Background: John O’Connor, the founder of Goodradigbee Distillers, says about the distillery, “I remember staring through the window of a warehouse in the middle of a lovely Scottish highland town called Pitlochry. Stretching into the distance were barrels—hundreds of them—full of whisky, slowly aging. I thought, ‘All that effort and expense, sitting on concrete, waiting years to be sold…surely there’s a better business model.’ That got me thinking: Wouldn’t it be great if you could age a single malt quickly? Then another idea: What if you could increase the ratio of wood-to-spirit…wouldn’t that age it faster? Only one way to find out…so I designed an Aussie Ironbark Red wooden cube, as it has a larger surface area than a barrel. I put diagonal vanes in it to increase the surface area even further. The rest, as they say…is now bottled.”
Reasoning: The Goodradigbee River, in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, is where John learned to fly-fish as a boy. Lots of happy memories there. So, this remote river has guided the essence of Goodradigbee Distillers and capturing the flowing river itself within the logo was crucial.
Challenges: The distillery and creative director and writer Peter Ogden are based in Sydney, Australia. Designer Lucy Edison was heading into the first lockdown in the UK when this project really kicked off. Meanwhile, Ange Maloney, our photographer, was based a few hours north of Sydney. We ended up shooting everything in John’s garage, not that you’d notice from Ange’s beautiful images. The background images of the Snowy were large-scale prints of Peter’s own landscape photography. Necessity is the mother of invention, so when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But when life gives you COVID-19, we figured you make single malt.
Favorite details: The logo not only forms a cube to reflect the brand’s unique stance, but it’s also designed to help people phonetically pronounce the brand name.
Visual influences: Peter is an avid landscape photographer and his happy place is in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales...the distillery’s spiritual home. That meant he had lots of images captured up on the roof of Australia. We discussed a lot about how we could capture that “purity” in the packaging design.
Time constraints: Our time constraints were more concerned with the 24-hour clock schedule. When Lucy was waking up in the UK, Peter was going to bed in Australia, and vice versa. So, we had a small window each day to talk and make changes. It worked out well in the end.