So my latest project is a limited edition whisky label design (how Scottish :)) for a young drinks company. If you know me, then you’ll know I love a label design. But, as you probably don’t, then let me tell you that despite absolutely loving red wine, the label has at least as much bearing on the bottle that I buy, much to the chagrin of my personal sommelier. I can’t help it! I have books on the subject and a pretty extensive label collection that includes Some Young Punks and Matsu. (That I’m still trying to figure out the best way to get the labels off in one piece is probably for another post…).
But that’s wine labels. To be fair, beer labels have also undergone a bit of a design renaissance in recent years, helped in no small part by the phenomenal success of Brewdog (also Scottish! A theme emerges!). Hmm, whisky labels though…? To uninitiated me (definitely not a whisky drinker) they always seem quite traditional – and for that read: dull. A bit of Googling however, revealed that there are some funkier designs out there.
After brainstorming the concept with the client over curry and a bottle of wine – a design process I thoroughly recommend! – we settled on basing the brand around the road which connects the two company shops; the fortuitiously/unfortunately named Slug road.
The first visuals were a modern take using a slug graphic (which I loved – that trail was going to be spot UV!) and a more traditional design based on a drawing of the road itself. Although the client loved the slug too, as he so delicately pointed out, “people are fucking stupid, they’ll think it’s made of actual slugs”. Having extensive experience of the stupidity of people, I had to concede this was quite likely the case.
But ok… the road idea was the favourite, except, I didn’t really like the visuals for the road one! I preferred the more modern ‘slug’ version…. So, I went back to the drawing board and worked on ‘modernising’ the road design with a geometric pattern. If I say so myself, it’s actually pretty smart – the triangles represent two mountains, the road and some trees (in case you don’t get it :)). Without the actual slug, I thought ‘sloc’ worked better as the name, and gave it an accompanying blurb by way of explanation. As part of the blurb goes:
“The Slug Road is an ancient ‘mounth’ road in Aberdeenshire. Slug is thought to be derived from the Gaelic word sloc, meaning hollow or dell, named because the road traverses a narrow mountain pass.”
SLOC ~ the final design
Anyway, the title of this post is because all those triangles reminded me of this.
Frank Zappa ~ Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch