Great brands and designers understand that there is more to packaging that just looking good. Packaging has to house and protect the product primarily, but it also has to tell the consumer about the brand through a mix of copy, design and graphics. Don’t make it all about your brand; make it about the customer too—help them see why your product fits their lives, would make their day-to-day activities special, and so on.
One product that does a lovely job of well, being lovely, is a new gin release just launched by the historic Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa: The Newmarket Gin, a small batch gin that celebrates the history of racing at Newmarket. It’s packaged in an undeniably sexy way: Smooth wood, richly grained leather, papered label, rubber strip and a crisp metal accent beg to be touched.
But even more than being attractive, it checks a box on the list of packaging design pillars: It shows the customer the brand story in a way that gives them ownership of their purchase, by making them proud to show it, and their good taste, off. Read on for Nude Brand Creation’s story of the design strategy and execution of the package that elicts an emotional draw for the brand.
The Newmarket Gin was created for the hotel by Master Distiller John Walters, who supplies gin to the Queen and runs an independent small batch copper pot distillery three miles from Newmarket.
The hotel, based in Newmarket, Suffolk, was built as a hunting lodge in 1820 for the Duke of Bedford and has passed through the hands of many well-known racehorse owners since then.
The gin is distilled at 42% and contains the classic botanicals of juniper, coriander, bay leaf, Seville oranges and almonds, as well as the more unexpected wild horseradish, Devil's Dyke orchid petals, wild chives, alfalfa and assorted wildflowers, all foraged from Newmarket.
A limited-edition batch of The Newmarket Gin will coincide with the 350th anniversary of racing in Newmarket. A small number of the anniversary bottles will be presented in bespoke boxes, containing a set of branded hand blown glass tumblers, which will be gifted to winners of the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Races, as well as Her Majesty the Queen.
DELVING INTO HISTORY
“Upon visiting the hotel and researching its history we began to realize just how entwined it was in the history of Newmarket’s racing,” says Bernard Gormley, co-founder of Nude. “We discovered numerous stories and intriguing characters that could form the basis of the product story.
“However, as the project developed so did ambitions for the gin and, most importantly, its distribution, therefore it was decided to broaden our field of vision and focus on Newmarket as the home of horse racing.”
The packaging is inspired by the Newmarket racecourse, as well as English photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s pioneering work in the study of the running horse. The frosted glass gives a tactile feel and provides a binocular window to spy the running horses on the back of the glass. The horse featured is last year’s winner of the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. As light refracts through the liquid, a sense of movement is given to the illustration, bringing it to life.
The paper label at the base of the bottle bears the signature of Master Distiller John Walters, as well as information about the crafting of the spirit, displayed in a way that is reminiscent of old horse race betting slips. The bottle is sealed with a real wooden stopper.
“The shade of leather on the leather collar is the historic Newmarket Tan, once used by traders to determine the destination of carriages during its days as a major market town,” Gormley adds.
“Each collar is handmade in Newmarket by Gibson’s Saddlers, founded in the early 1900s and is now a family owned company. Gibson's supplies racing colors to Her Majesty Queen. The stitch detailing and metal button echo the craft of leather riding equipment and the ribbon tag is in the Newmarket stripe used for equine blankets.”
A DETAILED STORY, A BEAUTIFUL DESIGN
“The attention to detail from Nude Brand Creation has created a truly beautiful, original and engaging design which I’m sure will captivate horse racing and gin fans alike,” says Bedford Lodge Hotel owner Mike Kean. “The design reflects the craftsmanship and locally foraged ingredients which make up this unique and premium gin.”