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Glenfiddich's storytelling

Year:
30.10.2014
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For a company that is over 125 years old, an overhaul of the core brand and visual appearance can present a tricky prospect to designers. Usually there are two focal areas that need to be dealt with to give a successful finished design, on the one hand designers need to respect the longstanding history of the company, creating a continuation of the vast backstory of the brand.  On the other, a need to match contemporary tastes and styles and present an inviting front to new customers.

An adult stag now

This week we take a look at the latest rebrand by Purple Creative of Scottish distillery Glenfiddich. The design consultancy has created a new corporate identity, colour palette and made subtle changes to how the story of a legendary company will be told.  The new logo (left) alongside the outgoing design. at a brief glance the changes don´t seem too substantial, minor edits to the font height and slogan as well as a slightly changed ‘stag’ logo. However this evolution of the stag is a bid by GlenFiddich strengthen and develop the narrative and connotations their brand implies. Before, the stag has just 8 points on his antlers, In the real world this would denote a young male, average, part of a herd. The new logo now features 12 points – An alpha male; Majestic, Royal and powerful – ahead of the herd – Not just any distillery.

Custom typo for Glenfiddich

Along with the graphical changes, two new custom typefaces have been created for Glenfiddich. Purple Creative director and founder Gary Westlake says: “We wanted to create a story-telling, bespoke font, which gives depth and authenticity.”

By looking at Glenfiddich founder William Grant’s hand written correspondences in company archives. The design team took elements of his writing style to create Founder’s Script, a combination of Grant´s personal script with Victorian font components. Implying that when this font is used, the original founder of the company is present – Part of all decisions which Glenfiddich will make as a brand

The classic brand colours of Glenfiddich were taken from the colours of its first whiskies. Glenfiddich raised concerns that as the number of whiskies they produce has grown over the years and each variant has a different colour tone and feel, therefore the colour palette was at risk of becoming irrelevant.

Inspired by whisky design

The classic brand colours of Glenfiddich were taken from the colours of its first whiskies. Glenfiddich raised concerns that as the number of whiskies they produce has grown over the years and each variant has a different colour tone and feel, therefore the colour palette was at risk of becoming irrelevant.

Purple’s solution was to take inspiration from how all these whiskies are born, the copper stills that William Grant bought in 1886 when he founded The Glenfiddich Distillery still in use by the company to this day. To complement this the slate grey tones are taken from the slate tiles found on the roof of the distillery building, connecting the product with where it is made, maturing the overall story of the product.

To coincide with the branding changes Glenfiddich also requested guidelines on how their employees should act when in front of their regular public visitors to the distillery. Once again turning to the approach of the company founder. These guidelines taken on by the brand is of  the “depth, authenticity and pride” taken from contemporary judgments of the man’s character.

Glenfiddich has made changes to its website to match these developments and has come up with new promotional materials to follow suit, the new colour palette is present along with the stag and new font developments. The copper tones are set to feature prominently in new publications.

This new overhaul of the company brand has sewn depth into the fabric of the company. It shows us how rebranding should work, creating a fuller, deeper picture to clients, the public and employees alike. Future-proofing the status of Glenfiddich as a leader in its field and respecting the legacy of its 128 year history. ‘Warm, proud & authentic’.

Images:

Purple creative studio

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