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Stckmn Creates Industry First Packaging Design for Never-to-Be-Repeated Whisky Release ‘The Only Drop’

Stckmn Creates Industry First Packaging Design for Never-to-Be-Repeated Whisky Release ‘The Only Drop’

The Client
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is a global whisky club that celebrated 40 years in 2023. Since it was first established in Edinburgh in 1983 the society has expanded to almost 40,000 members and has bottled whisky from over 180 distilleries.

The Brief
To design a one-of-a-kind packaging design that would compete for attention amongst the other distillery lots, create product and hero imagery for use in the marketing materials and production of a short film capturing the making and narrative behind the concept.

The Result
An industry first ‘The Only Drop’ is a handcrafted paper moulded sculpture that celebrates the relationship between liquid and cask. A visual narrative of the 33-year partnership that gave birth to this unique whisky.

The liquid itself is represented by a ripple formation that’s inspired by the unrepeatable pattern of water in nature, mirroring the layers of history and taste within the whisky itself with a single droplet representing the rarity of the release.

To honour the casks’ contribution to the flavour in the whisky, wood shavings from the original casks are embedded into the paper pulp sculpture. The idea being that when the sculpture is placed onto the bottle it reunites the whisky with the cask as they once were during maturation. The shavings create a natural veining across the papers surface, contrasting against the white paper pulp it resembles a marblesque, stone-like sculpture.

The Bottle
To continue the theme of heroing the liquid, Stckmn sought expertise from glass decoration specialists Image On Glass. Using a combination of straight to glass print, foiled decals and varnish ripple we were able to avoid masking the view of the whisky within as is the case with application of a traditional paper label. By minimising the artworks dominance on the bottle the whisky can be seen clearly throughout and enables light to pass from the rear of the bottle through to the droplet cut out on the front.

The Booklet & Miniature
Accompanying the bottle is a hand-bound, hand foiled booklet that details the concept, the whiskies journey and tasting notes. Working with Glasgow based Juju Books and Caddie&Co for the production, this hand crafted piece features bespoke copper stained thread bindings and letter pressed copper embellishments that reflect design elements found on the bottle and sculpture. A 10cl miniature was created to allow the buyer to sample the whisky. It shares the same design features as the main bottle such as hand dipped wax neck and copper foil embellishments.

Process
Stckmn consulted with sustainable British paper innovators, James Cropper for advice on sustainable properties and paper pulp specifications and appointed industrial design agency Matter for the production of the sculptural piece. Working collaboratively with Matter we were able to apply a combination of contemporary prototyping techniques and traditional hand making to take it from ambitious concept to a reality.

Short Film
It was important to celebrate the craft, process and people involved in the creation of The Only Drop. Stckmn played a directive role in defining the narrative for a short film (watch the film at the top of this project), that documents the story, from the concept, to production and selection of this rare liquid. Working in collaboration with video production company Wandern House the shooting for the film took place across the length and breadth of the UK, the outcome was a 6 minute short film with 1 min, 30 and 10 second condensed versions for use on social media.

Visuals
In addition to the short film, still imagery was required for use in marketing materials and the auction catalogue. Working closely with 3d generalist Dan Sim a hero scene consisting of a levitating bottle, suspended above a liquid surface was created with a glass cask representing the purity of the liquid and it’s separating parts mirroring those of the water ripples emanating rings. A bank of product photos were captured by Martin McCready of UpfrontPhotography with art direction and post production carried out by Stckmn.

The Auction
The Distillers One of One auction gives whisky creators the opportunity to come together as an industry to celebrate their craft and donate a one-of-a-kind whisky to raise vital funds to help disadvantaged young people in Scotland. The Only Drop was put under the hammer by Sotheby’s on October 5th 2023, a flurry of bids saw the price quickly rise, fetching 3 times the lower estimate at £18,750. A record-breaking £2.25 Million was raised at the 2023 auction, with all proceeds aiding disadvantaged youth across Scotland via Youth Action Fund.

CREDIT

  • Agency/Creative: Stckmn
  • Article Title: Stckmn Creates Industry First Packaging Design for Never-to-Be-Repeated Whisky Release ‘The Only Drop’
  • Organisation/Entity: Agency
  • Project Type: Packaging
  • Project Status: Published
  • Agency/Creative Country: United Kingdom
  • Agency/Creative City: Glasgow
  • Market Region: Europe
  • Project Deliverables: 3D Modelling, Art Direction, Craft, Design, Film, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Label Design, Packaging Design, Photography, Product Photography, Visualisation
  • Format: Bottle, Sleeve
  • Industry: Food/Beverage
  • Keywords: whisky

  • Credits:
    Production: Image On Glass
    Book Production: Juju books
    Book Production: Caddie & Co
    3D: Dan Sim
    Videography: Wandern House
    Photography: Upfront Photography
    Production: Matter
    Production: James Cropper

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