Design Process for my Vodka Premix Bottle

Design Process for my Vodka Premix Bottle

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Vodka Bottles

In this University project, we had to create a Vodka premix bottle and label design for ‘Wedgetail Distillery’ using Cinema 4D and the Adobe Creative Suite. Here is how I went about doing it.

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The scenario we were given (in short)

Wedgetail Distillery, makers of premium vodka produtcts have asked you to design the new bottle and labels for their pre-mixed vodka and citrus drink. It is a mid priced product (about $65 for a case of 24) and they are aiming for the 18 to 35 year old market. It must have all the Australian legal requirements (which we had to research). It can have up to 4 colours including special or spots or CMYK if you wish. It must feature an eagle somewhere.

You must complete a 3D render of your bottle in Cinema 4D and the final presentation must be A4 in size and it must be targeted towards the client to sell your design concept.

Design Process


I first redefined the problem, then I researched bottle designs by going into my local bottle store and I also borrowed packaging books from the university library. I also researched vodka & the legal requirements for Australian packaging and alcohol. Who ever thought I was going to be researching Vodka?

Bottle OutlineBottle Design Sketches

This was where we had to design the outline of the bottle. We could have any shape or texture or material we wanted, there were no restrictions.

I kept to the typical glass bottle design as I wanted to make it look realistic as possible however I did add some cool bevelled effects to the bottom of the glass bottle.

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You can see to the left the shape of the bottle designed.

Label Design Sketches & Vectorisation

After I had the bottle design done I could now start on the design of the label. I did a lot of sketches here and then once I had the general idea of how I wanted the design to look I started vectorising my ideas.

Vodka Labels

You can see the vector outline of my original label to the left and then the final label designs below. The fonts I used were Mesquite Std Medium (for Wedgetail), Adobe Garamond Pro Bold (for Citrus), Edwardian Script ITC Regular (for Premium Vodka).

The colours I used were Pantone 877C (Metallic), Pantone 8404C (Metallic), Pantone 1795 C (Solid Uncoated), Pantone Process Black U.

Final Vodka Labels

3D Rendering

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After the labels were completed we had to render the 3D bottle in Cinema 4D from our original bottle designs. After we had rendered the 3D bottle then we had to bring the labels into Cinema 4D and wrap them around the 3D Bottle.

Below you can see a screenshot from Cinema 4D of me doing all of this.

Cinema 4D


After I had completed all the renderings it was time for me to make them presentable. In Photoshop I experimented with different backgrounds and effects to see what was the best. Below you can see just some of the experimentations of different background effects.

I added the lemons into the composition to for scale and to add a bit of contrast to the image and to emphasise the citrus flavour of the vodka premix drink. I created smoke using the clouds filter and then used a light feathering on the clouds. I then added a zoom effect to make it look like a kind of back light coming out of the bottle.


Final Composition

Below is the final A4 composition that I printed out on Semi Gloss photo paper and to be honest it looks so much better in print. What do you guys think?

If you want to check out more of my university work go here.

Wedgetail Vodka Bottle

As an added extra, just because I liked this project so much I did a little mock up of the 6 pack box.

6 Pack

Comments are always appreciated.

69 thoughts on “Design Process for my Vodka Premix Bottle”

  1. Absolutely beautiful brand, and overall outcome! Bravo.

    Eli’s last blog post..Leave a Comment – Get a dA Subscription*

  2. Wow their awesome jacob! Im very jealous of ur talent!

    Nikki’s last blog post..Welcome to the DesignNerd Blog

  3. i’m just curious, what are the Australian legal requirements for softdrinks ? Is “premium citrus vodka” enough ?

  4. Good observation you had there. Actually all the legal requirements are on the back however I didn’t think this was an important aspect in selling the concept and brand to the client so you can only see the back and side view of the bottles in the bottom right corner of the final design. The legal requirements included having a bar code, a recycle symbol, percentage of alcohol per volume, address of distillery, an ingredients list, how many standard drinks it had inside and we also had to include a short description of what was inside.

  5. Nicey done! I like the variety of poster options you created, and I like the one you chose. I think the blue one works well too – more of an afternoon BBQ atmosphere, for people who don’t drink beer at those events.

    Excellent work wrapping the label. I’m alright at modelling 3D, but I’m pretty useless at applyig flat things onto the models.

    Assignment done two weeks early! I don’t think I’ve ever done that. 😛

    kristarella’s last blog post..1 uni update, 7 linkies and a birthday

  6. Jacob,

    Excellent work mate! Impressive.

    I liked the blue background you did, provided a lot of contract to the bottle.

    I also agree on the weeble bottom!

    Really cool post. As someone that never got to be a graphic design student, I am very jealous of the great uni projects you get. The parents demanded that I got a business degree instead….5 years later, I am making a living from graphic and web design! Everytime im back home in Ireland, I remind them with an “I told you so”!

    You never seem to let us in on feedback you receive from your professor/teacher…Im interested to see how you match up to the other students in your class. Does anyone in your class blog also?

    Thanks for the post

    Brian Yerkes’s last blog post..Logo Composition (Part 2) – Symmetry

  7. you truly are a natural talent, for someone who for the first time went 3d your design outcome looks wonderful, neat and clean design yet with a prestigious feel to it. Nice!

  8. Jacob,

    I love it and you know I always like your work, but I have to admit, the base does look a bit like one of those Weebles ( little round-based toys, “wobble but they don’t fall down,” don’t know if that means anything to you being in AUS and a lot younger than I am). Just a little picky thing. Too rounded?

    (Hey, maybe that’s a good thing for after your target market has had one too many. 🙂 )

    The lemons are a perfect touch, not just for scale but for contrast, also. The vibrant yellow gives the eye a reason to visit that last area on the page. I think the label colors you chose are very “now,” too.

    The wedge-tail is very nicely done. Subtle.



    Kelly’s last blog post..Tip of the Week: Want Profits? Don’t Be Cruel

  9. As much as I disliked 3D, I really wish they had made us learn it early on so we could create more realistic packaging mockups. This looks pretty good, Jacob! It’s an interesting mix of Wild West (Mesquite typeface) and English crests. It’s great how you turned it into an ad, too. Very slick. You had quite a range of experience with this project: concept, logo, packaging, 3D, ad layout… Would have loved to see those initial sketches. Post them next time!

    You are creating a great triangle between all three instances of the red-orange logo and if done right, this can very effectively keep the viewer’s eye on the page. Can I make a suggestion? The lemons at the bottom, because they are bright (value and color wise), lead the eye out of the page. Try darkening them a bit; not so they are unnatural, but so they draw less attention to the lower right corner.

    Your design skills have really improved since the first projects I saw in your portfolio! How far along in your studies are you now?

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curio’s last blog post..Mastering Photoshop Masks: Expert Techniques

  10. Great job!! I love the label design. It’s very elegant, and yet it’s bold and modern. My only suggestion would be to make the bottle design more streamlined. The shape reminds me of a beer bottle, which to me doesn’t fit the classiness of premium vodka (unless this is supposed to be like an everyday kind of drink?). Also, the label already leans a bit towards the masculine side, so I would balance this by making the bottle a little more feminine. Nothing crazy. Just a more subtly smooth curve on the sides. I feel like the bottle looks more marketed towards young males. Otherwise, an outstanding job! 🙂

  11. Zaza,
    Yeah it did take quite a bit of a learning curve but once you got the basics it was ok. But to tell you the truth I probably couldn’t make much else without more practice.

    Yes, I actually have just noticed that – strange I never did before. Argh so annoying. Least I have 2 more weeks.

    Always good to hear that people like my work. As in the comment to DT above yes I have just noticed it and yes it is way too rounded and it is a Weeble (I posted a pic below, it made me laugh). Maybe I can edit it in PS without another half hour render but we will see.

    I am thinking now I should have added the lemons to the 6 pack box as well. It just shows there is always room for improvement especially after you hear feedback from others.

    Glad you got the wedge – tail bit hehe, didn’t think anyone would pick up on that.

    Kristarella, Erica
    I also liked the blue one as well but wasn’t really what image I was going for. I wanted an edgy kind look about it which the black proved best however I do agree with Erica about it being quite masculine – whether this is a good or bad thing I do not know but a more feminine bottle could work. But yes it is an everyday kind of drink (mid range) much alike how Smirnoff is marketed – they call it premium yet it is one of the cheapest brands of Vodka there is. Actually now I think of it, pretty much every bottle I researched had ‘Premium’ on the bottle.

    Thank you all for your comments, it is always appreciated!

  12. Brian,
    Yes it did provide a lot of contrast but I thought just too much, it clashed with the actual brand of the bottle.

    The uni projects are what you make of them. They are so flexible (unlike most real world jobs) so that is the best thing. Too bad about the business degree but it is something that will always stay with you.

    I never get to give feedback as I post the articles before I even hand my projects in to mark. It then takes about a month or two before the marks even come back in and by that time everyone has moved on from the article but if you are curious I am on the Uni’s faculty commendation list (over 85% average).

    There is one other friend of at Uni who I know who blogs by the name of Asgeir Hoem ( but he doesn’t really write – he used to.

    You can always make up mock-ups that aren’t 3D such as the the 6 pack box I did. I found this great post on creative bits where I actually got the box for the 6 pack. – It has lots of blank products that you can brand.

    Yeah well this project as I think earlier mentioned was a third year project (even though I am in second year I am kind of skipping ahead haha) that is why it was such a wide range of experience.

    Re the sketches it is best you didn’t see them 😛 No one could understand them but myself but I will next time for kicks.

    I will have a go changing the brightness of the lemons, thanks!

    Great to hear I have improved. I am 1 year and 1/2 a semester through my studies. I have 1 year and 1.5 more semesters to go… that is unless I get some massively cool job and I will just drop out.

    What age / year of students do you teach? It is quite a hard project if you are doing it in 3D but making a mock-up such as the 6 pack box I did it is quite easy. All you need to learn is the perspective and scale tool.

    Hopefully, if not I will render it all again which is a massive process.

  13. You know what? I have never tried any other 3d program however I did read an article on different 3d programs and most people actually use Cinema 4D as it is the easiest. The ultra elite pros go for AutoCad.

  14. Hi Jacob, great work. I love the colours you’ve used and the shape of the label is terrific.

    It’s an interesting project too – I think I’m going to give it to my next set of students on the photoshop class.

    Jennifer’s last blog post..Photoshop Tip : Clone from one image to another

  15. I’ve used Blender and the trials of Cinema 4D and Maya. Blender has a steep learning curve, but is very powerful – and free. Cinema 4D is definitely worth the $90 or whatever it costs. It’s easy to use and makes pretty things. Maya is similar to C4D in terms of interface and functions, but it must have some super features when you get deep down into it because it’s about $5000.

    kristarella’s last blog post..Retro halftone text in GIMP

  16. And AutoCad is $6000+ I had a go at Xara3D once but I think that lasted a whole of 30minutes and I never came back to it. Now I think of it, it still is installed.

  17. Jacob Cass, I donÂ’t speck english, I speack Spanish. Maravillosa tu página, quiero pedir permiso para publicar este proceso de diseño en la web de la Red Latinoamericana de Diseño ( Si me escribes algo especial de este diseño te lo agradeceré mucho.

    Edit: From Babelfish the translation told me…
    Wonderful your page, I want to request permission to publish this process of design in the Web of the Latin American Network of Design ( If you write something to me special of this design I will thank for you much.

  18. Whooa that’s cool man. how does cinema 4d fair in comparison with simpler programs like xara3d?

    aronil’s last blog post..Cramping A Blogger’s Style

  19. oooh ok, i asked because I have been meaning to try this effect out from shiny binary, and the tutorial mentioned xara3d. I’ll give cinema 4d a go

    aronil’s last blog post..Cramping A Blogger’s Style

  20. Oh, cool! Thanks for that link, Jacob. I signed up for a CB account a while ago, but never used it much. With finds like this, perhaps I should be visiting them more!

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curio’s last blog post..Thank You!

  21. Haha! I love what you’ve done – and I love that a Google search while doing research for my own submission for this assignment actually brought me here. XD

    Looks great (much better than mine so far!) I think that’s a HD coming your way, definitely.

    Now I’m going to have to explore your site further!

  22. Thanks Jenna.

    Hi Nikki,

    Second year IT student at Newcastle I read on your about page, are you enjoying your course?

    Thanks for your comments and hopefully HD.


  23. Actually, third year! Thanks for pointing that out to me – I noticed it’s still in my CV and such, too. I need to keep those up to date! XD

    But yeah, so far – even if you have just totally showed me up. 😉

    Hope Chris and the tutors agree with me come marking time – although with all the work you’ve put into it, I’m sure they will!
    And hey, maybe I’ll spot you in class sometime. XD

  24. You know, the more I visit your site, the more that I wish I took graphic design in college. Ah, well, I could always go back, I suppose.

    The package – for some reason – reminds me of Smirnoff, but it’s still very classy. Nice!

    Just saw the date of this post… boy, am I late! LOL!

    Erikas last blog post..Miami Web Design

  25. Erika,
    No worries about being late 😛 I leave most of my posts open for comments. It probably reminds you of Smirnoff because of the Silver and Red colours.

    The sixpack was a blank canvas that I had from my files and was only a mockup and I had the shot before the bottle was designed.

  26. This work is a statement! I have a powerful idea I want you help and opinion on please contact me.
    kind regards, frederick

  27. Question.

    How to add a label – just as you did above – without having a white square in the background(which is what I end up with) once I upload the label-design as a material in cinema 4d.

    I don’t know if I’ve been clear, imaging the vodka bottle above but with a white square arround the logo in the center of the bottle, that is what I’m trying to avoid.

    Any suggestions?

  28. Alfonso,
    Ensure you use alpha channels, and RGB colour space and TIFF or JPG files only.

    ie. Create your main label, then create an alpha channel and mask out the areas around the label. Ensure you use 100% black alpha.

  29. Thank You Jacob, I’m going to try that inmediately, just to make sure we are in the same page, when you say Alpha channels you refer to Cinema 4d materials Alpha channel, or Photoshop Alpha channels.

    Thanks again.

  30. No worries, I refer to the alpha channels in Cinema4d. However you should make use of the alphas in PS to make your job easier and more accurate. You can export alpha channels from Cinema4D in the render settings by clicking Alpha channels (found under Save or Output from memory).

  31. All right understood.
    You Know I’ve been crawling the internet in vane seeking for the solution you just give me.

    Thanks a lot, and by the way awsome work.

  32. Hi Jacobs,

    I came from non-alcoholic environment nor vamiliar with any brand.

    considering that your task was promoting something premium, the bottle and collor selection of the design is not well representing it. Your bottle is verymuch similar with beer bottle. and the collor is not glamourous or exclusive enough.

    sorry for this non-alcoholoc experience comment


  33. Damantoro,
    One must also consider that if these were to be made professionally, they would have metallic foil on the labels to give the aura of premium vodka.

    Also, if you look on vodka bottles these days, nearly every vodka bottle, it says ‘premium’. It is nearly standard these days.

  34. Your talent is off the charts Jacob. One thing I did notice about your vodka bottle is that the bottle cap looks too smooth. I would probably make the cap rigid. Also the blue/violet background mockup would works well with the yellow lemons and would be exceleent with a clear bottle. Hope that helps. Your blog is a true inspiration to creative minds.

  35. we are not treating with alcohol products and not respecting proceeds to make it in our relegion,but anyway you are a great designer and talanted, i am reading all your Paragraphs about designs because i am a new student in logos design world, my name is haytham, civil engineer, and i am very glade to be one of your fans and friends.

  36. Great stuff.

    I was the designer for the original Almaden Wine bottle design (when the bottle was actually twisted and not just shaped to look twisted – like these days).

    It was great to see you start with the bottle shape, move to the design of the label and present a 3D comp.

  37. Hey Jacop,
    I like to explore your website a lot, every day try to come and see what s new on your site! I have learn and know a lots from you…The bottle is really nice, but i see the logo with the eagle sound a bit funny…like the eagle after drunk then bang on the bottle 😀 Just my opinion…:D

  38. Great detailing work and sketches
    liked the way you have presented the design process hope it takes off to production.
    keep it up cass

  39. I’m just startign with Blender learning for myself at home with GIMP too. I have tried photoshop, illustrator 3DSMax a little, but I prefer to be able to eat and keep my corporate slave, ever ethical.

    I also agree about the bottle. It needs to go up and in or flattish at the base otherwise it’s the wobbly policeman in Noddy..

    xie xie

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