Turntable x Starward packaging | Communication Arts



Responses by Hattie Windley, senior designer, Thirst.

Background: There is a perception in whisky today that quality lies in the single malt category whereas volume lies in the blended category. Scotland-based distillery Turntable Spirits wanted to flip the record on this misconception with a range of small-batch blended whiskies focusing on innovation, quality and transparency, as blending opens an amazing opportunity for flavor development. The purpose of this project was to further explore cross-border blending in the pursuit of flavor, the result being a global collaboration between Turntable and Starward Whisky in Australia. We aimed to reach both whisky novices looking to try something new, as well as tried-and-tested whisky lovers who want to explore a new category in pursuit of flavor and quality.

Design thinking: The collaboration’s concept was a meeting of the two hemispheres through whisky making. So, inspired by Starward’s visual identity, we looked to star charts to represent this meeting of two sides. With Starward in Melbourne and Turntable in Scotland seeing two completely different perspectives of the starry sky, we wanted to visually represent that through the artistic expression of this blend. We knew it had to feel like part of the Turntable limited edition range, but being a unique collaboration commanding a slightly higher price point, we elevated the existing structure with deeper tones of blues and experimented with finishes on pack.

Challenges: We wanted this to be a really show-stopping pack, so we combined multiple finishes for the final design. Initially, we wanted to go all out with glow-in-the-dark ink on both our outer box and bottle label. While print limitations restricted us to using the ink just on the label, it ended up enhancing the experience by creating a discoverable detail to surprise people that had bought the whisky.

Favorite details: The final illustration looks beautiful with all the finishes, especially on the box. It perfectly encapsulates the fusion of the two whisky distilleries: Turntable’s artistic side, and Starward’s interstellar look and feel.

New lessons: I learned that glow-in-the-dark ink needs to be charged by light in order to work. Who knew!

Surprisingly, I also learned a little bit more about astronomy from researching the different constellations of both Scotland and Australia.

Visual influences: I found inspiration from two very different sources for this project—astronomy and art. I discovered a set of beautiful vintage Victorian star charts that inspired the main structure of the illustration. Then, we offset this with a more abstract, artistic approach for the Milky Way, which cuts through the star chart as if it had been sprayed on with spray paint. I think this juxtaposition of two almost opposing influences dials up the duality of the liquid nicely.

thirstcraft.com

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