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Aultmore by Stranger & Stranger, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging for single malt Scotch whisky brand Aultmore designed by Stranger & Stranger

Aultmore is a rare Speyside single malt Scotch whisky known locally as “a nip of the Buckie Road” and is part of the ‘Last Great Malts of Scotland’ collection from John Dewar & Sons. Drawing inspiration from the misty and mysterious area known as ‘Foggie Moss’, a place where the distillery’s water filters through, London based graphic design studio Stranger & Stranger developed a label, bottle and packaging treatment that, while heavy on the heritage, individuality and craft cues inherent to the industry, sets a unique tone through image and the absence of image.

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Vocation Brewery by Robot Food, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Illustrated packaging design by Robot Food for British craft beer brewery Vocation.

Vocation is a UK microbrewery, established and run by John Hickling, with a range of craft beers that have distinctive and punchy flavour profiles, and a visual identity, packaging design and naming convention created by Leeds-based studio Robot Food. This draws on the tropical, fruity, floral and hoppy characteristic of the range, and the brewery’s fearless, daring and renegade attitude.

This post was updated March 2017 to include Vocation’s latest release, a range of craft lagers that acknowledge the increasing interest in the subtle complexities of pilsner. Robot Food drop the detailed illustration and dark backgrounds in favour of a lighter and brighter approach with the intention of expressing the crisp and fresh qualities of these new varieties whilst working in an alternative take on the brewery’s renegade attitude.

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Karuizawa 1984 by The Metric System, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging for Karuizawa 1984 designed by The Metric System

Karuizawa 1984 is a vintage Japanese single malt and single cask whisky imported and bottled exclusively for the Norwegian market. The first batch, a run of 577 bottles, sold out immediately. Karuizawa’s packaging, created by Scandinavian graphic design studio Metric Design, effectively conveys the age and provenance of the whisky, is sensitive to the Western market, and aware of and largely disregards category conventions, through the juxtaposition of a simple box design and iconic imagery, alongside an information rich and typographically dense label treatment.

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