Oakland’s first legal distillery since prohibition, Wright and Brown Distilling Company, came to ADG looking for packaging for their inaugural Whiskey releases. With an industrial West Oakland location, and milling, distilling, and barrel-aging done 100 percent on-site, the packaging needed to communicate Wright and Brown’s commitment to craft and the unique characteristics of their brand.
To accomplish that goal, we elected to root the packaging in a time-period when there were many distilleries in Oakland: pre-prohibition. Our package channels the look of pre-prohibition whiskey packaging with an apothecary style that artfully packs in lots of information any whiskey connoisseur might need. The small batch nature of the whiskey is further reinforced by the sequential numbering for each bottle and batch. An aged wood-grain background communicates the importance of oak in the aging process of making fine whiskies.
Elements like classic typefaces that are debossed in a letterpress-style, and the hand-lettered monogram, inspired by gun company monograms of the era, help create a brand image that is both evocative of the pre-prohibition era, but also timeless. Additionally, the inclusion of Oakland’s Tribune tower and shipyard cranes help give the whiskey a sense of place and connect Oakland’s past to Wright and Brown’s present. All the design choices reinforce the handcrafted origin and qualities of the whiskey, yet still gives the package a modern and high-end feel.