CIHUATAN NIKTÉLimited edition design / Released in the global international market

primary & secondary packaging design / story telling

Ron Cihuatan is a crafted rum brand from El Salvador. The Cihuatán Valley’s closely guarded secrets and legends are the inspiration behind Cihuatán Rum. Their commitment is to share this sacred land’s secrets with the world, keeping their roots alive.

In the Nahuat dialect, “Cihuatán” means “the land beside the sleeping woman”. The legend says that a Goddess came to Cihuatán many centuries ago and bestowed this land with riches and fertility. Under her grace, Cihuatán has blossomed into fertile sugarcane fields and the purest of water, ingredients used to craft the rum. The new limited edition consists of a blend of 3 rums from the family’s private reserve, being produced in a limited capacity of 18,000 units.

The brief’s main objective was to launch a new exciting offer that would attract consumers and tell the mystical stories of El Salvador’s rich Mayan heritage, a highly conceptual project in its essence.  We were tasked to develop the primary and secondary packaging for this speciality rum while enhancing their premium craft credentials and telling their story in a captivating way.

With the Mayan heritage concept defined, our team took a deeper inspiration from the mystique of Kay Nikté, the Mayan festival of flowers. It involves an enchanting ceremony held beneath the moonlight where the Mayans would offer a sea of sacred petals to Ix-Chel, referred to as the goddess of the moon and goddess of fertility.

The Maya represented Ix-Chel as a young woman, as a symbol of the waxing moon, or else as an older woman, as a symbol of the waning moon, pouring a jug of water onto the earth.

Our main challenge was to capture the strength and beauty of the inflorescence process while conveying the fertility power of the Goddess, expressed by the two faces on the illustration. The left side represents the water that she bestows on the land and the right side is the fertility and blossoming flowers which directly links to ‘Kay Nikté’. Placed in the centre as a focal point, the moon plays a vital role to connect the flower festival to Ix-Chel, the goddess of the moon.

Introducing a floral motif was a challenge as we wanted to evoke the magical realism connected to the story but, at the same time, it should stay away from being perceived as girly or feminine.

Furthermore, various symbols represent Ix-Chel and her attributes, which we carefully expressed through this alluring illustration. The snake in her hair represents wisdom, medicine, care of the elder while the rabbit express fertility, subtly placed on the bottom right.

The label combines different printing techniques, such as transparent hot foils, gold foils, embossings and debossing, becoming a pretty complex label to produce due to all of these details combined together.

In order to add an extra touch of craft and premium appeal, the wooden cap was engraved with all key attributes that make this limited edition so special.