New Logo Packaging from Highland Park
From the site:
When Highland Park first appeared as a proprietary single malt at the end of
the 1970s, all the design work was carried out by a London agency. There were no
genuine Orcadian roots to the design. The new packaging has seen a return to
authentic colours and designs based on first-hand research.
A lot more about the re-design after the jump.
Andy Bowman, the award-winning designer at the head of Mountain Creative
Design, was tasked with re-branding Highland Park; the brief was to reinforce
the brand values and to focus on integrity. Having worked with Highland Park
before, Andy was already a fan.
“I have very fond memories of my first stint on Highland Park; in the summer
of 1995, I was asked to paint a series of watercolours that would feature in a
book celebrating Orcadian poetry entitled Orkney Stories. Having been deeply in
love with the Scottish Islands and their culture for some time, it was no great
inconvenience to find myself wandering the rugged and beautiful landscape in
search of inspiration.
By coincidence, 10 years later we were asked to revisit the brand; the
branding that had served Highland Park so well for many years clearly hadn’t
originated from Orkney which has a culture of Celts, Picts and Vikings. I had a
fairly good idea of what we were trying to create but my knowledge of Viking art
was minimal. Sitting alone in the Eunson Room at the distillery with only my
diary for company, I started to sketch; five minutes later the first draft of
the amulette was finished. I felt that overall it looked like a modern shape but
its centre was rooted in something that definitely wasn’t modern. I struggled to
justify it at first but it felt right; a perfect mix of Celtic and Scandinavian
From the brief, it was clear we needed assurances that the Viking influence
was well-founded. I flew to Oslo in December 2005 and, after studying in the
museums of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, I felt vindicated.
In my research I learned of the many similarities between the Celtic, Gael,
Pictish and Viking art styles; I was most influenced by the Urnes style; the
soft, graceful curves and sophisticated line shapes belie its 1,000-year-old
tradition. The style is essentially Norwegian, the homeland of the Vikings
settlers that arrived in Orkney at around the same time. Most Viking – and much
of Celtic – jewellery was created in silver and that was the overriding reason
to change from the old golden “h”. The knotwork that features in the Amulette is
common to Norway and Scotland as is the lettering style employed to create the
“h” in Highland Park. The design was then taken to the renowned Orkney jeweller,
Ortak, to be created in pure silver.”
The bottle and label
Pearlfisher are an independent design partnership, with offices in London and
New York, which wins awards for creative excellence and commercial
effectiveness. Their brief was to create package design in keeping with Highland
Park’s positioning as the world’s most respected single malt.
Hidden layers of depth like the subtle embossing of the “h”, the varnished
“h” on the label and the larger, chunkier type on the back feel good in the hand
and fit well with the brand’s rich mythology. The logo is a more refined version
of the signage on the gates, in keeping the brand’s heritage. “Estd 1798” is
also taken directly from the gates, creating an instant connection to the brand
for anyone who has visited or seen pictures of the distillery.
Writing “Product of Scotland” above the logo assists in anchoring Highland
Park. Historically, addresses were often used on whisky advertisements and outer
Centred layouts with a dividing rule were popular in malt whisky advertising.
The information would then be separated out into different areas; in this
instance it’s the age and the tasting notes. The back of the outer packaging
displays this technique to great effect.
The embossed “h” creates a further layer of subtlety and intrigue; the new
Orcadian styling is a clearer cue to Highland Park being a product of Orkney. In
this instance, it is flanked by “Estd 1798” using the same style as appears on
the bottle graphics and on the distillery gates.
The use of the Distillery Manager’s signature on Highland Park 12 to 18 year
old adds further credibility to the label and recalls the days when most bottles
of whisky were hand-signed. The same rationale applies to the use of the
signatures of the Distillery Manager and Whisky Maker on Highland Park 25 and 30
The brand colour is slate grey rather than black and is used more sparingly.
Although it is clearly connected to the earlier design, it adds depth and warmth
thus reflecting the complexity of the taste profile.
Sans serif typefaces were often used in posters and add a utilitarian slant
to the brand’s authenticity.Less important information would run vertically on
the sides as a note and often recounted a story connected to the brand; on the
younger variants of Highland Park it relates to the brand’s conception. We have
also used quotes from a vintage ad campaign attributed to James Grant’s
In the 18th and 19th centuries design rules tended to be far less uniform
than now. For example, text was not justified nor did it necessarily run the
full length of the pack. With the new packaging we brought Highland Park’s
authenticity to the fore while making it accessible and relevant to today’s