Hellstrøm Aquavit & Juleaquavit

The Norwegian Chef Eyvind Hellstrøm is part owner of the two star Michelin restaurant Bagatelle in Oslo and president of the Bocuse D´Or Europe, but also a TV personality who advocates the joy and importance of home cooked meals. ‘Enkelt og Perfekt’, meaning ‘Simple and Perfect’ in Norwegian is Hellstrøm´s mantra and when design agency Olssøn Barbieri was asked to design the bottle for Hellstrøm’s to be developed liquor, they regarded it as the essential ingredient for the integrity of the brand. Authoritative, masculine, accessible and heritage were additional ingredients to shape the product and take decisions in terms of materials, bottle shape, execution, tone of voice and colors. The ingredients on the front and the measuring scale on the side are both homages to the chef’s world. To silkscreen the bottle by Verallia in France was a choice to ‘reduce’ and aspire to an iconic and sharp brand personality, together with allowing the product to transmit a feeling of heritage and trustworthiness. In which they succeeded very gracefully in our eyes.

Our vision for Hellstrøm Aquavit was to create a brand that would celebrate the personality and challenge the product category.

When the end of December and the Christmas-time was approaching a next chapter was added to the beautiful product; based on the ‘Primstav’, an ancient Norwegian perpetual calendar stick. After Lutheranism was introduced into Norway this calendar changed its function and became agricultural almanacs, where the signs representing the Catholic saints acquired new meanings, now related to housekeeping and agriculture. The division of the year on the primstav was divided into a summer half (April 14th – October 13th , the period of harvesting) and a winter half (October 14th – April 13th, the period of consuming). The special edition of Hellstrøm’s liquor named Juleaquavit or ‘ChristmasAquavit’ reaffirms the ancient Norwegian symbols with former glory as they are enameled in gold on the bottle. The symbols on the bottle are loaded with century-old wisdom in the form of a pattern transmitting both a festive mood and a vast heritage connected to nature, farming and conviviality. Extraordinary once again.

Olssøn Barbieri is a multidisciplinary design agency founded in 2005 by Henrik Olssøn and Erika Barbieri specializing in brand identity and packaging design with particular focus on wine/spirits, luxury, fashion, culture and art industries. Founded with the intention of working independently and without compromises in regards to conceptual development and quality of execution, the company evolves by pursuing new standards of design through research and experimentation. The company´s projects range from brand creation, visual identity, illustration and packaging design to brand design strategy and creative direction. At Visuelt 2013 the beautiful Hellstrøm Aquavit bottle was awarded the Gold price.

Photography by Sigve Aspelund, Stian Broch at AJBStudio.

For more information see here.