Ever since 2005, Absolut Vodka has released a yearly limited-edition designed vodka bottle. Now, the design for the 2022 edition is official. We interviewed Elin Furelid, Global Director Portfolio & Innovation at The Absolut Company, on this year’s limited-edition bottle, which celebrates the Spirit of Togetherness, and talked about the design, inspiration, and work behind it.
What’s the inspiration behind the limited-edition bottle for 2022? Who designed it?
The inspiration draws from Absolut’s core belief of mixing things up with the goal of creating better outcomes. This bottle is specifically designed in collaboration with our design agency, Brand Union Stockholm, and our glassworks partner Ardagh Glass located in the southern part of Sweden. We have worked on many projects with Brand Union Stockholm, from our most recent redesign to previous designs and several exciting limited-edition bottles like this one. The campaign’s visual identity – with its color play on the pattern – was, in fact, developed by our in-house studio, The Mix Stockholm.
The campaign celebrates the Spirit of Togetherness. How is this spirit reflected in the bottle?
Celebrating the Spirit of Togetherness is about how things turn out better when we look past our differences and are able to meet and connect with each other. This concept inspires the actual design of the bottle, symbolized through a woven pattern that is translated onto the surface of the glass. The notion that several intertwined threads are stronger than one individual string shows that we form a stronger bond when we come together and create together. This can also be linked to when the bottle is launched, during the Holiday season, when we traditionally spend time with friends and family, strengthening the bond of togetherness.
The Absolut Company has a longstanding tradition of promoting togetherness and mixing people and perspectives. Tell us how you’ve worked with these values when creating this bottle.
Besides combining and mixing different values, and people to achieve better outcomes, synergy and true cooperation between everyone involved have been crucial to this project. We work closely and value our partners and could never realize a design like this without them and their expertise. The entire collaboration behind this product is part of the concept of togetherness, and that is very important to highlight.
In what way was sustainability factored into this project?
We are constantly working with sustainability, and similarly to the rest of our bottles, the limited-edition bottle for 2022 features 53% recycled glass, which is exceptionally high for a clear glass bottle. For us, sustainability is a deep-rooted and constant priority.
Was there anything that stood out or surprised you while working on this project?
The limited-edition designed bottles are our longest-running campaign, recurring since 2005. Working on this project is always fun and enriching. However, this bottle seemed extra special. It turned out incredibly sophisticated, detailed, and transparent. Even though we used a soft material as an inspiration, we’ve been able to create a clear, smooth, and detailed tactile effect on the solid glass surface. We’ve made crystal-looking bottles before, but this one stands out. I think it’s absolutely stunning.
Besides the great look and feel, the teamwork has been very special to us from a customer’s point of view. We’re very much involved in the entire design process and work closely with our suppliers as partners, which is essential for the end result.
How long does it take to develop the bottle?
We begin planning and preparing about 1.5 to 2 years before the launch. Working with a glass structure requires a battery of tests, for example, on the glass’s durability and quality. We are creating an artisanal product, even if it is on a larger scale. It’s a kind of industrialized glass art that requires a lot of time and effort to perfect. Glass art is part of the Swedish design heritage and something we are very proud to be a part of.
When will the limited-edition bottle launch, and how would you like it to be received?
The bottle is launching on October 1, the same time as previous years, and it will be available in over 80 markets! It is our most extensive and longest-running global campaign. We hope that our consumers find the bottle as fantastic as we do and that they can feel all the work and love that has been put into it.