First brewed in 1905, Bohemia is a Mexican beer produced by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, a subsidiary of Heineken International. Bohemia can take credit as the oldest mainstream beer in Mexico, preceding the more popular Corona and Tecate. The main Bohemia is a pilsner but like other beers it has spun off into different styles including a stout and hefeweizen. Last month, Bohemia introduced a new logo and packaging designed by London-based Elmwood.
Elmwood collaborated with Mexican lettering artists ‘Lettres’ to redraw the Bohemia word marque. The task was to retain the distinctive character of the ‘Bohemia’ lettering but give it an authentic and contemporary Mexican flavour. The new marque celebrates the balance of perfection and passion that goes into the beer - the perfection is achieved through the consistent rhythmic uprights while the passion comes to life through the playful flicks that break out.
Meanwhile, the Emperor, who has been iconic to the brand since its launch, remained, but with a refreshed look.
Elmwood respectfully recrafted the proud figure in a contemporary style that shares a consistent visual DNA with the redrawn Bohemia word marque. Addressing issues of clarity and simplicity means he is now an impactful and proud icon, not just an illustration.
Elmwood provided press release
The previous logo was fine with a readable blackletter and a decent drawing of an ancient emperor. Nothing too exciting, nothing too different from other beers. The new logo is a vast departure from typical beers, with a super slender structure and set at an exaggerated angle. (I’ll counter my own “departure from typical beers” comment by pointing out another condensed, angled beer logo.) I love the “ohemia” part of the lettering — it has great rhythm and balance in the counterspaces — but the “B” feels a little overwrought, like they really wanted to have a cool initial cap. I also like all the fuzzy, small typography around the lettering, except the “CON” (“with” in English) that needed to be redrawn to maintain the thickness instead of just scaling it. It’s the details, y’all. The emperor drawing is a great improvement with more definition and simpler shapes and less of them.
Elmwood focused on what makes Bohemia unique - it’s name. Something that is ‘Bohemian’ expresses itself in unexpected, authentic, creative and original ways. From here, Elmwood developed the brand’s new distinct point of view: The Bohemian Angle on Life: Taste with all your senses. Have an opinion, from a uniquely Mexican perspective. Be inspired by tradition, while always looking forward.
In keeping with the new Bohemian point of view, Elmwood used marbled patterns to adorn the iconic gold-foiled tops. The patterns visually describe the sensorial experiences of the beers while also communicating the unexpected and authentic creativity in the brand story.
Elmwood provided press release
In the old bottles, the old logo was redrawn so that the stems appeared at 90-degree angles since the label has been wrapping around the bottle at an angle for a number of years now. (The new logo being drawn and used at an angle reduces the need for two variations of the logo and builds upon the equity of the quirky label.) Like the logo, the old packaging was also okay and the thin, angled label stood out nicely but the supporting typography was not the best.
The new bottles look more cohesive with the logo fitting very nicely in the label and the typography being more purposeful and consistent. The label on the neck starts to veer off into other typographic territory with the introduction of a short-heighted serif that seems out of place and the marble pattern mentioned in the quote doesn’t quite “visually describe the sensorial experiences of the beers” for me and they break the flat color approach of the rest of the bottle but, overall, this a solid improvement that gives Bohemia a more independent look that breaks away from all the blacklettered beers around the world.