It’s not every day you get a knock on your door to create a gin brand for Margot Robbie & husband Tom Ackerley, and besties Josey McNamara, Regan & Charlie Maas.
Papa Salt is a tribute to the group’s favourite pastime; long-flowing afternoons wherever the sun is shining and the water is crystal blue with their favourite gin in hand. An easy sip’n gin with zesty Australian botanicals.
Our challenge. To create an anytime gin brand that feels right at home from beachside to bar side, from east coast Australia to west coast USA.
“We came into this process with a very hazy idea of the product we wanted to create, and every interaction with Squad Ink helped clarify and elevate that vision. They are masters at listening to their clients, reducing ideas down to their essence, and then transforming them into unique and beautiful concepts.” – Charlie Maas, CEO Papa Salt
Our response is an intentionally simplistic design, cutting through the category and casting a fresh light on Australian gin. We reduced the design down to its bare essentials: a distinctive form with edges smoothed over as if shaped by the sea over time, an aqua-like blue to radiate freshness and a proud brand moment that alludes to a coastal story yet to be told.
As co-founder Tom Ackerley put it “We’re looking for a bottle that feels right at home nestled into the sand or slipped into a backpack, but shows up confidently on a back bar.”
Portability and an easiness in hand adds to the sessionability of the liquid. This gin is an easy sipper best served with soda and citrus (the founders’ go-to). The rounded cubic profile borrows attributes from a hip flask—the perfect form for slinging into your bag. Indented side contours offer a comfortable grip in hand that feels effortless yet luxurious. Custom matte blue coating radiates with coastal freshness on the shelf, whilst purposely blocking back label show through.
Sustainability is always at the heart of our design approach at Squad Ink—Papa Salt’s compact form and naked bottle aesthetic continue to underpin that ethos. Glass weight has been reduced and sits about 200gms lower than the average spirit bottle (and is aligned with the latest trend to downweight) for sustainability. This, combined with the shape, results in a bottle that reduces its eco footprint.
Flowing on from the organic bottle form, the wordmark and brand mark are as if sketched by hand on a napkin at a beach club. The group have endless stories from summer escapades together so we channelled this into the symbol of a spiralling palm tree.
Sending out a big thank you to Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, Josey McNamara, Regan & Charlie Maas for trusting in us to bring Papa Salt to life.