Aurora’s Brand Story
Our founder talks packaging and design inspiration with Surface Magazine’s Design Dose.
How did the idea come about?
I was working as a beverage industry consultant in Oregon when recreational cannabis was legalized in the state. As a long time cannabis user with over a decade of experience in the alcohol industry, it was easy to see early on that certain groups of consumers and creators were not represented in the first wave of products making their way onto dispensary shelves. There was a need for products that were design-forward, made with thoughtfulness and integrity and appealing to casual users as well as newcomers to the category. Aurora Elixirs was established with this in mind and with the hope of integrating cannabis and cocktail cultures.
What was the design brief?
For the initial branding, we worked closely with old friends and collaborators at Sideways in NYC. The brief was originally inspired by my obsession at the time with Italian aperitivos and retro cigarette packaging; bold colors, graphic and lots of metallic gold. Feminine, but modern. Over time, more celestial elements crept in to reinforce the mythology and magic behind Aurora. For our most recent packaging update, we collaborated with the ladies at Designsake Studios in San Francisco. The objective this time was to retain the mystical mood of the original branding while enhancing the legibility of the packaging for a retail environment.
What was the biggest inspiration for the design?
The Greek mythological goddess of the dawn. She inspired the name which was both feminine and fitting for a new category of goods. This idea led us to a design aesthetic that is ephemeral but also modern.
What’s one aspect of the design that stands out to you?
Our color pallet is very distinctive to me. We call it “jewel toned” but coupled with metallic gold accents throughout, it is elevated and timeless rather than trendy.
What materials were used and how were they chosen?
We originally decided to use a petite 200ml (or 6.7oz) glass bottle because, in my opinion, that was the right amount of sparkling beverage: one glass poured over ice and the equivalent of one serving when medicated (either with a small dose of THC or CBD).
What makes this product stand out from its competitive set?
I think we’ve approached the category with a level of refined sophistication that is not common in the CBD beverage space. Many adjacent brands sought inspiration from energy drinks and functional beverages, but our roots are in cocktails and champagne. I think that makes us look, feel, and taste different from a lot of other products on the shelf. We purposefully sought to make a unique beverage with ingredients that were not previously commercially viable and therefore unexplored. Our intention was to highlight the natural flavors and aromas of the plant and to present it in a way that evoked a transcendent mood.