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When Your Brand Has A Black Sheep

The next time you’re in Nittany Lion country (aka State College, PA), be sure to stop at Big Spring Spirits in Bellefonte, PA for “two-fingers” of spirits. It’s located in an old match factory building, which has been re-designed into a homey bar & lounge with a staff that makes you feel like they’ve known you for years. The bar is stunning and made out of two pieces of solid walnut seamlessly joined into a comfortable 36-foot long bar. The bar stools are mismatched but very comfy and it all works perfectly well together. As if this wasn’t enough, Big Spring Spirits is the first LEED certified distillery in the country, which recognizes advanced building strategies and practices that help preserve a healthy green planet.

I’ve always been drawn to small batch, hand crafted packaging that doesn’t have to adhere to the certain rules and red tape that the larger brands are subject to. It appears as though they’ve used stock bottles but the personalized touches of the die cut label, wood topped cork and seal over the top of the cork all make it feel custom. I love the whole brand line together but was surprised that one of their products; the Tallyrand Cream Bourbon, didn’t fit into the lineup. This “black sheep” happens occasionally, whether the marketing group changes the direction on a new product or a new designer departs from the brand look.

What makes Tallyrand the black sheep of the bunch?

The average bar crawler might not even notice, but as a packaging designer, I have to ask why they chose to separate this one from the rest? The front label is missing important cues from the rest of the line and more importantly, it’s missing the Big Spring Spirits logo, which they chose to print on the back label instead. It’s important to continue to build and strengthen your brand as you add new products to the line. I would suggest stealing a few subtle cues from the existing line, and definitely adding the Big Spring Spirits logo to the front label, even at a smaller scale. What do you think?

Labels (except for Talleyrand Cream Bourbon) designed by: Emily Burns

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