“I’m going to be launching a new gin and need some help with the branding, can Dynam help?”
Jack from Cairngorm Gin came to us in the early stages of setting up his business with a vision of bottling the spirit of the Scottish Highlands. He wanted to create small-batch, hand-crafted premium distilled gin in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, using everything he had learned from his career as a chef to create a unique tasting profile.
We started by helping Cairngorm Gin develop their brand story, to capture the essence of the brand and help position them against competing brands. We carried out research into the natural elements that give life to the botanicals used in the gin and into the special place that inspired the brand name. In the process, we discovered some fascinating things - like that smoky quartz is the national gem of Scotland, and that hunting for fine specimens in the Cairngorms was a popular pastime in Victorian times.
Initially, we took three visual concepts to Jack. The first was minimal, clean and understated with a focus on typography and a pared-back colour palette. The next was more traditional but bolder, using colour and bespoke illustrations to set the brand apart. The third concept took a modern approach, throwing away the rulebook when it comes to gin bottle labelling and using native wildlife illustrations to communicate the wildness of the Cairngorms. Jack and his team were keen to explore option two, so our in-house illustrator got involved to fine-tune the illustrations, working closely with the rest of the design team to finalise all the brand elements. At the same time, our copywriter worked on the brand copy, creating a set of cohesive brand messages in tandem with the client to ensure consistency and clear positioning.
Design development and labelling
Working on alcohol brands demands both creativity and the ability to follow instructions to the letter. Standards around bottle labelling and messaging are very strict, for obvious reasons, so once the brand was in place we got out our Spirit Labelling Rulebook to make sure everything that needed to be on the label was there, in the right size and format. We designed and wrote copy for the front label, rear label and neck tag, creating versions for the full-size and miniature bottles. We liaised closely with label printing companies at this stage to ensure the best outcome for Cairngorm Gin in terms of price and quality. We got very excited about foiling options; if you know, you know.
We also created social media icons, business cards, compliments slips, and a website holding page. Jack brought us early samples of the gin to try, it really was a tough gig.
We built Cairngorm Gin an ecommerce website, which was their main sales channel at brand launch. Our design team extended the visual identity across the website, adapting the brand colour palette, fonts and nature-inspired elements for online use. The website has been flexible enough to grow with the business, which has exciting plans for the future. With a Silver in the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Awards 2020 and a Silver at the World Drinks Awards already under their belt, we think they have lots to look forward to.