Royal Agio Cigars is introducing Balmoral DUETO. This is the first handmade cigar blend released under the new collaboration-based Balmoral Serie Signaturas platform and features a team up of Royal Agio Cigars’ CEO Boris Wintertmans and E.P. Carrillo’s legendary Ernesto Pérez-Carrillo. While each cigar maker has a unique and personal style, they share a philosophy that passionate curiosity is essential to discovering and enjoying the best life has to offer.

DUETO was blended by Ernesto Pérez-Carrillo and was crafted to excite the senses and incorporates each cigar maker’s hand-selected, preferred tobaccos. DUETO delivers a special, one-of-a-kind sensorial experience including Pérez-Carrillo’s signature elegant robustness and Boris Winterman’s balance of sophisticated complexity and smoothness.

Van Heertum Design was asked to translate this special cooperation into an eye-catching packaging design and to create the global branding for this unique cigar experiment, that was recently introduced to the U.S. market in 5 different vitolas (models): Robusto, Ovación, Gran Toro, Gordo and Churchill.

“The cooperation of two legends, from different parts of the world, is translated in a smooth combination of two very different design styles”, explains Rob van Heertum, Strategy Director at VHD. The main creative consists out of two elements. The well-known ‘B shield’ (Balmoral), in a white, gold and grey setup and a red decorative Cuban part, celebrating the cultural heritage of Ernesto Pérez-Carrillo. Clearly two different origins, melting together as one strong Dueto brand visual.

“This main creative was the base for all design elements. Like cigars that are handmade, we wanted to use this craftsmanship in the design process”, says van Heertum. The decorative Cuban part is illustrated by hand. The curly figures secretly tell the life story of Ernesto Pérez-Carrillo, who originally came to the US from Cuba with his family. His first love was jazz music and he was a drummer before his love for cigars grew to big success. Therefore you can find music notes, drumsticks and even a drum in the creative illustrations.

For the 5 different cigar models we created 5 different sized wooden boxes. We constructed the boxes in a slightly different shape than a normal cigar box and incorporated a thick right side as an extra eye-catcher in the store humidors. Combining two base colours, grey and red, to symbolize the cooperation between two parties, we kept the design very clean and modern, so that the Dueto artwork could really stand out. The main creative is used on the box as a printed label with eye for detail, using hot-foil for extra standout. The entire box, including the creative label and signatures of the two aficionados, is then covered with a high gloss lacquer to give it that exclusive look and feel. The box is closed on the right side with an extra decorative closing label.

The inside of the box has the same setup as the outside to create unity on the selling floor (in the store humidors the boxes are often displayed open). The wooden inside has a natural feel and on the right side an extra space was created for easy access to the cigars. On the same side you can find the cigar model and size stamped in gold hot foil. The box displays 10 cigars in one layer. For each cigar we created a main and a bottom ring, fitting the cigars perfectly and creating a major standout from the box. Al rings feature the model name, creative illustrations and small details in embossing, hot foil and different printing techniques. To top it all off, a decorative semi-transparent information sheet is included in every box to give the consumer the story behind this very special collaboration.