Mr. Yuzu Blushing Vodka

  • Brand Identity, Creative Strategy, Packaging Design, Photography, Print Production

2019 was The Year of The Emoji for Very Polite. These curious symbols became a source of inspiration for us, starting with the creation of our ‘How Are You Today?’ calendars. They guided us in the development of our very own VP fonts and even took us on a Field Trip™ to Japan to learn more about the fascinating people who invented them. Our memorable journey to Tokyo also inspired us to create a distinctive new product — Mr. Yuzu’s Blushing Yuzu Vodka.

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When designing the bottle, our goal was to create something that married lively on-the-go cocktails to masterfully elegant sake bottles. We partnered with our design pen-pal Yudai Osawa to create a custom Japanese logotype and got our friends at Provincial Spirits to concoct the perfect flavour. We wanted to develop a spirit that would pay homage to the Tokyo we fell in love with, and bring a piece of our experiences back home in a very ‘oishi’ way.

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Mr. Yuzu Project Poster

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Inspiration

Tokyo is a city alive with design, rich in culture and, yes, grounded in politeness – it’s hard not to be inspired. While creating Mr. Yuzu, we oberved the use of colours, aesthetics and branding we saw in convenience stores. We recalled new delightful flavours hitting our taste buds, and the countless animated characters that greeted us at every corner (seriously, every person, place and thing had a mascot!).

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Beverage Research and Development

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As for the vodka itself, the inspiration was myriad. It may have been the fresh citrusy taste of Yuzu, or the allure of the vibrant yellow peel. Or perhaps we were simply intrigued by the similarities the fruit shared with the round, jovial appeal of the emoji. Regardless, Yuzu became the focus of our palette. Another popular Japanese favourite that came to mind – fresh strawberries – which were everywhere as our trip happily coincided with prime spring strawberry season. The blushing red hue and punch of sweetness inspired us to incorporate these berry notes into the spirit.

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The end result is a uniquely beautiful spirit that is as delicious as it is meaningful. Clean and clear to the eye with strawberry notes on the nose, finishing with the tart and tangy flavour of Yuzu on the tongue. To be enjoyed on the rocks or mixed with your favourite soda. Kanpai! We hope your reaction is 🙂