Craft Cocktails for the Discerning Drinker.
The client – The Forge Kitchen – came to us with an idea for a range of pre-made, hand-crafted, bottled cocktails that could be sold direct-to-consumer through the restaurant and also online via an e-commerce website. While they set about making the drinks and perfecting the recipes, we came up with the brand name – Smith’s Cocktails – and names for the 4 craft cocktails comprising the first batch.
Meet Bertram Black
Having created the initial artwork, we worked with uber-talented illustrator Jonathan Dukes to digitise and further develop our concept for Bertram Black – our steampunk-inspired ‘Gentleman Blacksmith’, who would feature prominently as the brand mascot on the bottle labels, postcards, stickers, packaging tape, POS and other print collateral, as well as on the website and across various social media channels. Indeed, Bertram has a light side, but there’s also something of the night about him…
Bringing the Brand to Life with Aspirational Product Photography
As well as designing and building the e-commerce website, we also oversaw the photoshoot (with David Chatfield Photography) where some amazing, atmospheric product photography was achieved against the backdrop of The Forge Kitchen’s exquisite cocktail bar – with a little bit of theatre thrown in for good measure!
Crafting the “Brand” Identity
We were asked to come up with a brand name and logo that would acknowledge the link with The Forge Kitchen, without being overt about it – something that would stand up in its own right. Smith’s was an obvious choice in many ways, with its allusion to hand-made cocktails – forged, if you will, with the meticulous attention-to-detail of a master craftsman. The logo design itself can certainly be referred to as “branding”!
We made sure the steampunk theme and Bertram’s slightly eccentric, enigmatic persona were carried over to the website design and tone of voice for the copy used on the labels, POS postcards, social media posts and the website, of course.
As the bottles, and therefore, labels, are quite small, we hit upon a simple 3-word nomenclature for the drinks themselves – Feel the Heat (Blackberry & Chilli Margarita), Up in Smoke (Cinnamon Smoked Old Fashioned), In the Pink (Pink Pornstar Martini) and Full of Beans (Salted Caramel Espresso Martini). We also gave each bottle its own colour-coded identity, inspired by the colour of the drink.
The Evolution of The Smith
We’ve Only Just Begun…
Read into this what you will, but cocktails give coffee a good run for its money when it comes to Ched’s choice of “creativity juice”, so when The Forge came a-callin’ for assistance with this awesome project, we were cock-a-hoop (whatever that means!).
Businesses in the hospitality trade were facing a grim outlook when the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns hit, so it was great to see Grant & Robyn’s never-say-die attitude come to the fore as they pivoted into the direct-to-consumer cocktail market while the restaurant was forced to close temporarily. We very much look forward to continuing to work with them to develop the Smith’s Cocktails brand as they add more luscious libations to the range!