Rum is my favourite party drink and I was very happy to receive a bottle of Kraken as a Christmas present. Apart from being a fantastic companion to chilly nights and bad TV, I’ve been getting so much from just looking at the bottle design.
A ‘Kraken’ is of course a legendary sea beast, a giant squid famous for terrorising pirate ships. Catching them in its tangle of tentacles before pulling them down to the murky depths.
It is captured on my bottle doing just that. The illustration style is reminiscent of Victorian etchings. Inky cross-hatching that sinks into the parchment label. The etched look seems to be consistently popular today, with talented artists like Dan Hillier updating it to create weird and wonderful works (see below). There’s something so pleasing about this style of illustration that seems to instantly fire up the imagination and hint at the curious.
The shape of the bottle is unusual and according to the Kraken wikipedia page, is styled after traditional Victorian rum bottles. These featured two, hoop handles allowing the bottles to be hung and help prevent breakages.
The colour palette is simple and bold. The velvety black of the illustration contrasts against the cream of the label and both flatter the rich brown of the spirit. Little accents of silver around the logo mark add shine. A tiny, etched, silver kraken guards the bottle top, sealing the doom of any sailor (or casual drinker) that dares to try a measure.
Dan Hillier Illustration shown without permission of the artist. All other photographs are my own, Kraken video borrowed from Youtube.