Thorntail Identity Inspired by ‘Light and Zippy’ Hummingbird

People People Taps Product’s Namesake

In a market crowded with choices — particularly in the realms of seltzers, canned cocktails, and ciders — standing out on the shelves requires a distinctive visual identity, Thorntail Hard Agave tasked Seattle WA branding studio People People to develop a unique and eye-catching brand. The project ultimately included visual identity and logo, tagline, package design, website, apparel and sales sheet.

Thorntail is hard to categorize — it’s not quite a seltzer and not quite tequila. This posed a challenge and an opportunity for People People. The designers identified two prevailing trends in a market audit: the logos of hard seltzers were often set against white or highly saturated colors, and products with agave as an ingredient typically showcased an icon of the plant.


People People opted for a different approach. In a departure from the usual agave plant graphics, the designers drew inspiration from Thorntail’s namesake: the thorntail hummingbird. Known for pollinating agave plants, these hummingbirds embody a “light and zippy” personality. An abstract illustration of the hummingbird, symbolizing upward flight for an uplifting feel, is accompanied by a script typeface inspired by the hummingbird’s graceful movements.

‘Hard Agave’ or ‘Fermented Hard Agave’ is prominently displayed alongside the logo and product name to pique curiosity. Recognizing the limitations of can space, People People created Thorntail’s website as a hub for in-depth education. The website features a playful infographic that takes consumers on a journey, detailing the production of hard agave from farm to can.


An overarching goal for the packaging was to feel fresh, vibrant, and invigorating —attributes reflecting the fact that the product has only 2g of sugar and an alcohol by volume of 5%. The brand, cans, and 6-pack boxes all showcase a distinctive tone-on-tone pairing of light and dark teal blues. Inspired by the Blue Weber agave plant, the colors evoke a sense of brightness, and color consistency is maintained across all packaging, eschewing the common practice of changing backgrounds on a per-flavor basis.

Credits go to Creative Director Shannon Palmer, Senior Designers Amy Wilson and Maddy Porter, with Lifestyle Photography and Videography by Digital Vendetta.