Established in 2011, Hella Cocktail Co. is a brand of non-alcoholic cocktail mixers and bitters created by three friends in Brooklyn, NY, that has grown remarkably in recent years and is now available in popular retailers like Whole Foods, Total Wine & Spirits, and Dillards. Oh, and it’s also exclusively available to Delta airlines. With the recent introduction of a bitters and soda mix in a can, Hella Cocktail Co. also introduced a new logo and packaging designed by Brooklyn, NY-based We Are Bill.
The old logo had too many things going on and I feel like the vintage-victorian-hipster-novelty aesthetic was misplaced. With “Hella” in its name, that look isn’t what comes to mind at all — were the company called something like Dapper Cocktail Co., sure, it would have been perfect. Even the new logo doesn’t quite feel hella “Hella” but, along with the new packaging, it doesn’t look like a novelty product anymore. The new logo had a good start with the high-contrast serif stencil look and the thick inline could have been interesting on its own as the decorative element but the thin lines kind of ruin it as they are weakly integrated into the letterforms. I don’t mind the hatch effect at all but it could have been done in a much more sophisticated way. I’m not sure if all lowercase is the right approach and I think an uppercase “H” would have played nicely with the two “l”s, but oh well.
The old packaging was a little goofy with the label’s hat die-cut… but maybe that’s just me. It somehow made it look like a product you would buy at a joke/novelty store, not something you would whip out at home with a straight face with friends around.
The new packaging is a lot more sophisticated and not only does it have a much better shelf presence in the stores but it’s a huge improvement for its shelf presence in a home bar, looking like a product for people who know their mixers. It’s not a hugely fantastic or drop-dead-gorgeous line-up of bottles but it’s all quite nice.
The label system has a good mix of elements, with some great duotone, vintage woodcut illustrations that highlight the ingredients of each product and serve as bold color backdrops for blocks of white for the logo and each product’s specifics. Overall, the typography is well executed but the only odd part is the hierarchy given to the logo and the product flavor where they are both on equal terms and compete with each other, especially since they are the same typeface. Still, a major improvement over the previous labels.
Overall, the redesign is an apt representation of the growth of the company with a more mature, sophisticated, and desirable presentation. Next stop, a Delta flight to try these at 30,000 feet… or I could just order them online I guess.