Jim Beam
Spirit of the Porch

The great drinks brands have a spirit of place about them and Jim Beam is no exception. A bourbon first bottled on the family porch in Clermont, Kentucky. And still distilled where it was distilled on day one. A whiskey now in its eighth generation of Beam family distiller. It’s a brand that places a value on roots, community, and making great whiskey – and "for the many not the few".

But the story wasn’t coming in through in the brand world. The bottle had drifted into a me-too of it’s biggest competitor, losing distinction. And the world as a whole lacked "soul".

We took a long view of the brand, reviewing a line-up of the last century or so of Jim Beam bottles – all of which had the distinction and soul we were looking for – and then recrafted the bottle and assets to bring the brand back in line with its heritage.

“Telling the story of the spirit of the porch alongside the unmistakable marks of Jim Beam enhanced all the brand’s familiarity - a generous, inviting soul true of Kentucky, true of the Family and true of the brand.”

 

— Michelle Gannon — Jim Beam, Global Brand Director
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Using methods true to its local, grounded story – woodcut and letterpress – we re-crafted the brand’s iconic marks, inked them up, and pressed them into the page. The bottle label went back to its original warm white (losing its black borders). And we re-cut the lettering, in a nod to the brand’s archives, as “Kentucky Straight” – a signature face in which to tell the brand’s many stories (complete with idiosyncratic double-hit spacing, lifted from an archive bottle). Then set those stories in an easy, conversational, way.

From a handful of assets and colours, anchored in the iconic bottle, we created a brand world inspired by the "spirit of the porch" – its well-loved, worn-in qualities, its sense of easy confidence, and its sun-dappled warmth – fitting a brand called Beam.  

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