Steven Bonner has recently finished a drinks packaging re-brand for an iconic whisky label, Tamdhu. The label oozes heritage, born originally on the banks of the River Spey in 1897. It ran for over one hundred years until outside influences forced it’s grave closure. However, the good news is that the popularity of the label prevailed and back in 2012 distillery was re-opened and thus Tamdhu was re-born. But it needed a new look. This is the part where Steven Bonner was able to turn his skilled hand to a brand that deserved the very best design and art direction.
The job came from Darren Adams at Good Creative, a design agency with offices in London and Glasgow, whom Steven had collaborated with previously. Together they re-crafted the brand’s signature monogram and custom script lettering for the new packaging, an intricate project which required a superior finish. Steven also had to create a repeating pattern for the neck closure and peripheral applications of the bottle drawing on historical references from Speyside, such as the famous river and the train station which provides a dedicated direct line right to the front door of the distillery. (Steven subtly used the train tracks in his pattern to connect each component in the pattern, a glorious touch of metaphoric class!) This bespoke pattern has also been utilised in a digital capacity on the whisky label’s web site and other applications such as social media channelling.
I terms of design, Steven was instructed to make the signature monogram reminiscent of a bygone era with a modern twist, so the design feels relatively vintage, with clean mono-weight lines for the flourishes. Steven said that [he] “knew the monogram and pattern would use tactile production treatments so [he] avoided anything tonal and worked with flat colour so it could be reproduced across a variety of techniques easily.” Let’s raise a vintage whiskey glass with blocks of crisp ice to Bonner’s latest achievement.