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Finding Subject In Object: A Drink with Oleg Zaharevich

By now, combining vision and substance in design is hardly a novel concept, but no one does so more captivatingly than Oleg Zaharevich—a multifaceted graphic designer from the Belarusian city of Minsk. Zaharevich’s body of work flourishes at the cutting edge of branding and visualization. 

Using CGI, Oleg found his creative stride in consumer branding. From alcoholic beverages to a coveted fan collectible, he crafts full multi-sensory experiences through objects of his personal invention. 

Though today a well-known standard, it’s hard to imagine a time before digitalization unlocked new means of creative thinking and storytelling. And still, Oleg’s inquiring mind relies on the outside world for insight: “What inspires me? Almost anything. I think you can get ideas from any material you see from the results of human labor: cultural artifacts, art, architecture, or from something natural, such as a banal form of a stone seen in the street. Maybe I won’t be the first to mention Stranger & Stranger Studio. I love their work—they do real art. Their work in alcohol and packaging design has had a great impact on me.” 

Belovodye: Ultra Premium Mountain Vodka for KRISTALL-STOLLICA LLC. Armbrand, 2021.
Rick and Morty Collectible Figure. Oleg Zaharevich, 2021.

The intricacy in Oleg’s compositions challenges us to envision the beauty beheld by an unseen, yet familiar, world. Photorealistic creations permeate his body of work inviting us to kick back, relax, maybe play a Jazz record, or enjoy a dinner for two—there’s high potential with a cocktail on hand. “I really liked one of the concepts I heard at the lecture at university: All human activity is the exploration of the universe itself. I try to stick to this concept to explore all the possibilities and ideas, and see what can come [out] of them.” 

L-R: OHM London Dry Gin, Highland Drum Blended Whisky, and TRE Absinthe. Oleg Zaharevich, 2020.

We’ll second that. Creativity is the foundation that leads to limitless possibilities so, for those who’ve yet to be properly acquainted, please allow us to introduce you to SANQUER Pear Calvados by Oleg Zaharevich—one of the works featured in the Style Cards Vol. 2.

SANQUER Pear Calvados. Oleg Zaharevich, 2021.

Delivering a rich ​​mélange of timeless design and branding, SANQUER Pear Calvados captures the legacy of Normandy’s fruit brandy. Sanquer is a fictional calvados brand created upon Oleg’s research on alcoholic beverages: “I made this project purely as a concept, as a skill training and as an addition to my visualization portfolio. It has no customer or buyer, but I hope it will one day.” 

What’s also fascinating about Oleg’s approach is the departure from traditional production methods: “I have a plan—to do a concept for every type of alcohol: gin, absinthe, etc. So far, only three concepts have been implemented.” Do we have any takers in the house?

Despite starting out as concepts, Oleg’s designs speak of the subjects around his object—something he equally achieves with SANQUER

The bottle for SANQUER Pear Calvados was modeled after French vintage perfume vials from the late-19th to early-20th century, classic high-neck calvados bottles, and pears.

While calvados is a spirit traditionally made from the tender blend of apple and pear cider, it is the predominant content of pears that makes SANQUER stand out: “I decided to create a bottle shape that visually reflects this feature.” 

L-R: 19th Century French crystal gold perfume bottle; Château du Breuil 15 Ans D’Age; and a pear – duh.

In the creative search for the calvados bottle, Oleg came across vintage French perfume vials from the late-19th to early-20th century, classic high-neck calvados bottles, and pears—naturally. The result? A light-refracting bottle with an elongated, slender neck and a robust main body, both outfitted in labels that carry the legacy of the brand via gold hot foil stamping. 

There’s something irreplaceable about the fictive legacy retained in SANQUER. Deriving its namesake from its subject, SANQUER’s vintage feel is underscored by André Sanquer, the made-up character who, in 1972, founded the internationally recognized family distillery. 

SANQUER Pear Calvados proves that by extension, we become the subject of our objects. For creative types like Oleg, this suggests that equal parts of the subject and the artist will remain in their work. So, after a glass—or two—of calvados, we couldn’t help but wonder, How does Oleg Zaharevich overcome creative blocks? 

“It’s Brute force,” he admits. 

“This term means to crack [down] a password by searching through all the possible variants of the key. Normally, if I’m going to hit a dead end, I try to do the best I can to invert the idea, to look at it from a completely different angle. For example, if there was a circle [I would] then square it, bounce it, rotate it. I try to think of the blocks not as a dead end, but as a temporary obstacle. And, fortunately, I have not encountered any insurmountable blocks yet.” 

Lucky for him, lucky for us. 

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Visit Oleg Zaharevich’s portfolio on Behance

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Include the latest visual trends in your workshops and moodboards with Style Cards Vol. 2

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