Design Bridge has announced their latest work creating the branding for the new premium non-alcoholic spirit brand Caleño.

Using their established expertise in the drinks, FMCG, and luxury categories, Design Bridge has created a comprehensive brand world for the entrepreneurial start-up that celebrates its Colombian roots while achieving stand out in the emerging non-alcoholic spirits category.  Molly Thornberry, Senior Client Manager from Design Bridge commented, "Non-alcoholic alternatives to spirits need to feel sophisticated to be a credible choice. Like their alcoholic equivalents, they need well-crafted designs that communicate the complexity of the liquid’s ingredients and production methods. Caleño has been a wonderful project, as our team got to partner closely with the founder to build the brand story from scratch and start writing the design rules in this very young category.”

Caleño, the “non-alcoholic, free spirit”, is inspired by the fun-loving Colombian city of Cali, famed for salsa dancing. It heroes the tropical Inca berry, Caleño’s star ingredient and signature garnish, in a vibrant infusion including juniper and botanicals to create a liquid with asimilar texture and taste to gin. Design Bridge’s challenge was to create a striking brand world for the premium, non-alcoholic spirit that offers people an attractive alternative to competitors while expressing Colombia’s vibrant culture – the inspiration behind the founder’s vision.     

Hayley Barrett, Design Director from Design Bridge continued, "The focal point of the branding is the dynamic character of Huitaca - a free-spirited goddess of arts, dance and music in pre-Colombian culture. She’s a joyful expression of Caleño’s belief that you don’t need to drink alcohol to have a fun-filled night out and embodies the brand’s message of “Carpe diem, carpe nocturne” - seize the day, seize the night. She dances energetically on the label in a billowing dress of bright, colourful Incan patterns inspired by traditional methods of printing textiles using Olmec roller stamps. Gold foiling and embossing add a premium touch.”

Other design details include:

- A deep, midnight blue backdrop and evocative language such as, “Captured for dawn’s dancers, the day dreamers… the game changers, the pleasure seeker’s, art’s muse, the melody makers and freedom’s spirit” conjures the theatre of dancing until dawn.

- Feathers woven into Huitaca’s dress and an owl on the back label hint at the mythological connection to owls and play on the idea of taking flight into the night.

- A single feather has been incorporated into the Caleño wordmark, which has been hand-drawn using inspiration from South American shop signage. 

- An embossed pattern around the rim of the stopper references traditional Incan printing techniques and the brands’ Colombian roots. 

All of the individual elements of the brand design have been crafted to provide Caleño with a suite of assets that can be used as part of the wider brand world including social media and in experiential and promotional contexts, while the design system has the flexibility to adapt to future flavour variants.   

Ellie Webb, founder of Caleño, commented, “After interning with Design Bridge 6 years ago, it’s been such an exciting experience to work with the team again, this time as design partners in the creation of my very ownbrand, Caleño. Not only did they bring their wealth of experience working with both new and established brands to the project, they were also really passionate about uncovering the roots and origins of the brand to help me bring something genuinely unique to the category.”