Waterford Whisky: The Cuvée


Designed by John Gavin, Leon Murphy and Vanessa Gavin at TrueOutput:

Art: Leah Hewson

Photography: Caolan Barron

Print: Watershed

Categories: Print / Identity / Packaging

Industry: Commercial

Waterford Distillery is regarded as one the most exciting batch of emerging makers in the world. Their quest to create the “most flavoursome litre of alcohol” is unparalleled in the industry. Taking French wine makers concept of terroir, and bringing it to the whisky making process. Growing barley on individual farms across Ireland they've released a set of Single Farm Origin whisky’s. This individuality can be celebrated in its own right but their aim is to layer the component spirits together; using the same manner as a Grand Vin in Burgundy, or Grand Cuvée in Champagne, for complexity. The aim is to create the ‘definitive’ Waterford whisky: The Cuvée. Our task was to bring this concept to life across the packaging and label design.

The progressive product concept led us to look to what was possible within the label design parameters. We all agreed on the idea to engage an Irish artist to respond to the brief. Leah Hewson is an artist the studio has admired, and her work spoke to where we wanted to take the design. Leahs solution “Binary Assimilation” fit exactly with the vision. Her final artwork was then processed and adapted to work in the printed medium. 

”Binary Assimilation celebrates the many layers and complexities of Waterford’s approach to whisky production. The brand’s scientific and methodical approach reflects my own and this provided an inspiration to sync art, flavour and character into something visually striking. By building the piece in layers through colour, I was able to create new dimensional effects to match the concept of The Cuvée.” Leah Hewson

The label is printed using a 6 colour process, recreating Leah's fluorescent colour palette with Pantone inks. The lettering is finished in matt silver foil, with an emboss. The squiggle is finished with an invisible glow in the dark varnish. The bespoke bottle design, outer carton and shipper container all come together to bring The Cuvée concept to the world. 

“A label unlike any other, for a whisky unlike any other.” Mark Reynier CEO Waterford Whisky.