Drinking in Bottle Design

So, what makes people drink? There are many very sound—and some unfortunate—reasons: social, medicinal, addictive, pleasurable, etc. But there is something more, and liquor packagers and label producers figured this out long ago. The bottle is part of the gestalt of drinking. It is obvious when you enter a liquor store. Even if like me you do not drink at all, the wide array of shapes, sizes and colors whet the appetite, if not to imbibe, certainly to consume. Below is a late 19th- to early 20th-century French bottle and label producer’s chromolithographic catalog of samples. The possibilities were more and many, just as today’s spirits bottles show classic and modern in the scores. Liquor may have been the devil’s brew, but it certainly makes for heavenly design.


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One thought on “Drinking in Bottle Design

  1. Iron Design

    Love your articles Steven– One thing about spirits bottle design that we learned in our experience was the importance of how the bottles look in the ‘well’. As you can imagine, drinking establishments are a huge purchaser of liquors, so bottle design is more important at this venue, more so than even liquor stores. This was probably just as true in the 30’s as it is today. keep up the good work!