Duvel X Magritte

A dream collab between two heritage icons

For its first historical collaboration with the art world, Duvel entrusts Coast with the product creation, packaging, communication and in-store presence of the Duvel X Magritte enterprise.

The marriage of two Belgian icons

Duvel Moortgat Brewery is a family-controlled brewery founded in 1871 in Antwerp Province, Belgium. Its strong golden pale ale, Duvel, is exported to more than forty countries. René François Ghislain Magritte (21 November 1898 – 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist known for his depictions of familiar objects in unfamiliar, unexpected contexts, which often provoked questions about the nature and boundaries of reality and representation.His imagery has influenced pop art, minimalism and conceptual art.

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the birth of Belgian painter René Magritte, the brewery’s ambition is to release a premium collection of replica bottles of Magritte’s surrealist piece CIEL-BOUTEILLE from 1940.

From product idea to retail life

Combining two icons and creating an original narrative was the core of our strategic design approach. Duvel and Magritte share the same Belgian roots and authenticity, while having both strong and iconic identities. We embarked on a surreal voyage, pushing product DNA forward, coupling brand qualities and cultural heritage.

The journey started with generating the replica of Magritte’s original artwork “Ciel Bouteille”. The original Magritte bottle was photographed from all sides, carefully detailing brush strokes, shades and intensities. The resulting image puzzle was then reassembled to form the Duvel X Magritte product artwork.

Packaging design and product narrative

To strengthen the link between product and work of art, we immersed ourselves in Magritte’s creative thinking process and generated a series of surreal Duvel concepts. Duvel and its brewers were convinced by our idea of creating the first “cloudy” Duvel. Shifting the perception of Duvel beer, naturally clear and transparent, to an opaque beer was a surrealist twist.

A cloudy unfiltered blonde whispering inside a surreal packaging… a match made in heaven.

Creation of a modern surreal language

Redefining the product to make it a journey in time was a creative principle from the very start. On one hand there’s ancestral beer tradition coupled with Magritte’s iconic painting from the fourties. On the other hand there’s Duvel’s contemporary brewing expertise. In order to be a must-have product, our "Ciel-Bouteille" needed to embrace the past, yet be strongly anchored in a contemporary market attitude. The use of a typographic plot line seemed the obvious way to shape and structure this broad past-present narrative.

We created a product universe seamlessly blending Magritte’s signature sky with Duvel’s most iconic heritage product and brand elements.

Magritte x Duvel communication assets

The visual creation highlights the collaborative aspect of the limited edition beer, sleekly blending the characteristics of both Duvel and Magritte universes.

We created the visual assets range for online and onsite use, presenting iconic imagery and a 30 seconds animated video.

Surreal retail environment

The retail strategy includes implementation in various premium locations such as the Magritte stores, the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam, as well as the integration of pop-up stores in De Bijenkorf stores in Rotterdam and Eindhoven.

Designing a furniture line embodying the shape used on the packaging was the obvious retail choice. Magritte’s magic came to life in the shape of islands of clouds. These polyphorms create expandable and homogeneous groups capable of keeping the brand’s strong identity and attractability in the most varied combinations and locations.

A Duvel X Magritte pop-up was installed in De Bijenkorf Rotterdam, building the narrative expression of the collab concept, using our four different furniture shapes.

Museum-like furniture, encapsulating the Duvel and Magritte universes, was created to stage products. To top it off, the brand islands are equipped with an integrated video display.

The tone-on-tone grey shapes blend into the store environment, while contrasting with the products.

Duvel X Magritte : A full brand experience from product idea to retail environment, aligned to the brand's iconic DNA.

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