He’s a film director whose credits include Erin Brokovich, Traffic, and Contagion but now Steven Soderbergh is trying his hand at launching a new alcohol brand.

Steven Soderbergh

It took the Oscar-winner six years to get the Bolivian brandy that he claims “will f*&@ you up” and “make you introinvisible,” to market. Soderbergh credits his creation of Singani 63 to his ability to distinguish between something that is ordinary and something that’s exceptional. It’s the exact same judgement and decision making process he used throughout his incredibly successful Hollywood directing career. Attached to the neck of each bottle is a recipe booklet. Inside is the message: “Singani 63 is the culmination of a 50-year, privately funded project known as the Steven Soderbergh adventure, the purpose of which is to identify the exceptional in all areas of human endeavour.”

The fact that Soderbergh has translated his creative mantra from film to branding is what makes Singani 63 unique. Most brands are created to target a particular consumer group or fill a niche in the market, but this is different. Soderbergh tried the drink in 2008 while filming in Spain and was immediately obsessed by the buzz it gave him. Singani 63 is a brand completely driven by creativity and an owner who simply wants as many people as possible to experience it.


Singani 63’s packaging is contemporary featuring an illustration that pays homage to its Bolivian provenance.


This retro advert featuring Soderbergh and his pipe alongside a rather large sheep and the caption “This Sh*t Will F*ck You Up” is as unconventional as the brand itself.


The photo above is taken from the Singani 63 website shows the famous director ‘taking his horse for a gallop after enjoying a Singani 63‘ (see left). Where did he get that idea from, we wonder? (see right).

Soderbergh alone controls the voice of the brand, and what a distinctive voice it is. Alongside the obvious advantage of having a famous owner, it propels a product that not many people have tried before. At present, Singani 63’s finance comes only from Soderbergh. If the brand is to succeed and achieve the kind of distribution that’d justify all the director’s time and money, it’ll need some serious financial backing from another party. This person or group won’t just need to have capital. They’ll also need to trust Soderbergh’s creative direction 100% because without that Singani 63 is just another brand.


From the catwalk to the supermarket, designers have travelled back to the ancient Aztec civilisation for a heavy dose of inspiration. Beautiful, elegant, fun, playful, bright or black & white – the Aztec theme is adaptable and flexible.

Aztec pattern

Though we understand a large amount about ancient Aztec belief systems, they’re still deeply mysterious to us. Featuring Aztec symbols, motifs and imagery on their packaging, a host FMCG companies are enriching their brands and joining the ancient narratives of a historical population.

Frontera Tortilla Chips use transparent Aztec illustrations to show a glimpse of the product within. The brand is confident, bold and proud. The illustrations are cartoon-like yet remain sophisticated.

This packaging from the Cool Chile Company proves that it just takes triangles, circles, some bright colours, and a little imagination to create stunning premium design. Though minimalistic, the serpent graphic tells an important story: The Aztecs considered Quetzlcoatl or the ‘Feathered Serpent’ a god who ruled over the second era of Aztec creation. Quetzlcoatl was believed to be the patron of arts and knowledge as well as the first to bring a number of food products to the Aztec people.

Included in the food products Quezacoatl gifted to the Aztecs is cacao. That’s why this chocolate brand takes its affiliation with the Feathered Serpent God one step further than design, to naming. Its packaging further reinforces the versatility of the Aztec theme as rich, natural, earthy tones work alongside bright bursting colour.

Tesco Finest ground coffee uses Aztec symbolism to elevate itself to a premium position on shelf and provide powerful, exotic flavour appeal. Sleek black and silver colours bring premium appeal as bright Aztec illustrations provide character and personality.

Azetc symbols bring the weight of history and provenance to a brand. Hair Salsa humorously depicts Aztec figures with added luscious locks. According to the designer, the bottles are actual used salsa bottles. Great provenance and an encapsulating story but would you want salsa anywhere near your hair?

More chocolate. Simplistic elements combine and interlink to give the impression of detail.


It was 6am this morning and bluemarlin London’s Studio Manager Alex was munching his Corn Flakes in front of his TV. This morning, as he often does, he’d chosen to watch re-runs of British police procedural television series The Bill. As the opening credits ended and the first scene began Alex quite literally spat his cereal out in shock. He watched as coppers Phil and Sam investigated a robbery at a location he recognised. In actual fact, it was a location at which he was due to arrive in less than three hours time – bluemarlin London.

The episode in question dates back to 2006, 6 years before bluemarlin moved into its address by the River Thames in Fulham.

Watch the clip below and share our amazement as our studio bathes in its A-list location status. 

About bluemarlin London

Situated on the banks of the Thames, bluemarlin London has been the mainstay of the company since opening its doors in 2002. The largest studio within the group, this multifaceted team has the talent, expertise and resources to take on the most challenging branding and design projects: from the colossal packaging overhauls of global brands to the brand creation of entrepreneurial start-ups.

As diverse in its passions as its industry skills, bluemarlin London is a place where cyclists, art aficionados, foodies and musicians converge to produce world-class design.

bluemarlin London basks in the sunshine of fame back in 2012.

bluemarlin London basks in the sunshine of fame back in 2012.


Norway’s new series of banknotes belong in a gallery rather than a high-security vault or stuffed into a wallet. Earlier this year Norges Bank invited eight local design studios to produce concepts for the design of a new series of moolah notes. 

The Norwegian central bank’s brief instructed participating agencies to focus their designs on “the sea.” A simple yet fascinating entity that plays a huge part in Scandinavian culture. Ultimately, only two designs were selected. The wonderfully abstract, pixelated blur of Snøhetta for the back of the notes and the more literal drawings of The Metric System for the front.

The reverse of the note by Snøhetta

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From Snøhetta‘s website:

‘Human beings settle nearby rivers, mountain chains, mountain passes, and coasts. We settle near boundaries – near the boundary between one element and the other. 

The beauty of boundaries is about the transition between sea and land, where something meaningful and interesting happens. Over time the sea becomes commonplace, just as land easily becomes so. However, where sea and land meet there is life. There is life in the same way as life on earth exists between sea and air, between land and air. Where water meets earth, soft meets hard, wet meets dry, life is created. 

Our long coast has created our identity, our heritage, and our industries. It has created national and international transport opportunities, as well as the creation of our welfare society. It is a vivid meeting that creates life’. 

The front of the note by The Metric System

norwegian kronerUnder the title ‘Norwegian Living Space’, The Metric System’s entry features detailed illustrations that capture multiple elements of the ocean and Norway’s coast. Norges Bank said The Metric System’s design is “very well suited to the incorporation of necessary security elements”, and combined with Snohetta Design’s entry “will give the notes both a traditional and a modern expression.”

The bad news for any Norwegians or tourists wishing to visit Norway and spend some of these beauties, is that they won’t be available until 2017 at the earliest.

Download this pdf to see all the designs submitted to Norges Bank.


The mountain town of Telluride in Colorado is a unique and amazing place. A ski resort in winter and an outdoor activities haven in summer, it plays host to numerous festivals and Ralph Lauren’s 16,000 acre ranch is on its outskirts. The surrounding area even boasts a healthy population of mountain lions.

At the epicentre of the heritage mining settlement is a high street free from the glare of traffic lights and neon signage with no buildings above two stories. The result is a stream of retailers using creativity and craft that’s in keeping with the local aesthetic, to construct an identity that’ll attract shoppers.

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Kate Moss

London’s 34 Restaurant has launched a Champagne coupe moulded by supermodel Kate Moss’ left bosom. Kate Moss coupe

The swanky Mayfair venue, where Kate celebrated her 40th birthday, joined forces with British artist Jane McAdam Freud for the much-discussed project. The 34 Kate Moss Coupe design features an elongated slender stem and a bowl decorated with an etched Art Deco-influenced geometric pattern. Moss’ signature is engraved on the base to provide a subtle and elegant final touch.

The association between women’s breasts and drinking vessels goes back as far as Helen of Troy, whose mammary glands are said to have shaped cups. Though historians would disagree, it is said that Marie-Antoinette’s left breast was the mould for the original coupe glass. Apparently, the French Queen wanted her court to toast her health by drinking from glasses shaped like her bosom.

It’s no surprise that the coupe’s structure is determined by a breast, as they’re said to be lucky. The Casa di Giulietta is a house in Verona, Italy, that many believe is the Capulets’ house from Shakespeare’s celebrated tragedy Romeo & Juliet. A bronze statue in the house’s small courtyard depicts a Juliet with her bust exposed. Tourists and locals flock to the sculpture to stroke the breast, believing that the action will bring them good fortune. 

34’s new coupe has been created, not only to celebrate Kate Moss’ 40th birthday but also her 25 year career in Fashion. Over the last quarter-century Kate Moss has posed for every major fashion photographer and dated a host of stars including Johnny Depp and Daniel Craig. She’s become the most famous model in the world through her beauty, countless newspaper column inches and a long list of brand endorsements. 

The style stalwart’s famous figure won’t always look the same but her famous catwalks, advertisements and the likes of 34’s new Champagne coupe will preserve it forever.

Kate Moss' Calvin Klein adverts with Marky Mark are amongst her most famous.

Kate Moss’ Calvin Klein adverts with Marky Mark are amongst her most famous.

Although you won’t be able to buy the coupe, you can get your hands on one by ordering Champagne at London’s 34 Restaurant, The Ivy Scott’s, Daphne’s and The Club from October 9.

[Via Dezeen


Each bluemarlin studio was invited to spend a little time in the world around them finding inspiration in everything and anything they saw. The goal was to find the 26 letters of the alphabet hidden in their area and spell out an epithet specific to their city.

If you’re not sure what the phrases they went with mean there is a link to explain beneath each of them.

‘Apples & Pears’ 

LondonWhat does this mean?

‘Organic Free Range Thinkers and Cider Drinkers’

BathThe Bath studio is surrounded by miles of beautiful British countryside and Somerset county is famed for its cider production. 



‘Singapore Can Lah’

SingaporeWhat does this mean?

New York
‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’

New YorkWhat does this mean?



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