In food and drink branding, there are two approaches which are often perceived as contradictory: scientific brands and “all-natural” brands, both with their own set of fairly overused visual motifs. Stockholm-based design studio Bedow is throwing all that in the bin with the branding for Swee, a kombucha brewery in Tbilisi. Proving that natural ingredients are still chemicals and that bacteria is as organic as an apple, Bedow wanted to show “‘100 per cent natural’ in a super rational way”, knowing one thing will always come out of approaching branding differently: “It will probably stand out on the shelf,” Perniclas Bedow, creative director and CEO of the studio, tells us.
To bring this approach to the fore, the Swee wordmark has been drawn using hundreds of oscillating shapes, inspired by yeast and bacteria forming in a petri dish. The kombucha itself is another core visual element of the identity, but taken in the most literal sense; the ingredient list has been turned into an infographic system. Perniclas explains: “we designed a grid system with one hundred squares where each square is filled with a colour representing one percentage of an ingredient.” Each ingredient has been colourised according to its real-life counterpart – water is blue, pomegranate is red, ginger is yellow, and so on – meaning the front label also functions as an informational chart. These visuals actually derived from another fascinating reference point: the Windows 95 defrag process. “I remembered the 90s when I was defragging my first PC, waiting and waiting for these squares to fill up to 100 per cent,” says Perniclas.