Kahlua is a key ingredient in many cocktails and desserts. This is a liqueur made from Arabica coffee beans that are grown in the Mexican city of Veracruz. It also contains rum, sugar, and minor ingredients. Now the brand is partly owned by the French spirits producer Pernod Ricard.
Meaning and History
The Kahlua brand has been known since 1936 when the old wine company Allied Domecq introduced the first coffee liqueur. The unusual name of the product translates as “House of the Acolhua people.” That is how the Nahuatl language called the island next to the port of Veracruz. Using the toponym, the brand creator wanted to show the geographical homeland of his product.
Kahlua joined Pernod Ricard in 2005 with Allied Domecq. The new owner continues to develop the brand of alcoholic beverages and, in 2021, even replenished the range, reducing the strength to 16%. At the same time, he changed the style of the bottle, decorating the label with a modified emblem, which differs from the previous version in a cleaner design.
1936 – 2020
The main logo of the liquor manufacturer for a long time remained the inscription “KAHLÚA,” consisting of letters of uneven size. The largest is the first “K.” The two “A’s” are slightly smaller but protrude beyond the line. Moreover, there is a pronounced asymmetry in their case – even about the shape of the intra-letter gaps. Bold geometric font with rounded corners creates a soft feel. The word is colored bright red and placed on a yellow background with a thin red line around the edge.
2021 – today
The growing popularity of Kahlua prompted the brand’s owners to redesign. So in 2021, a bottle with a new label was presented, where the changed logo flaunted. With the help of angular lines and uneven thickness of the strokes, the developers tried to convey the Mexican character of the drink in the inscription. The letters seem to move to the beat of inaudible music. They are about the same height, although the first “K” and the last “A” extend beyond the bottom of the line. Above the “U” instead of a diacritic is a brown coffee bean, consisting of two parts.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The updated logo emphasizes the characteristic coffee aroma and taste of the liqueur, including Arabica. The designers played with the grain interestingly, placing it above the “U” instead of an accent. At the same time, they simplified the design of the inscription, getting rid of the wide bright outlines that created a festive mood. The brand name looks more restrained, although it has encrypted characters: “U” resembles the neck of a bottle where a coffee bean is about to fall.
In 2021, the ridiculous rounded font was replaced by a more formal, custom-made typeface. The letters remained asymmetrical, with the unevenness of the forms exacerbated by narrowing and expanding lines. Thanks to this, the name of the alcohol brand is more visible on labels that contain a lot of text.
The color scheme has also been drastically changed. Abandoning bright red and yellow, the liquor manufacturer repainted the inscription in burgundy with a hint of wine to emphasize the depth of taste. The coffee bean is traditionally colored dark brown, and the background of the main version of the logo is white.