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13 Stunning Premium Spirit Designs

Created: 13 Apr 2021

How would you react if you walked into a spirit drink aisle with hundreds of bottles on display, only to realize that none of them had labels? Could you then identify each brand? How would you perceive the quality of each spirit?

If you answered "I'd try them all", then maybe it's time for a certain kind of intervention.

The truth is - looks matter. As a first point of contact with the consumer, an intriguing, eye-catching design is vital, offering something beyond the ordinary, and capturing the consumer's attention for precious few extra seconds.

If done right, it can trigger emotions, increase brand awareness, drive sales and help build customer loyalty. If done wrong… well, then chances are it will become "just another bottle".

But what sets great label and packaging design apart from the rest? Why do some spirit bottles look so premium and captivating, while others go by unnoticed?

To help you better understand this, we've hand-picked 13 premium spirit designs that we consider to be absolute crowd-pleasers and true achievers of design excellence. These are great examples of how premium label and packaging design can give your bottle an irresistible shelf appeal and a sense of luxury.

Let's get started!

Note: Throughout this article, you'll find some takeaway notes on how to give your spirit bottle a sophisticated and expensive look.

Disclaimer: all photo materials belong to their owners and are used for demonstration purposes only.

01. SERÁFICO MEZCAL

Project owner: Double Eagle Imports; Design by Makers & Allies

Brief: Inspired by history and folklore, Seráfico is a premium artisanal mezcal brand focused on the unique characteristics obtained from some of the rarest agaves found in Oaxaca (Mexico). Ranging from estate grown to wild harvested agaves, each mezcal is meticulously handcrafted resulting in five unique expressions.

What we love about this: The mythic elements depicted in Seráfico Mezcal's design evoke an intriguing and arresting mysticism that, along with the typography, help deliver the brand's story.

  • Ornaments and the handcrafting style highlights the ancient roots of the product
  • Use of mythical elements reinforce the mezcal's folklore and support the brand's storytelling
  • Depicted alchemy symbols take us through the production process and further enhance the bottle's mysterious design

02. Hywilde Coffee Liqueur

Project owner: Arrest in Residence Distillery; Design by Chad Michael Studio

Brief: Hywilde is a range of wildly impossible liqueurs concocted by imaginative minds with unrealistic expectations for quality and taste. A brilliant and surreal experience crafted from 100% Arabica beans.

What we love about this: This outstanding design concept blends a surreal scenic with a modern approach to typography, fully expressing the unique character of this liqueur.

  • Surreal scenic imagery is inspired by the product's taste and distillation process, considered to be "wildly impossible"
  • The modern approach to the typography and the beautiful color palette evoke the singular character of the product
  • Design concept honors the unique character of the product

03. D. GEORGE BENHAM'S DRY GIN

Project owner: Graton Distilling Co; Design by Stranger & Stranger

Brief: Sonoma's West County is home to farmers, musicians, artists and free spirits. In its heart lies Green Valley and the funky town of Graton - home of D. George Benham's Microcolum Continuous Still. This gin represents a combination of the classic London Dry character and New World ingredients composing together a completely new style.

What we love about this: A rich and unique visual layout, with a non-traditional approach to the multi-layered typography.

  • Vibrant color palettes and patchwork designs are an homage to the local folk artists
  • The use of cartographic elements emphasise the plethora of locations from where the botanicals used to create this gin were collected
  • Distinctive turquoise blue takes us to the stunning beaches of the distillery's area

04. DALTON'S ELEMENT SPICED RUM

Project owner: Manchester Still; Design by Think Bold Studio

Brief: Manchester Still's "Dalton's Element" is a spiced rum named after the scientist John Dalton - inventor of the atomic model. The science behind making the perfect spirit is not easy but through a combination of the best ingredients, a passion for rum and the expertise of three scientists, Manchester Still has distilled the soul of a city into its own spiced rum.

What we love about this: An arresting Victorian look that reflects the brand's authenticity, enhanced by masterfully designed visual ornaments.

  • Remarkable attention to all the details honors Dalton's work, whose discoveries were focused on the small things
  • Use of scientific elements gives away hints of the brand's story
  • Breathtaking Victorian look and use of emboss and foil details

Takeaway #1

Decorative embellishments and typography not only can help express artisanship and luxuriousness, but also assist in the brand's storytelling.

05. PHENOMENOLOGY

Project owner: Compass Box; Design by Stranger & Stranger

Brief: Compass Box has decided not to reveal the story behind Phenomenology. Instead, they keep us in the dark, opting to conceal the tasting notes (and the list of single malts resulting in this blend), and daring consumers to experience this whisky without preconceptions.

What we love about this: As specialists in premium packaging and branding design, one of the very first things we ask our clients is to hear their brand's story - the origins and purpose of its existence. It's a vital step in creating unique brand identities.

So you can guess how thought-provoking it is for us to have stumbled upon a spirit brand that doesn't say much about its product, leaving it entirely to us to tell its story. Thrilling!

  • Stunning print details and techniques take the design experience to a multi-sensory level, appealing to the senses of sight and touch
  • Use of mysterious elements go hand in hand with the secrecy of the brand's story
  • Intriguing details lead us to want to explore the whole packaging

06. BIB & TUCKER BOURBON

Project owner: 35 Maple Street Spirits; Design by Studio 32 North

Brief: During America's rough and tumble early days, the term "bib & tucker" was used to describe your finest attire - the kind you'd wear to a wedding or special dance.

What we love about this: A beautiful bottle shape, enhanced by a simple yet striking use of glass emboss techniques.

  • Enlarged amber flask with deeply embossed logo make for an imposing and intriguing spirit bottle
  • Hand lettering reinforces the "bib & tucker" feel of the bottle
  • Clever use of embossed typography reflects an artisan mood

07. SÉLECTION DES ANGES

Project owner: Maison Ferrand; Design by Stranger & Stranger

Brief: For centuries, the alcohol that evaporates during the ageing process has been known as the mythical "Angels' Share." What remains in the barrel is a small quantity of Cognac after many years of maturation and evaporation.

What we love about this: Elegant and sophisticated! This is a true homage to great design, featuring the perfect harmony between all details - from the bottle's shape, to the details found on the glass and capsule.

  • Perfect combination of all the details - bottle, label, neck, and capsule come together as a whole to create a sophisticated and unique piece of art, like we've never seen before
  • Complexity and harmony between elements give the Cognac an imposing and expensive look
  • Glass emboss technique brings depicted angels to life and gives us hints of the evaporation phenomena, honoring the brand's storytelling

08. MERMAID GIN

Project owner: Isle of Wight Distillery

Brief: Hand-crafted on the Isle of Wight using ten ethically sourced botanicals, Mermaid Gin is a refreshing and invigorating serve, for the free-spirited. The bottle is environmentally friendly too, using 100% plastic-free materials. Plus, the Distillery allows consumers to take your bottle to their premises for a refill.

What we love about this: The perfect example that committing to being plastic-free and 100% recyclable doesn't have to compromise in style or perceived value!

  • The scales and graduating colour provide a sense of place and provenance, in a beautiful visual representation of the sea and the Isle of Wight
  • Remarkable use of 100% recyclable materials, from the scaled glass to the wood-topped cork and unique plant-based tamper-proof seal
  • Strikingly sculpted design makes this bottle a true crowd-pleaser

Takeaway #2

The tactile quality of the label and packaging materials can provide your bottle a premium touch and make people want to interact with it, triggering a multi-sensory experience.

09. MELUAR GIN

Project owner: Bevinov; Design by Think Bold Studio

Brief: One of the most exquisite honeys in the world is handcrafted in the small village of Trancoso (Portugal). Harvested in the moonlight, the delicate and unusual brilliance of this honey served as inspiration to create Meluar Gin. The gin takes its name after the Portuguese words of honey (mel) and moonlight (luar).

What we love about this: Mind-blowing use of ornamented golden foil gives this bottle a mysterious and luxurious look, while helping express the brand's harvest process.

  • The golden color on matte black background carries us through the harvesting process, where the honey's color is brought to its full glory under the moonlight
  • Astonishing ornaments give this bottle a mysterious feeling and lavish look
  • The name and graphics come together to create a very memorable label that stands out from the crowded gin shelves

10. THE BOTANICAL INFUSION DRY GIN

Project owner: Quevedo Wines; Design by Think Bold Studio

Brief: Quevedo's "The Botanical Infusion" Dry Gin is made with local botanical infusions harvested in the sunny woods of São João da Pesqueira. A family recipe produced, bottled and matured in the Northeast Valley of Portugal.

What we love about this: Perfect example of how ornamented foil and out-of-the-box print techniques can provide a bottle with a breathtaking and mysterious look.

  • "In-Gin-eous" use of luminescent ink adds an unexpected and mysterious vibe to this spirit
  • Noteworthy use of print techniques such as emboss & deboss effects, and stamping foil, provide an exquisite overall feel to the bottle
  • Ability to capture the essence of the nature elements highlights the brand's origins

Takeaway #3

Foiling and embossing give the labels an artistic feel and a strong visual impact that enhances both the brand image and shelf appeal.

11. STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY LIMITED EDITION

Project owner: Lux Row Distillers

Brief: This limited-release ryed bourbon was crafted as a thank you to customers for supporting Lux Row Distillers during its first year in business. Unlike all the other whiskeys produced at the distillery, this bourbon is a double-barrel release, meaning that the bourbon was aged in two different barrels - for 12 years each. Limited to 6,000 bottles and only sold in Kentucky..

What we love about this: Exceptional design concept, using special features and elements to reflect the rarity and specialness of this premium special edition whiskey.

  • Each bottle's label includes the barrel numbers and age statements (in handwriting lettering), triggering a sense of scarcity and ownership
  • Square shape and emboss technique enhance the bottle's perceived quality and value
  • The use of real metal labels and solid copper cork further positions this bottle as premium

12. GOLD BAR AMERICAN WHISKEY

Project owner: Gold Bar Whiskey; Design by Chad Michael Studio

Brief: Distilled in a former naval prison on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, Gold Bar American Whiskey is a homage to the gold-rush history of the Bay Area.

What we love about this: A bold and unique design, with remarkable attention to the details, while honoring the brand's story and concept.

  • Masterfully resembling a gold bar, this design has luxury written all over it
  • Uniquely numbered bottles give us a sense of scarcity and singularity
  • Removable 'Lady of Fortune' coin (symbol of good fortune and prosperity) establishes a special connection with the consumer

13. COPPERFIELD LONDON DRY GIN VOL. ONE

Project owner: The Surrey Copper Distillery; Design by Nude Brand Creation

Brief: Copperfield London Dry Gin is handcrafted in small batches in a bespoke copper pot still using a blend of botanicals. The recipe is based on a heritage Georgian recipe taken from the first edition of The Complete Distiller by Ambrose Cooper. The gin's name gets inspiration from one of Charles Dickens' books.

What we love about this: Exceptional use of contrast between the organic elements and the gold print, creating a visual tactile sensation and truly authentic look.

  • Floral embellishments overlaying rich copper foiling provide an antique look and transfer us to the golden era of book design
  • Cunning label printing technique allows the distilling notes to appear on the reverse of the label, giving it a sense of secrecy
  • Collectible feeling - the side label allows each volume to be stored as a book library

Takeaway #4

Clever details and special features can provide a sense of scarcity or a collectible feel to the bottle and help establish an emotional connection with the consumer.

That's it! This is our selection of great examples of spirit bottle designs done right. To recap, here are some of the techniques used by award winning studios to help clients give their bottle's an arresting and premium design and drive more sales:

  1. Decorative embellishments and typography not only can help express artisanship and luxuriousness, but also assist in the brand's storytelling;
  2. The tactile quality of the label and packaging materials can provide your bottle a premium touch and make people want to interact with it, triggering a multisensory experience;
  3. Foiling and embossing give the labels an artistic feel and a strong visual impact that enhances both the brand image and shelf appeal;
  4. Special features can help trigger a collectible and scarcity feeling in the consumer, making him feel unique and a part of the brand's story

So, we've shown you what works in the premium spirit drinks' market. Now…

...are YOU ready to turn your bottle into a real crowd-pleaser?


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