Agency: Boundless Brand Design
Founder and Creative Director: Hamish Shand
Location: United Kingdom
Project Type: Produced
Client: Wessex Gin
Product Launch Location: United Kingdom
Packaging Contents: Gin
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass Bottle
Printing Process: Litho, foil stamping & embossing
Wessex Distillery came to Boundless only with a trademarked name and a brief to create a brand and bottle so beautiful that it would stand out from the cluttered gin shelf and live on in consumers’ homes well beyond finishing the gin itself.
Looking into the rich heritage of Wessex, the name takes you back to the reign of Alfred the Great, a King surrounded by heroic tales of defeating the Vikings and his unlikely succession to the throne of England. As the only King to be called ‘The Great’, this alluring story had to be celebrated and brought to the fore of the branding with a captivating and flexible brand identity, and a bottle so mythical it could have existed during his reign.
The Wyvern, a two-legged Dragon, is the symbol of Wessex and links to the heraldry and folklore, now it sits proudly as the brand icon, wrapping itself around the Wessex goblet.
Boundless designed a bespoke bottle to hold this mythical elixir, taking inspiration from ancient apothecary bottles and using a range of unusual colours that glow through the faceted bottle. The neck is shaped as a decanter with a wide opening to hold an oversized cork stopper adorning the Wyvern icon. Hanging around the neck, finishing off the mythical bottle is an exact replica silver penny coin of Alfred the Great from 871 AD.
The core variant launched first with a high-quality English gin delivering flavours of juniper, coriander and lively citrus endnotes, and was the hero of The Craft Gin Clubs September box. With the gin category booming in flavour variations, Wessex looked onwards to develop a range of beautiful English fruit and flavour gins to meet this demand, inspired by herbs and recipes from an ancient Anglo-Saxon text called the Herbarium.
Creative Director Hamish Shand says: “The Wessex Gin brief was an ambitious project from the start. The client’s imagination and appetite to create a truly outstanding and memorable brand gave us the scope to create a visual world that is so distinctive to itself, but more crucially within the category. This particular era often overlooked in history, is full of depth, fantasy, and intrigue, but married with a deep understanding of botanicals, a commitment to quality, and a vision of longevity, Wessex is a real treasure.”
All the details of this brand and bottle speak to the old-world mythology that surrounds The Great King of Wessex, firmly placing its origins in 871 AD. It is truly unique in story, structure, and design.