Last year Royal Agio Cigars introduced their new collaboration-based Balmoral Serie Signaturas platform, for which we created the first “Dueto” edition and the design strategy for future collaborations. This year we created the second edition: ‘Paso Doble’.

This year Boris Wintermans teamed up with Litto Gomez (La Flor Dominicana). They both share a similar passion for developing inspiring, one-of-a-kind blends, and each has their own method for getting there. Litto incorporates specially-grown tobaccos from his personal farm in La Canela, Dominican Republic, while Boris relentlessly searches the globe for the most unique premium tobaccos.

With Litto’s Spanish heritage and a product where tobacco blends intertwine into a distinct ‘dance’ of flavors that stays true to each cigar maker’s signature blending style, the name ‘Paso Doble’ was born.

“We got our inspiration from the Spanish bull fighting tradition,” Rob van Heertum, partner at VHD, explains. “The gold patterns on the beautiful matador costumes, the dance of the ‘la capa’ (cape) the matador creates in the fight with the bull, the bull horns, the sword, etc., were more than enough input to create all the design elements for this project.”

“The 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 Spanish part is illustrated by hand, decorative matador elements, the intertwining and waving of the cape, representing the blending of flavours. The same style is used to create the cigar rings. On the rings the names of Boris and Litto are mentioned including elements like the horns of the bull and the sword.

In total we created 3 different cigar model rings and 3 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, as part of the Series Signaturas design strategy. Combining two base colours to symbolize the cooperation between two parties, this year being blue and grey. Where Grey and the White gold B-shield is the basis representing the down to earth Dutch part of the collaboration, same as last year.

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. All 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.