Launched in 1997, Grey Goose is a vodka produced in France. Originally created by cellar master François Thibault and marketed by business person Sidney Frank, it was sold to Bacardi in 2004 who has maintained the recipe and process to this day, including using just two ingredients, “single origin Picardie wheat and spring water from [their] natural limestone well in Gensac-la-Pallue”. The core product, Grey Goose® Vodka, is complemented by a range of flavored options including pear, cherry, and orange among others. Grey Goose has recently started a global relaunch with a new identity designed by London, UK-based Ragged Edge.
We needed a bold statement. So we started by redrawing the logotype from scratch - the biggest change to the brand’s identity since its launch in 1997. [The] bespoke type is more contemporary, with just a hint of swagger. The perfect complement to the iconic lone goose symbol.
The old logo was fine, even with the 3D texturing on the goose icon and the stroked/shadowed wordmark — both elements were well executed. The new logo is a solid improvement on both: the goose is now more of an icon instead of an illustration, free to exist in different colors, sizes, and uses while the wordmark is now more confident and striking, with a strong chiseled-like style that maintains the proportions of the original but is far more interesting without the need for layered shadows. Removing their claim, “World’s best tasting vodka”, from the logo helps to create a better lock-up with the strip of French-flag colors and, to boot, is less smarmy, letting people decide what the world’s best tasting vodka is.
To change how people felt about Grey Goose, we needed to move away from traditional luxury codes. So we set out to build a flexible identity full of optimism. A striking pattern that can be dialed up or down. A set of secondary colours as bright as they are unexpected. A bolder set of bespoke typefaces to allow Grey Goose to speak with more immediacy. And an optimistic tone of voice that lets the brand’s character shine.
The custom typefaces are fine, I think… I mean, they look alright, I’m just not sure how distinctive they are as brand typefaces given that they look like a number of other Art Deco-ish sans serifs.
The patterns are my favorite part of this project. I like how the starting point looks like feathers and as you “zoom in” or embolden them it gets more graphic and abstract.
The limited range of applications shown are interesting in that they have a high-end yet playful vibe going on — for some reason Ocean’s Eleven comes to mind — but it’s hard to tell how this plays out in the bigger scheme of things. It’s promising though.
As applied to more aspirational products, like limited-edition bottles and gift boxes that would lure you at duty-free shops, the new identity and packaging looks great. It’s hard to argue against a matte blue bottle with the new flat graphics — it looks great — although perhaps a little too much like SKYY vodka? The gift boxes make excellent use of the patterns with the little bursts of color adding some welcome flair to the all-blue approach and the cans below, although no idea what exactly they are or where they can be acquired, are undeniably cool.
What remains to be seen is how any of this applies to the core line-up of products because as it stands right now, well, they suck. To put that in constructive terms: the unfrosted goose drawing is silly, the flying geese are awkward, the photography inside the bottle is so 1990s, and the typography is fairly bland. Seeing the potential of the redesign really makes the existing bottles look sad but I am guessing there is a ton of them on the market and in inventory waiting to be filled that it will be a while before this global relaunch hits the shelves and bars, which is where it will matter most, at the consumer level. To be continued…