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Pack of the Month: Elderbrook Drinks

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 11/23/2016 | 5 Minute Read

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Forget “employee of the month” or high school superlatives—this is The Dieline’s Packaging of the Month. This monthly feature offers an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most popular designs that’s appeared on the site. It gives you the opportunity to learn more about the designer or agency behind the product, why they designed it the way they did, and why we here at The Dieline love it. For October 2016, we spoke with & Smith and We All Need Words about their design for Elderbrook Drinks.

Who: Elderbrook Drinks began began when founders David Folkman and Craig Jones quit their jobs to become entrepreneurs. The drink’s precise identity comes from the focus of the two agencies that teamed up to redesign it. & Smith specializes in branding and design for hotels, food, and drink, while We All Need Words focuses on copywriting and developing a brand voice. With combined experience working for brands like Bacardi, Google, Lux Resorts & Hotels, and Wolfgang Puck, just to name a few, they were a dream team to develop the refreshing and cheeky Elderbrook Drinks.

What: Delicious, flavorful beverages that are definitely not your average soft drink.

Theresa: Why did you choose to use glass bottles for Elderbrook Drinks?

Dan from & SMITH: The job was a rebrand, so we couldn't change the bottles (they fit through letter boxes and that bit was working well). But we quite liked the size and format - somehow the bottles feel old-school and precious. Almost medicinal too - as if what's inside is going to be good for you. But we did change the colour of the caps and the shape of the labels.     

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Theresa: Why did you work with three different artists for the illustrations, and how did you decide on Enrica Casentini, Ana Jaks, and Quentin Monge?

Dan from & SMITH: Elderbrook is made with good, fancy  ingredients (like coconut nectar instead of refined sugar) which means it costs a bit more than other cordials. So we wanted each bottle to feel like a limited edition - something you'd be happy to pay extra pennies for. We picked three different illustrators to help show that Elderbrook's a one-off and it's crafted. Every time people receive their bottles in the post, they also get a signed postcard with a different illustrator's artwork. We chose Enrica, Ana and Quentin because they matched the tone we were going for: there's lots of personality and wit in their work (a lot of "good-for-you" brands are quite worthy and we didn't want that look and feel). Elderbrook are going to produce some special seasonal recipes too, so we'll introduce and promote new illustrators when they do that.

Theresa: Why did you pick a subtle, skinny sans serif font for the labels?

Dan from & SMITH: Elderbrook logo and headline typeface (Futura Passata) are quite bold, so we wanted something to contrast with that. We also wanted it to fit seamlessly with the illustrations, so it had to be a bit looser and like it might've been hand-drawn. We went with Populaire because it's quite adaptable and we can use it with different illustrators' work in the future.

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Theresa: Why did you opt to describe the drink as what it’s not rather than what it is?

Rob from We All Need Words: The client was a bit stuck about how to describe it. They’d say it’s this or that - pause -  and then say “but it’s not squash.” And we thought that’s great. Most brands run a mile from starting with a negative. I think they worry that it plants an idea in people’s heads that they didn’t have to start with. It doesn’t. It’s much more powerful. Especially in a sector like Elderbrook’s where everyone’s claiming to be good for you and trying to put a positive spin on everything.

Why we love it / Why we picked it: Just like the folks at & SMITH and We All Need Words, we’ve had our fill of energy drinks that claim they’ll work miracles or water that’s filtered through volcanic rocks. Elderbrook Drinks is unabashedly unique and unafraid to be a simply great-tasting drink made from good ingredients. The label features the best of both worlds: lovely illustrations that elicit positive emotions and quirky copywriting that stands out. Elderbrook Drinks smartly calls out sugary soft drinks and the latest health fads, positioning it as a superior and more honest alternative.


Designed by: & Smith, We All Need Words

Client: Elderbrook Drinks

Country: United Kingdom

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