Midleton Distillery is home to Jameson – the number 1 selling Irish whiskey across the world – as well as a further six premium, global whiskey brands, each with their own story to tell. Williams Murray Hamm was asked to create an identity that brings these brands together in one collection that resonates with consumers across the globe.
Irish Distillers, a Pernod Ricard-owned company, has been leading the renaissance of Irish whiskey, with Jameson claiming its spot in the top 10 global spirits brands in 2019. Irish whiskey is projected to grow ahead of the total whisk(e)y category, and Irish Distillers wants to continue to lead this next phase in the Irish whiskey journey: premiumisation. Their portfolio of brands produced at Midleton Distillery provides an array of premium, super premium and ultra-luxury whiskey offerings, each targeting different consumers, price points and taste profiles.
Our key challenge was to define the bond that holds these seven brands together in one craft collection, whilst letting each individual brand sing in its own right. The team unearthed a unique truth about Midleton and why it exists, before expressing it through a compelling visual idea.
The source of water is always hugely important when deciding where to locate a distillery and this was the case with Midleton Distillery, where the Dungourney River passes through the distillery’s grounds. Yet this does not fully explain why these seven amazing brands all originate from this single source.
After centuries of worldwide success, by the early 1960s political and economic challenges left just three distilleries in Ireland, clamouring for prominence in an ever-decreasing domestic market. Thankfully, John Jameson & Son, John Power & Son and Cork Distilleries Company came together, to form what we all know now as Irish Distillers, relocating all of its production to the renowned Midleton Distillery in Count Cork. This historic merger safeguarded the source of amazing Irish whiskeys for generations to come.
The design of the Midleton Craft Collection brand world is inspired by water. The Dungourney River became the symbol of this source. From the flowing lines of one letter to the next in the logo, to how the water of the Dungourney has become the collection’s key colour – the river can be found in every aspect the brand world. The monogram is a double-arched bridge crossing the river, incorporating the letter “M, and for the beautifully fluid illustration WMH worked with renowned illustrator Si Scott.
WMH produced a comprehensive kit of parts that provides Irish Distillers’ local markets with full flexibility to select the brands from the portfolio that are appropriate for each market. The brand world assets include key visuals, merchandising, web banners and items for the on trade.
Laura Hanratty, Head of Prestige & Specialty at Irish Distillers says about the new Midleton Craft Collection: “We are delighted to honour the bond between our families of Irish whiskeys by showcasing where they come from. Midleton Distillery is steeped in craft, tradition and innovation and it’s a joy to see this celebrated through The Midleton Craft Collection”.
Wybe Magermans, director at WMH, mentioned: “It’s been a great challenge to work with these seven amazing brands, and find the overarching story that is relevant to both people who already drink Irish whiskies and those who are novices to the category.”
The collection will see its launch later this spring across the Irish, UK and US markets.