One DesignIsland Gin
Submission # 126
Packaging – Pūhera
Identity – Place
Innovation – Technical
Auckland, Tāmaki Makaurau
Island Gin is crafted five hours off the coast of New Zealand in a small distillery on Great Barrier Island. With a population of less than 1,000, the remote island is unrivalled in its natural beauty – it is one of only 12 dark sky sanctuaries in the world – and the small community is dedicated to preserving its unique landscape.
Distilled with 100% pure New Zealand base spirit, organic Macedonian juniper, hand foraged botanicals mostly grown on the Island and cut with water sourced from a 100 year old island spring, the unique profile of Island Gin is led by locally harvested Island Bush Honey and Coriander.
Acquisition of a small bach at Medlands, and a love affair with island living (and G&Ts) compelled our client Andi Ross to create and distill this handcrafted, off-grid gin. She required a distinct brand with packaging that would sit comfortably alongside other ultra-premium gins, while directly speaking to its provenance.
Our challenge was to marry the distinct, wild nature of Great Barrier Island with the sensibility of a world class gin, conveying the beauty of the Island as well as the premium nature of the spirit
Island Gin is consciously guided by nature and the principles of the local community.
The recycled glass bottle was directly inspired by the kina shell - endemic to the coastline of Great Barrier Island and New Zealand, which gives it a unique sense of place and identity.
Working closely with OI Glass, Andi perfected and manufactured the bottle using recycled sea glass from the Island itself. The transition phase of the glass manufacturing process (where the colour transitions from flint to artic blue) formed the first run with the unique kina mould. The pale green glass, a result of this transition phase, works beautifully to further enhance the kina identity which is naturally green in colour.
The circular label design references both the kina and the recycled sustainable ethos of the brand putting Great Barrier Island at the heart both metaphorically and physically. Each flavour is distinguished by hues from nature, inspired by the land and sea. These raw muted colours are juxtaposed with a sculptured foil emboss which assists brand positioning in the ultra-premium space.
"A stunning piece of glasswork. Take the labels off this and it will still be recognisable as Island Gin. This is a testament to the work and commitment put in by all involved and communicating the story in this way - not cheap, takes huge amounts of time and effort, but so worth it. This bottle stands up on a global scale."
"This is a great example of craft, innovation and concept working together. It fits the kaupapa perfectly!"
Credits & Collaborators: Design Director - David Macdonald Design Director - Rachel Doughty Design Director - Andi Ross Designer - Tanya Ledwich Photographer - Charles Howells
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