Responses by David Schuemann, owner and creative principal, CF Napa.
Background: The site's purpose was to bring awareness to Loch & Union, a new superpremium, privately held distillery that provides both custom distillation services and its own award-winning gins. Because the distillery is a startup, its site and social media presence needed to do the heavy lifting, as funds to support other efforts—such as advertising and promotions—were limited. The site and SEO needed to establish its expertise in custom craft distilling, the team’s exceptional experience, and show off its fabulous still and facilities.
Design core: The goal was to balance Loch & Union’s youthful, upstart vibe and its ability to create exceptional, award-winning products. As its gins quickly won many awards, the site provided the flexibility to highlight these impressive accomplishments as well as the distillery’s nimbleness to scale down for clients with craft custom projects and to scale up for large production seamlessly.
Favorite details: We are particularly proud of the photo-driven feel of the site. The client let us shoot them in a nontraditional setting among local graffiti art, which we then juxtaposed on the site with beautiful photos of Loch & Union’s extremely high-tech facility. The team was willing to accommodate our vision of shooting them standing on top of their one-of-a-kind, world-class still. We’re also proud of solving the technical difficulty of overlaying transparent type over the photos, providing a multilayered design. Ultimately, we are most proud that the site has proven to stand the test of time for the client, remaining flexible enough to enable them to grow their online presence while always supporting their brand story.
Challenges: We were literally storytelling from scratch. After developing Loch & Union’s brand identity and packaging, we needed to effectively tell its story and establish it as an expert brand while being cognizant of not losing the cool vibe of the ownership and team. The site needed to be easy for them to update independently while enabling quick and nimble expansion of services and content as they rapidly earned their chops.
Navigation structure: The structure needed to be flexible and allow for new navigation and content on the fly as the distillery grew. The site has proved to fill this need. As Loch & Union has grown and ultimately vastly shifted its business to support the demand for custom distillation services, the site has only minimally shifted to support this new focus.
Technology: We used WordPress to enable the client to maintain the site easily. A creative use of CSS helped us achieve the text-layering effects used throughout the site.