Book Design for Absolut Vodka


Typography – Futura Medium.  Created by Paul Renner in 1927, similar typography used and created in the Bauhaus.  I used this typography as the forms are simple geometric sans-serif typeface, nearly perfect circles, triangles and squares.  Combined with my geometric (not-perfect) abstract designs, this looks well placed within the book.

Colours for book – having researched the brand extensively, I wanted a bright variety of colours.  I didn’t want to restrict my colours to 3 or 4.  I wanted to represent the brand with all it’s multi coloured designs.  Restricting this to a chosen colour palette of 5 colours.  Inspired from the image below from the Absolut website.

Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 14.07.57.png

The CMYK colours I chose for printing were:-  Light Grey 0,0,0,35  (I chose grey instead of silver as this was easier for printing and cost efficient); Purple 50, 100, 0, 0; Orange 0, 80, 95, 0 and Lime Green 27,0,86,0

Cover Design

The cover I decided to create was abstract A and V., standing for Absolut Vodka, which is similar to the packaging design on the original bottle having the A and full stop depicted on it.  The cover design drove the concept for the abstract design throughout the book.


From the cover design, I initially started to create some abstract designs of a vodka bottle, cocktails and fruit.

The cocktails and vodka designs I used throughout the book chopping sections to further add to the effect.  Researched pattern designs in the book Designing Patterns for Decoration, Fashion and Graphics by Lotta Kühlthorn, enabled me to understand the concept layout for the placing the fruit in patterns within my book.  The square block design on page dividers was inspired from a book the Fashion Illustrator by Bethan Morris.

Page dividers with fruit patterns

The abstract design of the vodka bottle, cocktails and the essay was inserted in to the book with photography taken from the Absolut website’s press/media room, images are free to use.  I wanted to capture the celebration of absolut through it’s creativity, so I mainly used photograph images depicting party scenes as the brand uses these a lot in their campaigns.


Final book design added in next post.

Mood Board and Ideas on Book Design

Within my lecture notes I created a book layout design, this was a initial design.  I was keen to use an abstract design as Andy Warhol’s Absolut artwork inspired me to create this design for my book, with a pop art feel to the design.  I gathered ideas from Pinterest and saved them on my board and also downloaded the key ideas to work from.  The abstract designs reminded me of some of Saul Bass’ designs.

Mood board of ideas for book design



The cover I decided to create was abstract A and V., standing for Absolut Vodka, which is similar to the packaging design on the original bottle having the A and full stop depicted on it.  The cover design drove the abstract concept.  Initially, I started to create some abstract designs of a vodka bottle, cocktails and fruit.




Essay Ideas and Research – Ideas and Perspectives

After researching for the visual culture assignment one image particularly caught my eye Absolut Vodka as an object poster, in the book 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design by Steve Heller & Veronique Vienne. Advertising kicked off in 1985 with artwork by Andy Warhol.


Absolut Vodka (1985) Andy Warhol

Futher research into the brand, I found a vast amount of advertising campaigns.  It was definitely a brand I wanted to study for visual culture as there is so much depicted in varies advertising campaigns from films to artist commissioned to create new design across the globe.  Packaging design has always attracted my attention from a design perspective and as a designer, in business, it is fundamentally important to market to your audience so a key topic for me to research in the visual culture assignment is advertising.  I was really interested to understand the theories behind advertising.

Starting my research I studied the theories provided by my tutor, one of the main books I used for this was Critical Terms for Art History by Robert S Nelson and Richard Shiff.  I referred to this book a lot throughout this assignment as it was pack full of theories and philosophies.  As there was a lot of information to digest, I decided to create a mind map of the theories and philosophies as a way to understand them clearer from a visual perspective and how they linked together.  Having studied semiotics in year 1 in visual studies this enabled my research to link to the theories of Roland Barthes from his book Image, Music, Text and having read Camera Lucida as well I found it interesting on the theories around photography in this book also Susan Sontag on Photography.  As well as reading, I watched BBC documentaries on the Genius of Photography (all episodes).


I also found videos on philosophies interesting to watch as well, which also helped with the visual representation of them.  Another book I throughly enjoy referring to, as I’ve been using it from year 1, is Ways of Seeing by John Berger.  Berger discusses publicity around advertising in this book, which I referred to a lot in writing my essay.  Berger is a knowledgable resource, I enjoy watching his documentaries on the Ways of Seeing and most recently a new documentary on BBC John Berger – The Art of Looking.

Having done extensive research into theories and philosophies, I started to look into the history of the Absolut brand and extensively research all advertising campaigns worldwide online, including packaging designs and commissioned artwork.  Truly amazed by the amount of campaigns Absolut run regularly.  Absolut market their products bang on trend designs and running campaigns specifically to represent the country they are advertising to.  My essay was truly inspiring and I believe I have obtained a great deal of knowledge from this for advertising designs specific to the target audience.