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Designed By Bulletproof, New Johnnie Walker Release Features Ink Made From Air Pollution

by Rudy Sanchez on 10/27/2022 | 3 Minute Read

Johnnie Walker has announced a new series of Black Label bottles dubbed the “Keep Walking City Collection.” Inspired by big cities worldwide, Johnnie Walker aims to connect with a new generation of whisky drinkers by drawing them to the global brand on a more local level.

The whisky brand worked with creative agency Bulletproof, who conceived the collection’s concept after discovering that Gen Z identifies more with their city than with their country. Each bottle features a unique design by local street artists that begins with a white ceramic surface as their canvas. What's more, the selected artists use Air-Ink for the labels. 

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Made by Graviky Labs, Air-Ink gets made using captured pollution from diesel generators, smokestacks, and other sources of pollution using a device called Kaalink, derived from the Hindi word kaala, meaning black. Carbon is filtered out and mixed with other substances resulting in the final black ink. While graffiti is sometimes associated with marring cityscapes, the brand specifically chose street artists to bring the bottles to life. By celebrating graffiti, they gave a clear thumbs up to the art form, adding another layer of significance to using "dirty" ink made from carbon emissions.

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For the Keep Walking City Collection. Alek Morawski celebrates the landmarks of Warshaw, while artist Okuda San Miguel depicts culture and nature spilling onto the streets of Madrid. Meanwhile, Gongkan's rendering of Bangkok celebrates the city's next generation. Future cities and artist pairings will include releases from Shilo Shiv Suleman for Delhi and Mr. Hure’s bottle  for Istanbul.

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“Part of this work is really about looking at emergent sustainable technologies that we can begin to introduce into Johnnie Walker,” said Bulletproof associate creative director Rory Harker. “The technology inspired the idea, not the other way around. We loved that it forced us into a black-and-white aesthetic connecting beautifully to Black Label. We also loved that it was ink made of polluted cities, bringing us to the idea of working with artists heavily influenced by the cities they grew up in.”

Bottles for Warsaw, Bangkok, and Madrid in the Keep Walking City collection have already been released, with Delhi and Istanbul coming in the months ahead.

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