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No Two Bottles Of Dulwich Gin Are The Same

by Bill McCool on 03/03/2020 | 3 Minute Read

South London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery opened to the public in 1817, and it’s now the country’s oldest gallery for the common people. On display, visitors will find some of the most famous portraits from the Georgian era, a time when everyone was downing gin, which come to think of it, never really went away.

Now, you can get a little taste of that point in history with the recently released Dulwich Gin. This premium, London dry gin comes courtesy of a branding and packaging assist from design strategist Silas Amos and design team Derek & Eric.

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The crew gathered some of their favorite portraits from the gallery and combined the subjects in a variety of ways, along with a slew of bold colors. Because of this, no two bottles of the gin are the same. Scattered throughout the labels, you’ll also find some mischievous copy in the form of biblical passages (“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." Ephesians 5:18.) as well as a quote from temperance enthusiast Henry Fielding (“A truly elegant taste is generally accompanied with excellency of heart”).

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Oh, and here’s a call-out to all the print nerds out there; they digitally printed the labels to maximize the color potential so that the portraits had enough pop for the shelf.

“Color shuffling has been possible in digital print for some time, but we wanted greater control over which colors went where, and that required technical innovation,” Silas says. “HP Indigo’s Creative Tools planned to create the unique label artwork, but since their color shuffle abilities could not specify which parts of the illustrations to change, Guy Bibi of HP Indigo provided the technical support by creating a tool to generate a database with the correct logic in it for HP SmartStream Designer to read." 

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"Dulwich Gin can claim a world-first in using—and asking for—this more nuanced utilization of the software,” he adds. “That’s kind of fun, given the age of the original paintings.”

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Silas and Derek & Eric created bags that were meant to act as packaging for the spirit, as well as a few advertisements for the tube. They also made a series of posters that went along with gift sets of the bottle. “Each carries a unique Georgian insult, drawn from street-slang of the era – an elegant way of insulting your friends and acquaintances,” Silas says. “The Georgians certainly had a way with creative insults.”

The premium gin launched in Dulwich, and they are currently seeking distribution partners throughout the US and Asia.