Founded in 1862 in Cuba by the Bacardí family, the Bacardí distillery revolutionised the way rum was made forever. From those early day when they shared their distillery with a colony of fruit bats (which appear on the branding to this day) through the struggle for Cuba’s emancipation, to prohibition and eventual exile in the USA, the family never ceased their commitment to their product and their dream – and today Bacardí remains the largest privately-owned spirits company in the world. Prior to this project, Signet had already been working with the brand for a decade.
The brief for this project arose as a result of tragedy, following the loss of 38 personnel when a US Navy Seals Chinook with call sign Extortion 17 was shot down near Kabul during the Afghan War on August 6, 2011. Just 10 days later we received an enquiry regarding the creation of an embellishment for a limited edition run of Bacardi Oakheart bottles, although at this stage we did not know the true scale of the design project or the exact detail of the requirement.
Following the initial brief, we had to wait some time for the artwork to be produced on Bacardí’s side, which meant that our timelines for creation and execution were tight. However, this made the project a really exciting undertaking. After analysing the preferred designs of the client, we were able to offer additional suggestions regarding Signet’s specialist process capabilities which further informed the final design. Sign-off was achieved on a large size bronze medallion with a strongly military feel, die cast with the Navy Seals insignia and their motto for the fallen ‘Long Live the Brotherhood’. The medal was attached to a leather lanyard with an integral suspension bar and this was then stitched to form a loop which enabled simple application to the bottle.
Working to a tight schedule, Signet supplied 300 medallions to Bacardí in time for a commemorative event coinciding with the first anniversary of the Extortion 17 tragedy. As this was the first order we had worked on for Bacardi USA, and due to the specialist reasoning behind the brief, we were determined to make sure that they got the product supplied on time whilst maintaining the highest possible quality. The end result was a truly special, heirloom quality piece that will continue to look impressive for years to come whilst respectfully honouring the memory and the sacrifice of these brave servicemen.
Never under-estimate the impact of finish elements like a seal. It’s not always about print or labelling!