Eyes on design: Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths

Bowmore recently revamped its new packaging across its core range, from Bowmore 12 Year Old to Bowmore 25 Year Old and the new Bowmore No. 1. Set for release from February 2017, the new design carefully curates the story of Bowmores character and is only one gear in the Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths campaign. Another feature of the campaign is a virtual reality visit through the distillery with Bowmore-branded Google cardboard VR glasses. (Anyone knows how to get one?)

Bowmore's core whiskies largely remained the same. The 12, 15, 18 and 25 year old single malt from Islay's oldest distillery remained on board. Although the 15 year old lost it's nickname 'Darkest'. The entry-level Small Batch expression will be replaced by a NAS expression baptised N°1 Malt and matured in first fill bourbon casks.

[caption id="attachment_2238" align="aligncenter" width="667"]Bowmore N°1 Malt Bowmore N°1 Malt, the entry-level whisky from Islay's first distillery.[/caption]

The people

PR agency: LDR Creative - Twitter
Design & Branding agency: D8 - Twitter

[caption id="attachment_2229" align="aligncenter" width="646"]D8 The Glasgow design and branding agency is behind the Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths campagin. They previously designed the GTR range Black Rock, Gold Reef and White Sands expressions.[/caption]

  • Creative Director: Adrian Carroll - Twitter - Instagram

  • Design Director: Andrew Neely

  • Design Director: Steven Bonner

  • Head of Strategy: David Shanks - Twitter

  • Designer: Andrew Leitch

  • Artwork: Ian Middleton

  • Motion Graphics: David Beattie

  • Account Director: Louise Macpherson

  • Account Management: Jo Stein and Lisa McGregor

The Typeface

Perceptive eyes will notice the Bowmore logo on the bottle has changed. The new Bowmore typeface is Miller. This traditional serif typeface was cut in Glasgow in the 1800’s by Alexander Wilson and Sons (a period known fortuitously as Scotch-Roman). It's a historical and geographical return to the origins of Bowmore. Previously Bowmore used Goudy Handtooled in its wordmarque and Gotham. Beautiful typefaces but they did not have any connection to the brand.

The new arched Bowmore wordmarque was redrawn by Paul Barnes at Commercial Type. The type that sits underneath locks up much more neatly giving more space on pack and label for storytelling.

[caption id="attachment_2233" align="aligncenter" width="628"]Bowmore logo old vs new Bowmore's new logo side by side with the old one[/caption]

The Colours

The colour scheme for the age statement whiskies remained pretty much the same. One could say they did not want to alienate the existing customer and fan base. Colours  have been slightly strengthened rather than reinventing them.

The Devil hides in the details (and not in Kilarrow Parish Church)

There are plenty of little details referring to the legendary N°1 Vaults in the new packaging. The base of the box features the wood texture of the iconic doors. Both the box and bottle label showcase the famous padlock.

[caption id="attachment_2232" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Bowmore N°1 Vaults - Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths Bowmore's iconic warehouse below sea-level. Credits: Alex Telfer[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2235" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths Do you spot Bowmore's hidden message?  Bowmore Unlock Hidden Depths[/caption]

Bowmore 15YO Old vs. New

[caption id="attachment_2240" align="aligncenter" width="990"]bowmore 15 old vs new The classic sherry matured 15YO 'Darkest' vs. the classy new 15YO.  It's not a dramatic change yet  I feel the new packaging has a more timeless  look.[/caption]

Image credits: Bowmore Distillery , The Whisky Exchange and D8.