Absolutely Unique

Published:  November 26, 2012
Heath Killen
Absolutely Unique

Our November issue is not simply about celebrating the world of print, it’s also about looking forward to the future of the industry. Much of this future maintains a deep connection to the past (traditional processes and artisanal workshops look like they’ll be sticking around for some time to come) however new advancements in digital production, materials development, and changing consumer appetites mean that we’re seeing rapid and varied progress across the industry.

One such advancement is the increasing ability to produce high-quality, bespoke products in large volumes. Pioneers in this field such as Joshua Davis have been pushing at the boundaries of generative art and production for some time now, but we’re starting to see new opportunities arise in consumer products. ABSOLUT Vodka have taken a pretty serious dip into these waters with a new series titled ABSOLUT UNIQUE, which has resulted in four million unique bottle designs.

Jonas Tåhlin (VP Global Marketing at The Absolut Company) had this to say to us about the production.

“You might be surprised to know that standard machines were used to fulfil the production. Having said that, numerous modifications and new approaches have been applied to utilise the equipment compared to the normal setup. The machine software had to be re-written to enable the outcome we wanted as the original programs just did not meet our ambition for variation and randomness.”

“Training all quality checkpoints to decide between good design and actual flaw was also a big part. We put photos on the wall with examples of flaws in order to help the staff approve or disapprove. But, as always, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and although good methods were set up, the human factor made our designs even more versatile.”

Below is a video giving a behind the scenes look at how (and why) the series was put together.

The complete interview with Jonas Tåhlin is featured in our November issue.

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