The Balvenie Stories

Derrick Lin


Design: Here Design
Project Type: Produced
Client: William Grant & Sons
Location: London, UK
Packaging Contents: Whisky
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass bottle

Single malt Scotch brand The Balvenie has launched a new range of three whiskies with packaging design by London-based studio Here Design.

Building on a longstanding relationship with parent company William Grant & Sons which includes design work for Grant’s blended Scotch whisky, Hendrick’s Gin and Glenfiddich, this latest project by Here Design includes the packaging for three innovative bottles in a new collection: The Balvenie Stories.

Bespoke, interactive bottles
As a studio that designs both books and packaging, the approach was to treat these whisky packs as book covers. With the aim of telling tales of human character, endeavour and craft, each pack is defined by original illustrations by British print artist Andy Lovell who was commissioned to create bespoke artworks that visually represent the unique real-life stories behind the people who make The Balvenie.

Tone of voice and copy plays a vital role. The evocative and descriptive names for these whiskies defy category convention by referring to specific aspects and details of each story, and the back of each pack is given over to a long form description of the whisky story with signatures from the different characters that played a vital role in their production.

Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection
To accompany the launch of the liquid range in autumn 2019, The Balvenie will also publish a book of short fiction and non-fiction stories: Pursuit – The Balvenie Stories Collection. Designed by Here and incorporating works from acclaimed writers around the world, the book also features original illustrations of the distillery in a dramatic, telegraphic form.

In addition to the packaging and book, Here have created a comprehensive visual toolkit for the launch of these whiskies including two- and three-dimensional key visuals.

Creative Partner Mark Paton from Here Design says: “Our aspiration for the package and book design was to reflect the humanity of the makers at The Balvenie distillery and their story – and to reflect the fact that each whisky was influenced and authored by a team of passionate distillery workers.

“We wanted to ensure that the design was bold and Andy’s artwork was just that – handmade and expressive textures from his work hark back to the physical craft of producing whisky which brought the stories to life.”

The Balvenie Global Brand Ambassador Gemma Paterson says: “Each of the whiskies in The Balvenie Stories range tells a unique tale of character and endeavour. There’s emotion and human nature in everything we do at The Balvenie, and the design captures that in a beautiful and impactful way.”

What’s Unique?
To enrich the experience of these whiskies further, the bottle also incorporates an NFC-enabled neck tag that links to podcasts telling this story though audio conversations with the different craftspeople behind the liquid, as well as a guided whisky tasting.