Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Rum Collective's Brand Logo

The Rum Collective's Brand Logo
The Rum Collective is pleased to introduce its new brand logo! Brand logos are often employed to identify a business and help form a simple association between it and the products or services provided. Using logos or symbols is nothing new to humans, who have been mastering the concept since the dawn of time. In certain cases, these logos or symbols hold significant meaning, create an emotional response in the viewer and display their power through their imagery and what it represents. In order for my idea of this logo design to come alive, we consulted Daniel Young, the graphic design specialist and art force behind Daniel Young Studios. This is the third piece Daniel has finished for The Rum Collective and proud of it we are! The anchor is the central element and is consistent with The Rum Collective's overall graphical theme. The red filigree in the background represents a living collective. It grows organically integrating into the objects in its environment. It visually represents the provision of education on rum and assimilation of followers into the rum lifestyle. We paused Daniel's artistic journey for a few questions regarding his work for The Rum Collective...over a glass of rum naturally.

TRC: How did you get involved in The Rum Collective's brand logo project?

DY: I met Nick about three years ago. I teach art and design at a local academy, so Nick knew about my art career. When he formed TRC, he asked if I could help with the brand's artistic development. After designing his website image and business card, it made sense to continue with the vision on the brand logo.

TRC: What is story behind the brand logo design? Does it symbolize something?

DY: Every image of TRC has a connection to rum or its history. From the beginning, Nick wanted the anchor to be a prominent feature in the design. The anchor's association with the Navy and transport of rum was clear. He did surprise me though, with the proposed organic "tendrils" that flowed around and into the anchor. I think they symbolize a fluid entity, growing and changing, imparting the feeling of a living organism.

TRC: What was the most challenging aspect of the brand logo artistically speaking?

DY: Nick's idea was beautiful, but very detailed and crafting the concept of the tendrils to both our satisfaction was an enduring process. It required close-up, intimate detail with free hand brushing as well as adjusting drop shadows in different layers to portray the three dimensional effect wanted.

TRC: What got you started in art and more specifically graphic design?

DY: When I was younger, I didn't really have toys. My Dad would always draw me toys that I'd play with on the kitchen floor. Ever since then I've hand drawn things for fun and entertainment. Many years later I graduated with a degree in Illustration. I've worked quite a lot as a traditional freelance illustrator and still do. Accepting the work from TRC allowed for a more concentrated focus on brand design. So far I've really enjoyed it.

TRC: Are you a rum drinker? Has working for TRC influenced your preference in rum? Which rum are you drinking now?

DY: You know, to be honest, I never really liked rum...not until I attended The Rum Collective's first meeting. I always found it burnt my throat. I've tried several rums since then and loved them all. In fact, TRC is designing the rum-based cocktails for my wedding. Recently, Ron Abuelo 7yr has been my go-to rum.

TRC: First the website image, then the business card and now completion of the brand logo. Which piece did you enjoy most? Why? What's next?

DY: That's really hard, actually. Every art piece I worked on with Nick was both a challenge and a blast. I love the business card for its clean strong design further pronounced in printed form. The brand logo...because it defines TRC like a visual representation of an organization. I will say I enjoyed the website image most because it's mysterious and hits the part of me that loves fantasy art. Taking Seattle and transforming it slightly while playing on the Treasure Island theme struck my fantasy side. It was an honor to work on it. I am continuing with TRC on several t-shirt designs coming soon. As for what's next, well, I'd like to do some more work for corporations on their visual image and making them more accessible and meaningful to the public. Working as a full time consultant is my end goal.

The Rum Collective would like to thank Daniel Young for a job well done!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rum Renaissance 2011: The VIP Experience

Going to Rum Renaissance is a must do, something to put on your list before you die; going VIP is an experience you will want to stay alive for forever. Is the price worth it you ask? One could analyze the cost for what the ticket provides. For example, simple math indicates if you attend just the VIP Parties and Grand Tastings, you would pay less than $30 per event. Each event allows for its own unique experience. Now add a treat like the Zombie Jamboree (see my recent post), numerous Celebrity Seminars, Cocktail Competitions and the Island Lifestyle Showcase and that equates to a solid investment in rum fun. For those who like crunching numbers, calculate this - RUM IS INCLUDED! For me, any assigned cost is irrelevant, like setting a price on time with friends and family. Evenings spent catching up with your rum loving mates and meeting new ones while making your way to different VIP venues tasting aged rums, drinking exotic cocktails and sampling specialty hors d'oeuvres is time well spent. Warmth from the sun, rum in my glass and long sandy beaches brings forth romantic images of a far away desert island. The romance of rum is apparent and melted a few hearts at the Rum Renaissance VIP events this year. Were you one of the lucky few? If not, here is a sampler of the VIP Party menu that left the feeling of complete satiety. A sort of South Beach Diet for rum lovers if you will.

Ron Brugal
(Blanco, Extra Viejo, Anejo)
Brugal VIP Party

A beautiful palm tree lined, grass area behind The Palms Hotel is the setting. Attractive smiles in Dominican attire greet us. Ron Brugal cocktails are served and La Flor Domicana cigars are being lit among the many appetizer plates that pass beneath your nose to disappear all too quickly. As darkness falls, live Latin music of Alto Nivel
Brugal Party
fills the air (live video) and the furniture begins to glow. Rum pairs perfectly with Latin music. Eyes become distracted by the stylish shoes moving quickly with the beat and in harmony with those provocative hip movements characteristic in Latin dancing. It is a Dominican Rum Party alright. Viva Ron Brugal! The rum flows and this party goes on and on...

Tobacco Road
Zafra VIP Party

Tobacco Road is the known as the oldest bar in Miami and an exciting location to sip a rum like Zafra Master Reserve Rum 21yr. Upon entering, one makes a short walk down memorabilia lane to find a patio and not surprisingly the scent of cigars and fine rum.
Zoriga's cigars
(at Tobacco Road)
A woman named Zoriga tells me she has been hand rolling cigars for 25 years. The speed and care I witness speak for themselves. They are picture perfect as the smoke fills the air amidst the waves of flash photography. If you were there, you may have had the pleasure of having an informative conversation with Zafra's Master Blender and Director, a living legend in fine rum making, Mr. Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez. I did and it was a conversation that I will not soon forget. (Thanks in part to my translator Joey Casanova!) Rum and more rum-filled fun is the motto here folks as we move on to...

Bacardi decor
Bacardi VIP Party

Bacardi Headquarters, almost like entering Fort Knox but perfect daiquiris are served here. Oh yeah! This functional museum of Bacardi artifacts is a must stop for any rum aficionado in the area. Here with your VIP badge you might admire age old cocktail recipes and take in some history while sipping a refreshing Bacardi mojito or Reserva Limitada (see my recent post) or both!
Robert A Burr and David Cid
We were given a special welcome from David Cid, Bacardi's Brand Master Apprentice, who also lectured at one of the Seminars offered at Rum Renaissance. Notice in the photo to the right, Mr. Burr has curious smile about him. The master plan he knows and later that evening RumXPs had the rare opportunity to have a tasting and meet Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of the Board and the great-great grandson of the founder, Don Facundo Bacardi. Wow!! Moving on...

Chesterfield Browne
Mount Gay VIP Party

Chesterfield Browne, International Brand Ambassador & Mixologist for Mount Gay Rum, says it best, "Mount Gay Rum is the rum that invented rum!" Set up outside at the SOHO Beach House, live music and mixed drinks flood the party. 
Paul Yellin and Robert A. Burr
Oh, did I mention the food? Mouth watering morsels under the direction of Paul Yellin a.k.a.,The Rhum Chef, couldn't come out fast enough. The presentation and delicious flavors left many a serving plate empty within minutes as they entered the crowd. Check out his latest book, Infusion: Spirited Cooking in the Caribbean for a taste at home. Chester, who also presented at the Seminars is great fun to talk rum with and listen to. (Northwest readers should know he will be in Seattle, WA later this month!) Soon, the luxurious Mt. Gay 1703 was being enjoyed neat as the party became standing room only. Success!

Rum on yo...more parties!

Abuelo VIP Party

Passing through the entrance to the VIP party sponsored by Ron Abuelo proved difficult for many. Many stopped for photos if not just to ogle. Few words can capture the essence of a moment in time like a photo. (See below) Ron Abuelo's attractive presentation at Rum Renaissance is difficult to best and fitting for such a well-rounded line of rums. Located in the famous Deauville Beach Resort Jazz Club, this party was convenient and a practical segue for an afterparty. An excited crowd reveled in the various Abuelo rums before video screens displaying many rum making processes
Ron Abuelo Girls & David Russell
(holding Ron Abuelo Centuria)
 at Varela Hermanos S.A., the site where Ron Abuelo is made. Rum punch and fish bowl antics from behind the bar and a celebratory introduction to Ron Abuelo Centuria by Ricardo March, VP Sales and Marketing at Varela Hermanos S.A., marked an incredible evening. Winning!!

VIP Please and Thank You!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rum Renaissance 2011: RumXP Tasting Competition Results

2011 RumXP International Tasting Competition

The door to the competition reads "Judges Only". The RumXPs (The International Rum Expert Panel) are fit to judge. This closed door competition is composed of five blinded tasting sessions, covering 9 categories including more than 80 different rums from around the world. Awesome! RumXPs are serious about rum and the final results will tell all. The RumXP awards given at Rum Renaissance, the largest and most significant rum event in the western hemisphere, will again set an anchor of prestige and influence in the rum waters that be. But, which rum will medal and how will it place? The Results are in! Click on the link and be one of the first to learn what the experts think!