Design: Elmwood New York
Location: United States
Project Type: Produced
Client: Tecate
Product Launch Location: Americas
Packaging Contents: Beer
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass bottle, aluminium, cardboard

Elmwood New York, the strategic design agency, has crafted the new brand identity for Tecate®, the second-largest beer brand in the Heineken® portfolio. The design elevates Tecate’s iconic assets and extends its traditionally masculine identity to feel more progressive and modern.

Tecate has historically been a leading beer brand in Northern Mexico. The Tecate team wanted to build on this regional success and extend the beer’s popularity to all of Mexico, including the younger and more cosmopolitan Mexico City. In short, they wanted Tecate to become the most desirable beer in the country. To accomplish this, they aimed to change the overall perception of the brand to feel more relevant, progressive and elevated without alienating their existing consumer base.

Tecate brought on Elmwood New York to design around this challenge. The agency partnered with the Tecate team to craft the new visual identity, packaging, brand world, design principles and brand guidelines. To get started, Elmwood NY conducted an extensive cultural immersion across Mexico to understand the various perceptions and behaviors in consumption and shopping across regions.

Meg Beckum, Executive Creative Director at Elmwood NY, said: “With a brand as beloved as Tecate, we knew that a boots-on-the-ground immersion across Mexico’s many regions would be necessary to inform a meaningful design. From this process, we understood that the brand is deeply entwined in the country’s cultural fabric. Yes, it’s a great beer, but it’s more than that: it’s an authentic lifestyle icon ingrained in Mexican sports, music and entertainment. We needed to shift the narrative beyond product—to an attitude encapsulating Tecate’s unapologetic boldness and modern masculinity. These insights helped to clarify the many behaviors and cultural traditions that the new Tecate design needed to support.”

With these learnings in hand, Elmwood NY revisited Tecate’s assets to build distinctiveness and help the beer stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace. This included emboldening the brand’s iconic eagle and wordmark as well as stripping back unnecessary visual clutter. The result is a more modern visual identity that embraces Tecate’s bold spirit.

Elmwood NY then partnered with Tecate’s advertising agency, Nomades, to craft the beer’s new brand world. This included everything from music festival and soccer sponsorships to point-of-sale and out-of-home advertisements.

Tecate began running ads with its new brand identity this summer. The brand’s updated packaging is currently rolling out to stores across Mexico and the U.S.