Derrick Lin


Design: KIND
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Packaging Content: Aquavit
Packaging Material: Glass, paper
Location: Norway

Kind has developed the brand and design for Varg Veum Aquavit. The aquavit has been produced in cooperation with Gunnar Staalesen, author of the best-selling Varg Veum novels, the aquavit-loving private detective who has also featured on the big screen.

The aquavit is aimed at the European market, where Varg Veum is already a well-known character among lovers of crime literature. The aquavit was launched on 15 October – Varg Veum’s birthday in the books.
Staalesen’s crime novels about private detective Varg Veum have been translated into 17 languages. More than anyone else, Staalesen is credited with introducing social realism to Norwegian crime literature.

‘Creative, imaginative and efficient’
He said: ‘When the makers of Varg Veum Aquavit, Oss Craft Distillery, introduced me to the branding agency Kind, who are responsible for the design and marketing of the product, it was a completely new name to me. It proved to be an acquaintance well worth making. The people at Kind are creative, imaginative and efficient, and they show great enthusiasm and clearly enjoy their work.

‘It is a demanding job to design a product like this and launch it in a market where there are many competitors, while at the same time incorporating the profile and the background of an iconic figure like Varg Veum.

‘Kind have done this job to perfection. They have found an elegantly shaped bottle with a simple, but modern, design. But it stands out from all the other brands because they have wrapped the bottle in brown paper, just like the paper bags alcoholics use to camouflage their bottles when drinking on the street.

‘If you examine the paper more closely, you find the silhouette of a map of Bergen on the bottom and, here and there, small handwritten notes, clearly written by Varg Veum while working on a case. This gives the finished product a distinctive touch that will make it stand out on the shelves wherever it is sold, and that will make it harder to just put back on the shelf.’

Kind worked independently and with a clear idea about what the finished product should look like, but the author behind Varg Veum has been on board from the start as partner and copywriter – making the final result very much a team effort.

‘I raise my little glass with a wolf’s paw on the side and, like Varg Veum, say: ‘Skål!’ says Gunnar Staalesen.