The O.G. Hard Seltzer Smoothie
Troobado, a sister company of HOMES Brewery in Ann Arbor, came to us ready to launch a one-of-a-kind “hard seltzer smoothie.” In close collaboration with their internal marketing team, we developed brand strategy and visuals that would break through the crowded hard seltzer market and speak to a broad, fruit-loving audience. Meet Smooj!
The Smooj logo needed to be as unique as the name and product itself. Cue hundreds of sketches as we attempted to capture the creamy, fruity, unexpected taste of Smooj in a single, identifiable mark.
The logotype hides a smiling face in plain sight—a nod to the brand’s playful, effervescent personality.
The face of Smooj
The Smooj smiley is a break-apart component of the logotype that can stand as an independent icon. It’s the perfect wink for social media and merch, key touchpoints that deepen brand affinity with fans.
Given the abundance of fruit imagery on cans in the seltzer space, our visual strategy focused on colors and shapes that suggested a thick, dynamic, full-flavored liquid—something a little funky, a little unexpected. The static-like pattern hints at Smooj’s light carbonation, while minimal copy keeps the overall aesthetic clean.
To support the brand visuals, we developed a brand voice full of playful, colloquial language that aims to sound like your coolest, most irreverent friend. The one who’s always tipping you off to what’s new and what’s next.
Since the brand’s launch, Smooj successfully disrupted the hard seltzer arms race, earning features in The New York Times, Bon Appétit, and NBC’s Today show. It also received rave reviews from the craft beverage community at large and held steady as one of the Top 10 Breweries on popular rating site Untappd. The brand is undergoing a rapid national expansion, ramping up production, and winning fans across alcohol categories.
The Skidmore team delivered the perfect balance of thoughtful design and brand strategy. A consumer product for retail is a little outside of our comfort zone and the team laid out the perfect roadmap we could follow.
—Tommy Kennedy, Troobadoo