a unique branding and creative solution for Calle Azul to position the brand relevantly and distinctively as an ultra-premium tequila,” says Maurice Markey, Sam’s Club’s vice president of private brands.

Calle Azul is rolling out in about 200 Sam’s Club stores across the U.S.

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