I love the look of the strong black and white pattern on the label with the bold stocky shape of the bottle, but with a closer observation I discover much more. I glance at the name, Mastic Tears, and my mind makes a quick association to a totally unrelated word and I read Masochist Tears. The black background with white pattern reinforce my initial glance giving me an entirely different impression of what this brand is about. Black reinforced with the word tears gives me a morbid impression in my mind. Is this the design intention? Is that what they want to convey with the brand? For an audience that might not be familiar with Mastic trees, or the tears of Mastic trees, it gives an odd first impression.
Of course the name and packaging all started to make sense, when I learned Mastic is a tree from the Greek island, Chois, and the tears are the resin distilled from the tree to make the liqueur. Originally a liquid, mastic dries into drops of hard brittle translucent resin. Mastic liqueur is a distinctive, balanced spirit with pronounced notes of evergreen and is a similar flavor to liquorice. This is when I realize, I had already imagined this liqueur had a liquorice flavor. The black label design had already given me this feeling. As I learn more about the island, I see the design inspiration for the shape of the bottle. The graphic patterns drawn from the architecture of the the buildings in Chios, the resin droplets woven into the graphic pattern, the touch of blue (on the classic bottle) reminding me of the blue colors of the ocean. I love all the connections to the island with this packaging.
But with my initial impression in mind, I can’t help but wonder what it would look like if the packaging mirrored the Clois architecture with white background and black pattern giving the light airy impression of the Greek island that is surrounded by beautiful beaches and clear blue waters. Also perhaps a different name than Mastic Tear. One that connects to the history of the island without narrowing your audience to only those who know the island or spirit aficionados. Would that have helped to reach a wider audience? Perhaps I wouldn’t have made the morbid connection if it was a white background color, then again I might not have imagined it tasted like licorice.
What do you think of this design? Do you think this packaging is successful?