BREIF // Flying Whities had been pestering the Garage Project brain trust to do a special paper wrapped beer for months when the stars started aligning. GP had come up with a very special Tripel style brew, infused with New Zealand Elderflowers and honey - it was going to be time consuming to produce, and available in only a very limited quantity. Which was exactly what we wanted to do with the packaging.
A white ink transparent label would stand proud against the glowing amber bottle, which would then be wrapped with a fully painted, two sided wrap – the inner detailing the mystery of the Elder Tree, and the outer a soft fairy tale scene focusing on the spirit of the Elder Tree, Hylde Moer. This would be held tightly to the bottle with a vertical golden sticker along the bottles spine.
The beautiful thing in the famous New Zealand landscape. Photo by Bryson from Stem Creative.
The Touch Wood label crest was inspired by books of collected fairy tales, and features the prominent notes on the brew, Elderflowers, and New Zealand's honey-loving version of the bumblebee.
The artwork, painted in Photoshop in its various stages.
The final art for the exterior wrap. All the complex legal guff was saved for a golden sticker that sits at the back of the label. Each of the 2,500 wraps was uniquely numbered.
The inside of the wrap tells the mysterious story of the Elder Tree, it's many myths, and what happens when you share it with potential suitor.
"According to folklore, the Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a tree imbued with a deep magic. It was said to ward off evil and even that couples who drank an ale infused with the Elderflower would marry within the year. In Denmark a female wood spirit called Hylde-Moer was said to inhabit the tree – woe betide anyone who took from the elder without its permission. The origins of the term ‘touch wood’ come from this desire to placate these woodland spirits. Here, malted barley and wheat infused with Elderflower sugar syrup, fresh Elderflowers and honey create a beer alive with the verdant joy of Spring. You need a bit of good luck to pull off a beer like this – so ‘touch wood’ (and be very careful who you drink it with)!"
The inner stickers were affixed to the bottle with this simple hand-labeller. Additional type design from Ben Johnson at London Studio.
The naked bottle, with a white-ink, transparent inner sticker.
Gold stickers affixed the wrapping to the back of the bottle and provided the beer's description, and a brief tease to unwrap the bottle once home.
Voila, the finished bottle, ready for drinking from Garage Project's Cellar Door.
Design by and artwork by Tim Gibson at Flying Whities, print-prep and assistance provided by Ben at London Studio, main product shot by Bryson at Stem Creative, words and flavours from Jos and Pete at Garage Project.
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