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Shoutout to Arbutus Distilling, who just opened for business

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I want to give a shout-out to one of our clients, Arbutus Distilling, who just opened their doors for business this past week. I don't believe they're active on this forum, (although maybe they are and I just haven't come across them yet.)

They're based in Nanaimo, BC (on Vancouver Island) and they launched with their first product, Coven Vodka. They are going to be following that up with a gin called The Empiric and an absinthe called Baba Yaga. The packaging design for the absinthe has yet to be released but it's even crazier than the first two.

We provided product naming, consultation on glass, and packaging design services for them and they've been a great client to work with!

During their start-up phase Arbutus made two interesting choices on how to approach their product lineup:

1. play down the overall distillery brand in favour of creating unique names/brands for each of their products.

2. create prototypes of the products and push those images out into the world as early as possible to build buzz around the products before the distillery was open for business.

From our end, this allowed us incredible freedom to create innovative brands with depth to them... brands that were designed to compete within their product categories (vodkas vs. vodkas, gins vs. gins, etc.) It also gave us time to push those designs out into the design community and the alcohol manufacturing community. Their vodka won a couple of major international packaging design awards in the months leading up to its release and the gin is gaining buzz as well. Initial feedback from their sales reps indicates that their vodka looks like it'll be a hit.

One other tidbit that might be of interest is their approach to glass. They decided to put all three products in the same bottle. This gave them an advantage when it came to buying glass because they could order a larger quantity. We suggested that they spray the glass - white for the vodka, black for the gin - and leave the absinthe bottles clear (because the colour of the liquid itself is so much fun.) This approach to glass helps avoid a feeling of homogeneity when you look at their product line. And there's no end of colours that can be used to spray bottles, so the sky's the limit when it comes to new products that they may release down the road.

We wish them the best of luck in the next phase of their journey and look forward to working with them for years to come!

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