Johnnie Walker × Pawel Nolbert
Limited Artist Edition 

 

I was approached by Diageo / LOVE to create a Limited Artist Edition of Johnnie Walker whisky,
which is number 1 Scotch whisky in the World.

The goal was to create 6 artworks to be applied across the range of Jo
hnnie Walker variants:
Red Label, Black Label, Double Black Label, Gold Label, Green Label and Platinum Label.

The result of the collaboration is a selection of limited edition gift packs released globally.

 

Visuals

The designs needed to evoke the flavour of each blend, in a progressive and pioneering manner that runs parallel to the brands values. 

We went for a clean but striking look, with expressive graphics against a clean white background - a look that stands out from the typical offerings of whisky packs.

The creative was to blend two crafts together, just like Johnnie Walker whisky is about blending flavours, and my work is about blending paint, and mixing colors.

The artworks were meant to show diversity of the whole line and illustrate the progression and refinement, as we go throughout the labels and their price points - going from Red Label, and up to the more premium Platinum Label.

6 different master visuals were created, and other complimentary graphic assets, to be used on exclusive packaging and in marketing materials.

Red Label

BOLD, ENERGETIC, VIBRANT, SPICY

Flavours:

• A sophisticated, smoky finish 
• Fruity sweetness, cinnamon and pepper
• Hints of fresh apple, pear and zest from the elegant Speyside malts

Black Label

BLACK, ENERGETIC, FIERY, WOODY

Flavours:

• Rich dried fruits from the European oak sherry casks
• Hints of smooth creamy toffee
• A sophisticated, smoky finish

Double Black Label

DARK, INTENSE, SMOKY, OILY

Flavours:

• Signature peat smoke
• Rich raisins and sultanas
• Apples, pears and orange zest
• Creamy vanilla and spice
• Spicy oak tannins and lingering smoke

Green Label

RICH, LAYERED, DISTINCTIVE

Flavours:

• Cut grass and light garden fruits
• flowers with cedar wood notes
• Sweet wood smoke and sandalwood
• Rich fruit, drying sea salt and peat smoke

Gold Label

VIBRANT, LUXURIOUS, DEEP, CELEBRATORY

Flavours:

• Creaminess that evolves into deep honey tones
• A long finish with lingering waves of fruit and wood

Platinum Label

ELEGANT LUXURY, SOPHISTICATED, AGED

Flavours:

• A subtle hint of almond
• Rich dried fruits with the hint of tangerine
• Smooth creamy vanilla



In the end, I produced artworks that extend more to the right so that it can wrap around the pack and provide more graphic assets for collateral materials.



Produced on tin boxes and bigger cardboard sets, that included the tumblers and glasses, the packaging was given a premium, tactile finish: embossing, metallic and foil surfaces etc, to correspond with the artwork paint strokes texture and feel.
 


A lot of effort was put into the development of artwork concepts and compositions. Composition was a key element that helped convey the characteristics of blends, create distinction between them and help market the labels respectively.

We made a bold move, to replace the original label, angled at 24 degrees* with a brushstroke, which is the central part of the paint composition. The challenge was to build 6 unique brushstroke compositions, while the central part remained pretty much consistent across all variants. 

We wanted the movement of the brush itself to represent the key words associated with different blends, then develop the artworks based on that. Many different concepts were created.


An essential part of the process was also traveling to Scotland couple times as part of the Johnnie Walker experience, to learn about the process and skill of making and blending whisky, about the company and Johnnie Walker brand legacy, meet the master blender Jim Beveridge and shoot marketing materials.


The experience of Scotland and its distilleries was a great inspiration. I took a lot of pictures and the Scottish impression definitely had its part in developing the artworks, as I believe the taste of Scotch whisky itself perfectly represents the region from which it originates.

–  You can literally taste that soil, history and culture in a Scotch  –

As an artist I tried to consider those qualities and inspirations when creating the visuals, especially when working for a legacy brand.

Credits

Artist: Pawel Nolbert

Diageo
Global Brand Manager: Nicolas Paul
Brand Team: Julie Maclure
Master Blender: Jim Beveridge

LOVE
Creative Director: Chris Myers
Packaging Creative Director: Sam Wilkes 
Designer: Tom Nicklin
Senior Account Manager: Tom Cleary
Senior Account Executive: Jess Davey