In 2016, we got a call from a local entrepreneur working in the wine business. It turned out he had ambitious plans to launch a new product and needed a complete brand with immediate needs including a name, logo and core identity assets. Better still, the product in question was a new English gin. Would we like to get involved? Safe to say this was one of the easier decisions we’ve had to make.
The gin’s USP was that it would be made using a by-product of the English wine industry. After pressing for wine, grapes are reduced to a pulp of skins, flesh and left-over juice, known as marc. Every year, the industry produces vast amounts of this waste material, most of which ends up simply being discarded. The client’s ingenious idea was to recover this marc from vineyards throughout England, re-press it, collect the juice that would otherwise have been lost and distil it into grape spirit. This would then be blended with spring water and botanicals to make a truly sustainable gin. Since no two grape vintages are the same, the raw material – and thus the gin’s flavours – would be subtly different with each new harvest.
Our brand needed to capture and communicate the gin’s unique provenance, authenticity, production methods and sustainability. We also wanted to incorporate its combination of innovative materials, craftsmanship, attention to detail and commercial acuity in the brand’s execution. Importantly, the brand had to be sufficiently flexible to extend beyond the launch gin to encompass other potential spirits products in the future.
We began with the name, going through numerous iterations before arriving at Foxhole Spirits, inspired by the location of Foxhole Lane where the grapes that are used to make the launch gin were grown. From there, it was a relatively short, simple step to the logo: as the products themselves are both cunning and clever (like the mind of a fox) we felt that a charming fox icon was a nice tie-in to both the name and the character of the brand. We therefore created a handsome fox with a sweeping, bushy tail, hand-drawn by our creative director. The typography that supports the fox creates a sense of sophisticated elegance with a smattering of Art Deco, a period when Gin triumphed in the ‘Cocktail Age’.
From the outset, the new Foxhole Gin was positioned as a premium brand with an RRP of around £45/bottle and limited production runs (partly owing to the supply of raw material). For the first release in 2016, we created a ‘route-to-market’ solution that would immediately differentiate it from the plethora of new small-batch gins and highlight its unique wine-based origins. The following year, based on feedback from the trade, we updated the bottle and packaging design, which earned us a Silver Design Award at the 2018 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC).
Since the launch, we’ve provided continuous support for the Foxhole Spirits brand, including developing a consistent tone of voice across the website (which we also designed and built) and digital and print collateral. Most recently, we’ve art-directed bespoke lifestyle photography, which has proved crucial to the brand’s success in what is a very crowded market targeting discerning, brand-savvy consumers. And that market is about to be shaken up yet again, with a new Foxhole Spirits gin brand coming to a prominent national retailer near you in spring/summer 2019.