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Du Nord Social Spirits Practice What It Preaches

by Chloe Gordon on 03/28/2022 | 3 Minute Read

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Du Nord Social Spirits is a cause brand that doesn’t want to preach. A Black-owned brand with a diverse team. A social enterprise that’s product-first. It’s about what’s in the glass. Du Nord, America's first (legal) black-owned distillery, has distilled high quality spirits with a loyal local following since 2013. Then on May 25th 2020 George Floyd was murdered on their block. Riots erupted. The was world changed. Their team was changed. Du Nord was changed.

“From all this, we had a choice: go back to business as usual, or build something better from the ashes of what was.” — Du Nord’s Founders. From the fury came the fuel for change – an industry, a neighborhood, a world. And a brand. Working with the founders and their team of self-described misfits, it became clear that Du Nord Craft Spirit’s current brand, although not broken, didn’t accurately reflect or communicate who they had become and would continue to grow into. Du Nord is dedicated in equal parts to premium high quality spirits and fostering diversity in their industry and beyond. They are social in manner and mission. In addition to growing their brand and changing the liquor industry from the inside, they founded the Du Nord Foundation to address racial inequalities and build economic justice in the Twin Cities. They do this through immediate relief and long-term investing in entrepreneurs and business leaders of color. Sales from Du Nord’s Foundation Vodka support the Du Nord Foundation.

To update the brand, we implemented a subtle but hard-working name change from Du Nord Craft Spirits to Du Nord Social Spirits. Du Nord had no affinity for the liquor vernacular of the good ol’ days. In fact, they didn’t even see themselves represented in the past. So we looked forward and around us for inspiration and vision. What resulted was a reinvented premium, modern brand built on a bold, outspoken platform, making it possible for Du Nord to step up and speak out. To put a small push into the arc of progress. This comes through in the bold hand-painted text, reflective of everyman yet speaking to the careful craft which is inherent in their distilling process. The overlapping labels and photos are inspired by wheat-pasted posters amplifying the voice of the streets around them. Protest or art. Bold and expressive while refined and cultivated – like a good cocktail. Real good booze that does real good.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

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