Absolute Unique, Guttenberg would be proud

In 1440 Guttenberg celebrated moveable type, in 2012 Absolut Vodka was one of the first brands to celebrate “moveable” design. 

It only took 572 years for the folks at Absolut to find a way to go beyond the holy grail of the printing and design industries . . . the notion of exactly identical printed objects. 

With the Absolut Unique package design project, the brand created 4 million unique bottles, each with a different, and random, brightly colored background pattern that is applied to the glass during the decoration process. Each label is also uniquely numbered, making the 4 million bottles truly one of a kind. Hewlett Packard is using a similar approach to customization with a number of new techniques that offer total customization. 

Richard Shear, our Chief Creative Officer, is a founding faculty member of New York’s School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding Program. His class discusses the notion that printing and printed objects from the 15th and 16th centuries, represented the very first use of technology that allowed for the wide distribution of cultural information and ideas. These objects like books, wall coverings, decorative prints, and maps . . . available for the very first time, really were the earliest objects setting the stage for a common set of cultural and aesthetic values, and then eventually brand creation in later centuries. 

It’s really exciting to see printing technology come full circle and allow for the creation of uniquely crafted brand solutions. As I said . . . Guttenberg would be proud. 

Finally, in the interests of full disclosure, I am proud to say that Pernod Ricard is a client. And they should be deeply proud of this program.

Devon Luxmore-Rousset