Derrick Lin


Design Agency: Studio 32 North
Designer: Sallie Reynolds Allen
Copywriter: Elliott Allen
Photographer: Steve Simar
Typographer: Martin Schmetzer
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Jos. A. Magnus & Co.
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Packaging Contents: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Packaging Materials: Glass, Paper, Wood, Cork

A descendant of Joseph A. Magnus discovered a bourbon bottle from the 1890’s with an amazingly good seal on the enclosure. He then helped bring together master distillers and industry experts to evaluate the spirit inside. After carefully extracting the nearly 120-year-old whiskey, they found it to be surprisingly tasty–and with that, the concept for a new bourbon was born. The new recipe is largely based on the opinions of the experts and distillers who sampled the old bourbon.

Feeling a strong obligation to maintain the integrity of the original brand, while also developing packaging to give the whiskey the attention it deserved, Studio 32 North found a few key elements to guide the way. The old logo of the lion with a quiver of arrows was so integral to the old labels that it needed to be a big part of the new branding. There were several different antique Magnus bottles to draw inspiration from, but there seemed to be a lot of inconsistencies among them–except some featured an intriguing scalloped edge design. With that in mind, Studio 32 North decided to use an elegantly elongated and fluted neck to help the bottle stand out on shelf. The type design draws inspiration from the historical paper labels and Magnus signature, while offering a more refined overall type design to better match the quality of the whiskey within.

The client was thrilled with the design and has received a lot of praise from industry peers, as well as through social media. The fact that the bourbon has also received several tasting awards in a very short amount of time is only helping to strengthen the excitement.