DIELINE AWARD WINNERS REVEALED

Johnnie Walker Gifting Is One Step Ahead

by Chloe Gordon on 02/21/2022 | 5 Minute Read

Editorial photograph

Since 1820, Johnnie Walker has always been one step ahead of the rest. But even global brand icons need a little help from time to time, and within the slightly dusty world of seasonal gifting, some reinvigoration was required. Our task was to provide fresh new designs across the portfolio, staying true to the brand’s ‘Keep Walking’ mantra and hard- won heritage cues while also appealing to a younger, more progressive audience. 

Johnnie Walker is on a mission to make itself not only culturally relevant, but also culturally influential, so it was important to tap into the codes of contemporary premium language – looking beyond the relative conservatism of the spirits category and drawing inspiration from luxury fashion, lifestyle and retail brands. 

To give the design the power it needed, we also looked within – unearthing a rich bank of archival inspiration, like the spectacular vintage monogram which now adorns Blue Label, and the simple yet elegant signature which lights up Black Label. This informed and helped shape our strategy to “Unleash the Assets”, a strategy designed to speak to a progressive Genzennial global consumer whose idea of premium is more self-expressive, more instinctive and less beholden to convention. 

In close partnership with our production team, our designers chose to hero a different asset for each label, bringing them to life with confident crops, playful embellishments and bold 

Editorial photograph

The cohesive design we’ve brought to the portfolio means that individual markets can act flexibly depending on their consumer needs and preferences – pairing Red with Black or Black with Blue for example – without losing any of the impact of the design. Not only are they striking in the hand, but the designs’ visual cut through also equips it well in the hectic global travel retail landscape. 

Johnnie Walker is on a mission to make itself not only culturally relevant, but also culturally influential, so it was important to tap into the codes of contemporary premium language – looking beyond the relative conservatism of the spirits category and drawing inspiration from luxury fashion, lifestyle and retail brands. 

For a brand which has been fiercely conservative (almost apologetic) with the use of its key brand assets, these new special edition designs represent a significant shift in direction. The vibrancy, modernity and honesty we’ve imbued them with are best summed up as ‘respectfully disrespectful’ to their heritage and legacy. An injection of lively colour, a fluidity of movement and a greater emphasis on disruptive detailing all contribute to a piece of design which will set the benchmark for future Johnnie Walker limited editions. 

Editorial photograph

To give the design the power it needed, we also looked within – unearthing a rich bank of archival inspiration, like the spectacular vintage monogram which now adorns Blue Label, and the simple yet elegant signature which lights up Black Label. This informed and helped shape our strategy to “Unleash the Assets”, a strategy designed to speak to a progressive Genzennial global consumer whose idea of premium is more self-expressive, more instinctive and less beholden to convention. 

In close partnership with our production team, our designers chose to hero a different asset for each label, bringing them to life with confident crops, playful embellishments and bold graphics. Each asset amplifies the personality and liquid story of their respective labels: Red is Confident and Dynamic, Black is Bold and Profound, Blue is Complex and Elevated. 

For a brand which has been fiercely conservative (almost apologetic) with the use of its key brand assets, these new special edition designs represent a significant shift in direction. The vibrancy, modernity and honesty we’ve imbued them with are best summed up as ‘respectfully disrespectful’ to their heritage and legacy. An injection of lively colour, a fluidity of movement and a greater emphasis on disruptive detailing all contribute to a piece of design which will set the benchmark for future Johnnie Walker limited editions. 

Editorial photograph

The cohesive design we’ve brought to the portfolio means that individual markets can act flexibly depending on their consumer needs and preferences – pairing Red with Black or Black with Blue for example – without losing any of the impact of the design. Not only are they striking in the hand, but the designs’ visual cut through also equips it well in the hectic global travel retail landscape. 

Editorial photograph

 Each asset amplifies the personality and liquid story of their respective labels: Red is Confident and Dynamic, Black is Bold and Profound, Blue is Complex and Elevated. 

The result is one we are proud to share. A truly contemporary line up which drives the brand forward into the world of modern-day gifting and creates a pathway for even more mould- breaking work in the future. We are grateful too that the design has already been recognised and loved by customers and consumers alike, achieving listings in 100+ countries and leading to a +106% uptick in sales by volume compared to last year. It’s also tied into a Diageo-wide drive for sustainability, with all primary and secondary packs (except Blue) now fully recyclable.Since 1820, Johnnie Walker has always been one step ahead of the rest. But even global brand icons need a little help from time to time, and within the slightly dusty world of seasonal gifting, some reinvigoration was required. Our task was to provide fresh new designs across the portfolio, staying true to the brand’s ‘Keep Walking’ mantra and hard-won heritage cues while also appealing to a younger, more progressive audience. 

Editorial photograph

The result is one we are proud to share. A truly contemporary line up which drives the brand forward into the world of modern-day gifting and creates a pathway for even more mould- breaking work in the future. We are grateful too that the design has already been recognised and loved by customers and consumers alike, achieving listings in 100+ countries and leading to a +106% uptick in sales by volume compared to last year. It’s also tied into a Diageo-wide drive for sustainability, with all primary and secondary packs (except Blue) now fully recyclable. 

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

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