YAHA–YAHUI
Branding, typography, illustration and packaging design
Zürich, Switzerland


YAHA-YAHUI is a Mexican organic mezcal produced in Santa Maria Sola de Vega, a small village in the mountains of Oaxaca, México, which was formerly the ancient civilization of the Mixtecs. YAHA-YAHUI is crafted by hand with the utmost respect for the land and traditional practices referred to as: Método Ancestral (The Ancient Method).

This method uses ancient materials and practices — stone, wood, fire, and clay — instead of modern technological conveniences. YAHA-YAHUI was created to bring the pure essence of Mezcal and Mexican culture to Europe by preserving traditions with centuries of history, supporting small batch production, and lifting up local communities.​​​​​​​
Our inspiration and research began in western Oaxaca’s ancient civilization: La Mixteca
The Mixtecs were one of the most influential groups of Mesoamérica, and in their culture we find Ocho Venado Garra de Jaguar, a prominent Mixtec king. He held the position of Yaha Yahui, one of the highest rankings in Mixtec culture, a kind of priest with supernatural abilities to transform into any living being or natural phenomena. As a visionary, Ocho Venado united 'Las Tres Mixtecas' under his reign, allowing the Mixteca culture to thrive in peace.


We chose to draw our inspiration for the branding from the concept of Ocho Venado and his vision, culminating in the symbol of an eye.
The symmetrical exterior shape of the icon, combined with the irregular inner shape, serves to symbolize a harmonious convergence of heritage and modernity that captures the brand's identity but also forms the bedrock of its visual storytelling.




To emphasize the mysticism of the brand and highlight the ancient practice of mezcal production, we incorporated the practice of engraving into the visual trace and style of the identity, which is traditional in the region of Oaxaca that once stood as La Mixteca

We incorporated the feeling of engraving into the logotype and a series of illustrations that pay homage to Ocho Venado. He was known to transform into a jaguar and deer, which are reflected in the illustrations, along with the agave, a sacred cornerstone of Mixtec culture and the plant where mezcal comes from. As a unifying element, each of these illustrations feature the brand icon as the character’s eye.




We carried these concepts and details into the creation of the bottle. In collaboration with the YAHA-YAHUI team, we commissioned a custom bottle to be designed by Mexican ceramicists: Arta Cerámica. When creating the shape of the bottle, we drew inspiration from vernacular architecture, utilizing a rough texture and an earth tone color palette. Finally, we brought in the eye icon through its engraving at the bottom of the bottle.


MUSIC: "UNO VIENTO, UNO CAÑA" BY PANAMÁ STUDIO. VIDEO SOURCE: SÍNTESIS DE GUERRERO, REY JIMENEZ.
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Thanks
Mexico City – Switzerland
© 2023
info@ panamastudio.net



ALL FILM PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREJ KRANJC


YAHA-YAHUI
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