"An Italian-style aperitif with a California twist. Complex layers of flavor unfold, ending with a bitter swagger."
— New York Times
Bruto Americano is a love letter to the bitter Italian liqueurs of old. Produced by St. George Spirits, in Alameda, California, Bruto aimed to be a bartender and consumer favorite, and hit the nail on the head. With its elegant design and musty, bittersweet flavor, it has become a common, if not must have, bottle in the world's most prestigious cocktail bars.
When St. George Spirits asked me to design this label, I was thrilled. They have been a regular client of mine since the beginning, and working with them feels more like a collaboration than contracted labor. They are involved in the design process and bring exciting ideas to the table. Plus, they're fun to drink with.
Our initial idea was to pursue a design heavily influenced by the ideas of Italian Futurism. Early exploration focussed on the movement's love of the machine - in this case, the still from which Bruto was made. As we progressed, however, we were inspired by the elegance of the bottle and the spirit itself, and refined the design to be more typography focussed with a supporting laser cut botanical illustration. This laser cut element pulls from the California coffee berry bush, used in the production of Bruto, as well as from the Cochineal beetle, used to give the spirit its red coloring (yup, beetle juice).
The final design is a modern take on a classic style, meant to compliment the spirit in more ways than one.