The Backwards

I chose a Russian vodka brand which is called Russian Standard for my specific example.


1)    Background – What do you think is the background, which has informed this work? (Market, Competition etc)

Russian Standard Vodka is now one of Russia’s most famous premium brands. From the packaging’s symbols that we can see this vodka has a long history and through the shape of the words, we can recognise this product is comes from Russia. This work is informed in market, shops or online website, which can help the audience identified the vodka brand.


2)    Audience and context – Who do you believe is the target audience? What is the context for this piece of communication?

To my mind, the audiences for Russian Standard Vodka are the people who have higher education or have a high quality life that know Russian Standard Vodka is the most special one, it has a long history. They enjoy the taste of this unique vodka, also they can understand the meanings which behind the Russian Standard Vodka that the vodka is brewed by hundred years of experience and Russian culture. Moreover, these audiences see it as a kind of cultural taste, rather than just a vodka tasting. The context of this packaging design is the company want to use some unique symbols which can communicate with the target audience, let them know the Russian Standard Vodka not only has a long history and is the purely quality vodka in the world, but also it has become a part of Russian culture.


3)    Executional guidelines – Describe the key words (mood, personality or visual qualities etc) that has informed this work? What are the materials, techniques and processes used to create this piece of communication?

The Russian Standard Vodka packaging’s inspirations are all come from Russian culture and the history of Russian Standard Vodka. Designers investigated the history of Russian national culture, found the connect information with the Vodka brand’s history. Therefore, they used these different kinds of culture elements to create a new visual identity which not only stand of the brand’s spirit, but also make our audience can easily recognise the product is come from Russia. It’s Russian vodka.


1.  Shape of the vodka bottle: the unique bottle design which is inspired by the Great Bell Tower in the heart of Moscow, which is a characteristic of traditional Russian orthodox churches.


2.The standard logo: the brand’s logo which combines with bear, eagle and crown is the most special logo in the world. This elegance logo is involving the significant symbol in Russian history and the important year of Russian Standard Vodka. The eagle, original one is the Byzantine double-headed eagle. This symbol was adopted by the Russian tsars as their own royal symbol. The bear which is a national personification for Russia. This symbol stand for Russia’s ancestor, moreover Russian bear is a national spirit in the national culture. And the crown is Peter the Great’s crown which is the first tsar in Russian history. Under the bear and eagle logo, there is a year-1894. This year is stand for the two different meanings, first one is 1894 is the first time in history the Russian government decides to put vodka on a scientific footing. Second one is Russian Standard Vodka production was introduced in 1894. This logo is a good execution which tell people, Standard Vodka has a long history and it’s quality is a noble standard.


3. The golden signature: this signature which is comes from Mendeleev the owner of Russian Standard Vodka. This signature is use to illustrate the heritage of the Russian Standard Vodka. Also it become a promise that every bottle of the Standard Vodka has the best and purely quality.

4.The bottle’s colour: the grey and silver colour which is come from the glacial water that Russian Standard Vodka uses this water to brew it’s vodka.

As we can see, this surface of the vodka bottle is consisting of Russian culture and brand’s history. Designers used these unique elements to create Russian Standard Vodka’s packaging, not only can stand out in the marketplace and distinguish other vodka brands, but also interpret the meanings of Russian Standard Vodka.

4)    If you were commissioned to design this work yourself – what are the stages in the research and design process you would use? List as bullet points:

 Research processes

  • Stage 1: Communicate with the company’s members, find the true meaning and concept behind the brand. Investigate brand’s history.
  • Stage 2: Investigate the target market, how big dose the market is , how the brand sell it’s product in this market, etc. For the audiences, investigate their hobbies, lifestyle, etc.
  • Stage 3: Investigate the design’s tactic that brand’s used before, find it’s demerit.
  • Stage 4: Investigate the national culture and history, and then connect with the brand’s history. Find they common meaning.  

Design processes

  • Stage 1: Translate the national elements and brand’s concept to create a new symbol(first draw).
  • Stage 2: Bring the new symbol to the target audience, record their feelings about that logo. For example, when they watch the symbol, can they recognise this brand’s is come from Russia? Can they easily identified this logo in the shop or can easily distinguish with other vodka brands?
  • Stage 3: Gather the information which come from the audiences interview. Use this data to review the design work. find it’s demerit.  And redesign it.
  • Stage 4: do the stage 2 and stage 3 again. Until find the best one.
  • Stage 5: Use the final best one to combine with the vodka’s bottle and add some details. Review the whole design and create a 3D model.Then test the design again.
  • Stage 6: produce a concrete model.

5)    How might these processes relate to your own research?

In my project, my aspiration is to create a new packaging for a Chinese liquor brand which is called “Dong”. I want to design a international packaging that help “Dong” liquor sell it’s produce in the European countries. Therefore, I will investigate it’s local culture identity and find the main meaning of this brand. Then, use it’s local culture’s elements, for example history’s symbol, local traditional colour, local traditional landmark etc. combine with this brand’s concept that to create a new visual identity. Not only can stand for this brand’s unique identity and can use it’s local identity that distinguish with other similar brands, but also let the international audience can easily identified this product is come from China. In addition, use a special visual design to attract audiences’ view, let them want to buy this Chinese liquor and taste it.

Thus, I think Russian Standard Vodka is good case studies which connect with my personal project. I will use the processes when I mentioned before, to help “Dong” liquor create it’s special international packaging.

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