Quick Brown Fox creator Arjun Haszard, in the process of setting up the packaging for his liqueur, was told his design needed to be simpler and more easily recognisable.
Haszard then set about ignoring the advice he was given.
“People love the fox,” Haszard says. “Or at least they like art, they have an opinion on it.”
Quick Brown Fox is a coffee liqueur, but one with a difference. While coffee liqueurs generally aim to imitate the flavour of coffee, this is more like a coffee made into a liqueur. There’s nothing artificial, which makes everything considerably more complex, says Haszard.
“Another major point of difference is that most coffee liqueurs use vanilla to bridge the alcohol. I found that vanilla hides or overshadows many of the coffee notes. By chance I came across cinnamon, which seems to lengthen the flavour out as well as act as a natural thickener, a factor contributing to QBF being suitable for vegans.”
When he was looking at the name and label design, he came across many similar products that were usually of European descent, which sounded “pseudo-foreign” and fake. He wanted something genuine, that meant something.
“The placeholder name was Jollyboys coffee liqueur’ and it was going to have an art deco theme to it, but deep down I knew it didn’t fit. I came across the words ‘Quick Brown Fox’ by chance. It made me remember learning to write and perhaps the sharing of knowledge and communicating; it was a perfect fit for the desired experience and I adopted it immediately.”
Rather than using a marketer, Haszard employed an illustrator, Fiona Johnston, to work out the label design.
“Initially I tried to control the creation of it but I soon realised that this needed to be created with freedom. So when I let her creativity go, she made leaps and bounds.”
Johnston still does all of QBF’s design and has creative control in many areas.
“The label was created with extensive detail, which many people won’t get the pleasure of noticing, but those who do will be rewarded. This was perhaps a completely irrational decision in a typical business, but indeed it is art, and you can’t control that.”
Reaction to the liqueur so far has been overwhelmingly positive, with a lot of support from the business community in Dunedin, where Haszard lives.
“Initial reactions for people are to notice the label and bottle, which is great because much thought was put into these things.
“Then of course the flavour is well-received – I love it when people are surprised by it.
“It’s also very encouraging when respected restaurants and cocktail bars take it on.”