Designing A System For The Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection

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This year the iconic Jack Daniel Distillery celebrates 150 years of making whiskey. That history of extraordinary quality and craftsmanship is evident in all of its products, including the Single Barrel Collection. You see, a barrel from the Single Barrel Collection is more than a barrel of the brand’s finest whiskey. It’s an experience that’s one-of-a-kind, starting with the handmade barrels, from which only one barrel out of every 100 gets to bear the esteemed Single Barrel name.

2 jack Daniels Select - Neenah Packaging

Because the Single Barrel Collection grew over time, with each new product having been introduced separately, there was disconnect among the packaging for the collection as a whole. That’s where Studio MPLS came in. Under the art direction of Brown-Forman Global Design, the team at Studio MLPS was hired redesign the Collection’s packaging.

Andy Kaul of Studio MPLS said the mission was to design a concept, for both the primary and secondary packaging, one that would work across the four products in the Single Barrel Collection: Select, Rye, 100 Proof, and Barrel Proof.

“It was a highly collaborative process between our team and the Brown-Forman team,” said Kaul. Because the spirits market has grown so dramatically in recent years, our goal was to stand out on the shelf by both maintaining the brand’s historical attributes and elevating the packaging to better represent Jack Daniel’s renowned quality and craftsmanship.”

3 Jack Daniels Select - Neenah Packaging

To evolve the look of the packaging, without creating something drastically different that might alienate brand loyalists, Kaul says they maintained the historical design elements of the bottle itself, and redesigned the label system with easily identifiable color indicators, all printed on Neenah ESTATE LABEL® Papers.

4 Jack Daniels Select - Neenah Packaging

5 Jack Daniels Select - Neenah Packaging

To create brand consistency, Studio MPLS designed clear guidelines for an overarching system that would tie the existing four products together while being flexible enough for new products to be introduced and instantly recognized as part of the collection.

“We wanted consumers to clearly understand that Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel exemplifies the height of our whiskey making credentials,” said Brown-Forman’s Sam Gardner, Art Director.

When identifying materials for the new secondary packaging, Gardner says, “We’d recently moved other Jack Daniel’s packaging to Neenah® Folding Board, a vat-dyed board produced with custom colors. It had been a successful move for these other products so we knew it would be an excellent solution for Single Barrel.” They worked with Chattanooga-based Textile Printing Company (TPC) to sample various folding boards and weights, looking for the rigidity needed to support the bottle inside and to stand up to the heavily debossed wood grain pattern that is designed into the box.

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“The wood grain connects back to Jack Daniel’s heritage, the skilled craftsmanship, and the fact that we make our own barrels. It was a design element we really wanted to see come to life and TPC had the experience to know what we could and couldn’t do with this board. They did a beautiful job.”

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“We select the materiality in our packaging that best represent our high standards when it comes to making whiskey. This, in turn, reflects the quality of the Tennessee whiskey inside the bottle,” said Gardner.

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The new packaging was first seen on the shelves in the Fall of 2015 for the Select, 100 Proof, and Barrel products, and then in Spring 2016 for Rye.