It may be said that every packaging design has a story to tell. However, a select few lift the storytelling to such a high level that it borders on epic.
Such is the remarkable tale told by redesigned gin bottles from Glendalough Distillery in Ireland, which used the packaging to relate the storied history of the land and the brand.
The Irish are renowned for their storytelling and this gin bottle is no exception. The extraordinary attention to detail encompasses intricate embossing of the glass bottle combined with the front label’s shape and decoration.
First, though, a few words to set up what’s behind the packaging design details for the reimagined bottle, which is a dramatic change from the standard glass bottle used prior for the brand’s Irish whiskey bottles.
Created in homage to the lush valley of Glendalough in County Wicklow, otherwise known as "the Garden of Ireland," the new bottle has been crafted to look as though it has been picked straight from the forest floor.
Glendalough Irish Gin is crafted using fresh, wild botanicals from the nearby Wicklow Mountains that are hand-picked daily by Ireland's only full-time forager, Geraldine Kavanagh.
"The inspiration for the flavor of our gin comes from the scents, sights, and tastes of Glendalough and it's my job to put that essence into the bottle," she says. “Since we grow the ingredients in the wild, we take a lot of care to ensure that we don't adversely affect the areas we forage from. To see the story of Glendalough and our process come to life in the new bottle and bring our Irish gin to the world stage is special. This new bottle is a reminder of the significance of preserving the beautiful Irish landscape."
Packaging Digest learned the bottle was in development two years.
According to the brand’s representative, “There was much deliberation to ensure we were true to the story of Glendalough, our people, and the craft of our gins — it was a labor of love!”
The labor that yielded such a lovely bottle was handled by Here Design.
“It's such a treat when we are given the opportunity to add so much depth and meaning to a design,” design associate Alice Clifford of Here Design tells us. “The project felt like a vessel to tell the incredible story of Glendalough’s history, and the delicate process of making the distillery’s new luxury gins. We thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the team at Glendalough Distillery to add richness to each element of the packaging, from the bottle shape to the embossed botanicals — each element feels like a puzzle piece waiting to be discovered.”
It's a six-piece puzzle, though unofficially it’s a lucky seven: the back of the neck-band label as seen below depicts two of the gin's botanicals. We share the gin bottle’s six secrets one at a time in the slides in the accompanying gallery.