CRIT*: The Bold & Brave Port Co.

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Join us every Tuesday for a crit of the previous week's #1 post, in our new feature by Richard Baird.  

The Bold & Brave Port Co. is a limited edition port commissioned and packaged by Australia based design agency Bold Inc. created in collaboration with freelance illustrator Jeremy Lord and letterpress specialist The Distillery. The design utilizes tactile print and surface treatments, diverse material, and visual flourishes to create a packaging solution that is traditional in its ideation but contemporary in its execution.

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"The collection includes five different bottles. A good old-fashioned hole punch became the simple and ingenious solution to bring hand-crafted exclusivity to each individually numbered bottle.”“The design itself is inspired by the rich history of our neighboring wharves, where U.S Sailors, on shore in Potts Points and Kings Cross helped establish a long serving culture of working hard and playing harder. The Bold & Brave Port Co. is a testament of our town. Never a dull moment, always an opportunity. A place where fortune favours the brave..."Designed with layers of texture, detail and mixed print techniques, Bold Inc. have neatly unified multiple aesthetics to visually characterize handcrafted quality. The black paper wrapped exterior, rubber band, and elaborately illustrated single-colour seal -applied as raised ink across an uncoated metallic substrate- creates a bold and mysterious quality. The script, flourishes and radial layout feel classic in their construction but with a modern and underlying seafaring, tattoo-like sensibility.

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Below, a more conventional aesthetic emerges, but one of equal consideration that exploits the traditional associations (and current design favour) of the letterpress, to create a label with an implied sense of regional history and local quality. A calendar-like layout of the unique bottle numbers and the stained tone of the substrate neatly establish the theme of time and age that feels very appropriate for a spirit such as port. Bright highlights deliver a modern contrast and an almost fruity note. A typographic blend of serif, sans-serif, and handwritten details are well selected and have the ‘heritage’ - personalized characteristics you would expect to find from a limited edition port product. 

The label, rejecting a standard adhesive, is secured with a rubber band tying it back to the external packaging while functioning as an important break between content. A neck dipped in wax builds on the individuality of the product and aged aesthetic established by the label.  A combination that should deliver a memorable one-off interaction.

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For the original post on The Bold & Brave Port Co. with additional photos click here.

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Opinion by Richard Baird@richbaird

Richard Baird is a British freelance design consultant based in Prague, CZ who specialises in logo, brand and packaging design. He has written for Design Week, featured in Computer Arts magazine and runs the design blogs BP&O and Design Survival.

Richard studied Furniture and Product design for fours years and worked as a freelance furniture designer for a further two. Over this period he developed an interest in packaging and branding building a portfolio of small commercial projects in his free time before finally moving full-time into brand and packaging design.

He has worked across a variety of industries predominantly helping new companies brand and package their new products and services. Notable projects include work for Fiskars UK, Imperial and Gallo Wines. He writes daily for his blog BP&O while curating tips to help new designers for his site Design Survival.