Friday, 28 February 2014

Brief 10 // LCA Studio Window // Images of window display

As you can see from the images above, the quote has been simplified and works better over the three lines. I think this fits really well amongst the window and when you see it against the backdrop of the sky and other various surroundings it sets itself off really well. 

In the images the yellow of the vinyl doesn't really come through, but from looking at it inside the studio the yellow is much more vivid and bright. 

I'm happy with the result of the window and it was a good quick turn around mini-brief, that broke up the work I was currently doing to give me a break away from them and focus on something else for a couple of days. It was fun and enjoyable to do, with it being such a short brief, it was good to see it from the design on my screen to the final outcome in a couple of days. 

Brief 10 // LCA Studio Window // Final Window Design

After vinyl cutting the design in a yellow vinyl, there was a problem with the type.

At this size the quote is pretty legible and looks good with the stencil kind of type used, especially when cut with vinyl. But the problem was the the 'k' in 'key' at a large scale and from a further distance this looks like a 'R' and reads as 'rey'. This isn't the best especially when it will be on display within the studio and on view to everyone. 

To save the quote and still make it legible for the window, I adapted the quote so that it said:


By using the 'H' in 'the' and turning it on its side this made an equals sign. 
After re aligning the three elements of the new quote I was ready to stick it to the window. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // The making Process

The production process of making whisky is really interesting, there are lots of things that influence the whiskies and what ingredients you use to make them in the first place. This was really interesting for me to research into and I have found that this particular part of my research is very visual and something that could be illustrated well and have a strong visual aesthetic to it. It could be a route in which the design of the branding / labels could work around.

This area is obviously something that whisky brands know about as they have to make it themselves, but not something that I have seen within the visuals of brands.

So, what is it that actually goes into a bottle of Single Malt Scotch Whisky?
Given the diversity of flavours available across the Classic Malts range, it’s incredible that single malts are only made from three ingredients: barley, water and yeast.
It is through the craft and skill of the Master Distiller, and subtleties in the production process, that these different flavours are achieved.
Malt whisky production is not an exact science. Instead, there is always an element of magic that happens in the process, leading to a lot of superstition amongst us Distillery Managers that even the tiniest change at the distillery might somehow affect the taste of the whisky.
Take Royal Lochanager for example. When the distillery re-opened after the Second World War, the new Distillery Manager was so terrified of somehow changing the flavour characteristics of the whisky, that he instructed the cleaners not to move a single thing… including all the cobwebs.

In the first step of the process, the barley is soaked in water and then dried by heating in a kiln. This is known as malting and is designed to make the barley release the starches it contains, but not fully germinate. Think of it like getting a sweet out of its wrapper.
This stage has a great contribution to flavour. In many cases, peat is burned as part of the drying process, which gives a unique smoky flavour to the whisky.

The malted grain is milled and the resultant coarse flour, or grist, is mixed with hot water in the mash tun, causing the starch in the grains to convert to sugars. The sugary liquid, known as wort (a little like barley water), is then drained off through the sieve-like floor of the mash tun.

The wort is cooled and transferred into washbacks . It’s here that yeast is added and fermentation starts. The yeast converts the sugar in the wort into alcohol.
After two to four days, fermentation is complete, leaving a liquid called wash that it a little like a strong beer at 8 to 9% volume alcohol.
The length of fermentation time has an important effect on the overall flavour of the spirit.

After fermentation, the wash arrives in the still room, ready for distillation.
Scotch whisky is typically distilled twice in copper stills. You might think of the still as a big kettle with a fire underneath it.
The size, shape and number of stills have a big influence on the taste of the whisky, due to the spirit’s interaction with the copper. Generally, the more the spirit interacts with the copper in the still, the lighter the spirit.
Our stills here at Glenkinchie are a good example. We use large, fat stills that are among the largest in the industry and deliver considerable interaction between the spirit and the copper. It’s the size and shape of these stills that helps create the lightness of Glenkinchie Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
The first distillation happens in the larger wash still, where the wash is gradually heated until the alcohol turns to vapour. A condenser transforms that vapour into a liquid known as low wines with an alcoholic strength of around 20%.
The low wines are heated again in a spirit still, which is a smaller version of the wash still. It vaporises and condenses again and the liquid, now at around 68% alcohol, flows through into the spirit safe. Here, the distillers use their skills and experience to select only the pure, middle cut of the spirit that is produced, in doing so, ensuring that the high quality of our whisky is maintained.

The final part of the process is to transfer the new-make spirit into oak casks.
The maturation is crucial in influencing the final character of a Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The oak casks remove some of the harsher tastes of the new make spirit and, at the same time, expose the spirit to a variety of flavours and aromas derived from the interaction with the wood.
Casks are either American oak, which previously held bourbon or European oak, which previously held sherry. The choice of American or European oak casks provides different colours & flavours.
European oak tends to produce sweet & fruity notes and a darker coloured spirit.
American oak tends to produce sweet vanilla notes, coconut notes and a lighter colour
After three years in the cask, the spirit is legally allowed to be called Scotch whisky. However, for the Classic Malts, we demand much longer than this to produce the Single Malt whiskies that truly embody the locations out of which they are borne.

Other illustrated making process

This example is a great asset to use if I decide that this is the route to go down for the visuals of the branding and to use amongst the packaging. 

I think using this as an idea would be really interesting as a whisky brand could have different types of whisky within it, which if I did this, the illustrated process would be different for each one. Also as mentioned above it isn't present in any of the branding I have looked at and using a illustrated style works well in bringing it into the 21st century. There would also be the idea of a chemical formula / mathematic aesthetic to the brand as it is showing a process and very precise within it. I do think this is worth considering within the ideas.   

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // Difference in Whiskies

From carrying out my research I have found the making process really interesting to research into and how certain factors can effect the end result of the whisky.

There are two basic types of Scotch whisky, from which all blends are made:

- Single malt Scotch whisky means a Scotch whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation in pot stills.

- Single grain Scotch whisky means a Scotch whisky distilled at a single distillery but, in addition to water and malted barley, may involve whole grains of other malted or unmalted cereals.

"Single grain" does not mean that only a single type of grain was used to produce the whisky—rather, the adjective "single" refers only to the use of a single distillery (and making a "single grain" requires using a mixture of grains, as barley is a type of grain and some malted barley must be used in all Scotch whisky).

Excluded from the definition of “single grain Scotch whisky” is any spirit that qualifies as a single malt
Scotch whisky or as a blended Scotch whisky. The latter exclusion is to ensure that a blended Scotch whisky produced from single malt(s) and single grain(s) distilled at the same distillery does not also qualify as single grain Scotch whisky.

Three types of blends are defined for Scotch whisky:
- Blended malt Scotch whisky means a blend of two or more single malt Scotch whiskies from different distilleries.

- Blended grain Scotch whisky means a blend of two or more single grain Scotch whiskies from different distilleries.

- Blended Scotch whisky means a blend of one or more single malt Scotch whiskies with one or more single grain Scotch whiskies.

The five Scotch whisky definitions are structured in such a way that the categories are mutually exclusive. The 2009 regulations changed the formal definition of blended Scotch whisky to achieve this result, but in a way that reflected traditional and current practice: before the 2009 SWR, any combination of Scotch whiskies qualified as a blended Scotch whisky, including for example a blend of single malt Scotch whiskies.

As was the case under the Scotch Whisky Act 1988, regulation 5 of the SWR 2009 stipulates that the only whisky that may be manufactured in Scotland is Scotch whisky. The definition of manufacture is "keeping for the purpose of maturation; and keeping, or using, for the purpose of blending, except for domestic blending for domestic consumption." This provision prevents the existence of two ‘grades’ of whisky originating from Scotland, one “Scotch whisky” and the other, a “whisky – product of Scotland” that complies with the generic EU standard for whisky. According to the Scotch Whisky Association, allowing non-Scotch whisky production in Scotland would make it difficult to protect Scotch whisky as a distinctive product.

Single grain
The majority of grain whisky produced in Scotland goes to make blended Scotch whisky. The average blended whisky is 60%–85% grain whisky. Some higher-quality grain whisky from a single distillery is bottled as single grain whisky.

Blended malt
Blended malt whisky—formerly called vatted malt or pure malt (terms that are now prohibited in the SWR 2009)—is one of the least common types of Scotch: a blend of single malts from more than one distillery (possibly with differing ages). Blended malts contain only malt whiskies—no grain whiskies—and are usually distinguished from other types of whisky by the absence of the word 'single' before 'malt' on the bottle, and the absence of a distillery name. The age of the vat is that of the youngest of the original ingredients. For example, a blended malt marked "8 years old" may include older whiskies, with the youngest constituent being eight years old. Johnnie Walker Green Label and Monkey Shoulder are examples of blended malt whisky. Starting from November 2011 no Scotch whisky could be labelled as a vatted malt or pure malt, the SWR requiring them to be labelled blended malt instead.

Blended Scotch whisky constitutes about 90% of the whisky produced in Scotland. Blended Scotch whiskies contain both malt whisky and grain whisky. They were initially created as an alternative to single malt whiskies, which some considered too harsh. Producers combine the various malts and grain whiskies to produce a consistent brand style. Notable blended Scotch whisky brands include Bells, Dewar's, Johnnie Walker, Whyte and Mackay, Cutty Sark, J&B, The Famous Grouse, Ballantine's and Chivas Regal.

From looking into these different types of whisky, I wanted to narrow down to the types that I would produce packaging for.

The main three are going to be:

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // Design Research

Moving on from looking at existing brands, I have had a look at some various whisky packaging designs online. This is very varied and gives me some ideas of what have already been done and the sort of design that is used for whisky packaging. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Brief 12 // 21st Whisky // Design based brands

After researching more into whisky brands and looking at brands which are more designed based, I have found some interesting ideas, which I believe are more along the lines of what I want to create for this brief.

Burr Scotch Whisky.

With a simple but bold aesthetic, this label design is very striking. The black label contrasts against the colour of the whisky and the shape of the bottle. The bespoke typeface, sets the tone of the product and the label as it is the strongest and largest element to the label design. Even though this product is very striking and seems very nice to the eye, theres not much concept or understanding of the product behind it. There is no reference to the whisky itself. 

Adnams whisky. 

This beautifully made packaging is very eye catching and the complementary colours within the packaging works wonders for the brand. With the use of gold foiling and very rich colours, this brand has a very high end quality feel and style to it. The photography of the products have been placed within context and add to the overall understanding of the product. The design itself is very minimal and there isn't alot to it, but the minimal look works for this packaging. I like the different elements of the design that have been brought together to create the aesthetic of this brand and the packaging. 

Drunken Sailor Whisky. 

Drunken sailor is very different to the others that I have looked at. This is very much based on illustration and has a different style to it all. The type and colour that has been used all compliment each other and create a very rounded and strong design for the label. I think this is very interesting compared to the above designs, even though some may think this is not as good, I believe it is better, it has more character and gives the product itself a better understanding of the product. It may not look at visual or eye catching because there is no bright vibrant colours, but I think it is better. On a shelf in a shop, this would stand out just as much because of the design and how the feel for it is very different to the normal. 

Even Better with Age.

Even better with age is a great idea for whisky. This is a small package which includes small miniatures of whisky, but the focus is on the design of the bottles and the labels. It looks great as a series of bottles and packaging, but the concept behind it is what you really see when looking a the product. 

The Gild.

The gild goes back to the idea of using block type as a style for the design. It is built up mainly of typography, which has a very solid grid and presence on the bottle. Gold has been used again, which against the colour of the bottle, it makes the packaging and product stand out. 

The packaging is another element which has been executed well. The packaging from the bottle has been transferred well to the new format and fits is perfect. The use of the gold foiling against the packaging once again makes it stand out, but also shows style and elegance. Embossing has also been used within the box design. These techniques make the product more luxurious, because it has been well designed and aesthetically looks really good and to a high standard.