Jim Beam – new brand architecture and design



Creative Agency: Pearlfisher
Founder and Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher
Managing Director: Darren Foley, Pearlfisher
Strategy Director: Yael Alaton, Pearlfisher
Creative Director: Natalie Chung, Pearlfisher
3D Design Director: Mike Beauchamp, Pearlfisher
Senior Designer: Tom Meazey, Pearlfisher
Senior Technical Project Manager: Jenny Cairns, Pearlfisher
Account Director: Jo Chekroun, Pearlfisher
Account Manager: Lucy Moss, Pearlfisher
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Packaging Content: Bourbon
Location: UK

Pearlfisher London creates brand vision, architecture and design for the world’s leading, iconic bourbon brand Jim Beam

Bringing together its Futures, Strategy and Design Studios, Pearlfisher London has completed a two-year long project, encompassing the entire Jim Beam® Bourbon portfolio, creating a new brand architecture and design for the world’s leading, iconic bourbon brand.

Produced in Clermont, Kentucky, where the Beam family first started production in 1795, Jim Beam has seen dramatic growth in recent years across its largest worldwide markets as well as in emerging bourbon markets. Despite this ongoing positive momentum, the time felt right to update the brand’s packaging to better represent the premium bourbon inside, which is not changing and still follows the same Jim Beam family recipe used during the past two centuries.

With this revised brand strategy, brand architecture and upgraded packaging design, Jim Beam’s entire portfolio is now unified globally. When awarded this project, Pearlfisher’s challenge was to inject the Jim Beam DNA into every product in the portfolio to further establish the brand’s iconic stature across the globe.

Pearlfisher London Managing Director, Darren Foley, explained, “Bourbon is a hugely exciting and growing category full of independent and characterful expressions. Our opportunity was to assert Jim Beam’s definitive leadership in this dynamic market and make it the global icon of bourbon known and loved by everyone. We created an iconic vision capturing the unique origins, culture and spirit of the Jim Beam brand, all with the ambition to set the timeless, universal language of the category for years to come.

Darren continued, “The key to our iconic vision was the big idea of family – encapsulating the unique heritage of the Beam family, who are respectfully referred to by many as the first family of bourbon and are thus inextricably linked to the history of bourbon and ‘America’s Native Spirit.’ To promote and celebrate this special spirit, we created a design philosophy called ‘Living Legacy’, connecting the brand’s past to its future and presenting a united family of products that individually and collectively tell a uniquely American story.”

The ‘Living Legacy’ idea informed the Pearlfisher Design studio’s approach with the creation of a unique ‘Design DNA’, a set of 6 key elements that both unify and differentiate the range across both the 3D and 2D design realization.

Natalie Chung, Pearlfisher London Creative Director said, “While establishing a new design language – made up of the Jim Beam logo (the “swing”), the rosette, the bottle profile and footprint and the new die-cut label – we have given the brand the freedom to express, adapt and scale the level of premiumization for each product across the different ranges of the portfolio.

The new bottle fluting detail is a great example of how we have taken a tactile equity of the brand and used it to express the different personalities of each bottle, from iconic simplicity on the core range bottle to an abstracted depiction of the Rackhouses with more detailed fluting on the core premium and super premium ranges. This expression is mirrored in the graphic execution with the ‘swing’ and the rosette, which we have applied in different ways for different products, allowing the graphic treatment of each individual range to have its own personality but always firmly routed in the Jim Beam family DNA.

Ultimately, we have ensured that every aspect of design realization, production and technical competency links back to the original story and the ‘Living Legacy’ of the brand.”

Megan Frank, Vice President, Global Marketing for Jim Beam, commented, “Pearlfisher has successfully realised our vision for our flagship brand, giving us a brand architecture and design that effectively communicates and elevates every aspect of Jim Beam’s unique heritage and premium status. We are excited to release this upgraded packaging and to help foster the brand’s incredible momentum for decades to come.”

Following the launch of the upgraded Jim Beam packaging in the UK and Germany in April 2016, the new design is now rolling out across all other markets, including the United States, Australia and Japan in June 2016.