East London Liquor Co. Gets A Bold Rebrand From Ragged Edge
by Bill McCool on 10/01/2020 | 4 Minute Read
Plenty of craft distilleries make transcendent spirits, but often not only do they come at ridiculous price points, but their visual identity looks stuffy and pretentious.
And that's precisely why we love this gin rebrand for the East London Liquor Co. by Ragged Edge. Not only does the packaging have a vibrant energy along with defiant type, but as Ragged Edge puts it, they designed "great drinks without all the crafty bullshit."
East London Liquor Co. now has a brand full of fighting spirit. The rebrand by Ragged Edge squares up to the increasingly rarified craft spirits category by offering decent booze at a decent price.
While East London Liquor Co. had already established itself as a favorite among bartenders, it was time to build a brand to speak to directly to drinkers everywhere. And despite distilling their spirits with all the care and attention of a craft product, the affectations and high price points associated with the sector are the direct opposite of their ethos.
Max Ottignon, co-founder, Ragged Edge, says: “East London Liquor Co. makes great drinks without the crafty bullshit. But to really succeed, they needed to take the fight beyond the idiosyncratic world of craft spirits. And they needed to be ready to ruffle a few feathers along the way. So, we helped them build a brand that’s unpretentious, unapologetic, and unabashed in its flagrant disregard for convention. A brand designed to transcend a category.”
This went much further than a pack redesign. Ragged Edge worked with East London Liquor Co. to revolutionize their whole approach. Everybody and everything associated with the brand had to ooze fighting spirit.
Cut the craft
With the holistic brand strategy complete, the agency transformed the visual and verbal identity. That meant moving away from a much-loved design language rooted in craft, to an unapologetically bold identity bristling with East London spirit.
A custom typeface, developed in close collaboration with NaN Foundry, is made even more unique with glyphs (found letters) inspired by the local area, the distillery, and the production process. A ‘smiler’ icon was inspired by an old crest found in nearby Victoria Park and incorporates the Thames to make a smiley emoji. Fluorescent yellow, used in defiant bursts, demands attention. And a defiant tone of voice speaks without fluff and façade.
D’you want some?
The identity was brought to life across new and existing product ranges. The core range of spirits feels unapologetically raw, with the occasional premium flourish. Abstracted graphics referencing each liquid’s story form an immediately recognizable visual language, designed to disrupt both the optic lineup and the supermarket shelf. New RTD (ready-to-drink) and hard seltzer ranges ignore emerging category codes to create a striking contrast to anything else in the market.
Off pack, the art direction brings a candid energy to the brand’s digital presence, with lifestyle imagery created in partnership with photographer Charlie McKay.
Alex Wolpert, founder, East London Liquor Co., says: “We have a simple proposition: great spirits at great prices. But our ambition is huge. We came to Ragged Edge because we knew we needed more than a new identity. We needed to lead a fundamental change in a category that has got lost in its own hype. Ragged Edge lived up to their changemaker reputation, pushing us way, way beyond what even we thought possible. And this is just the beginning.”
- Agency: Ragged Edge