Gentleman Jack packaging: interpreting the classics
We designed a special edition pack for Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack, the premium whiskey from the makers of Old No. 7.
The final pack has been out in the world for sometime. It feels like now is the right time to share the explorations and thinking that led to the final design.
Gentleman Jack is intended to be slightly more special than the regular Old No. 7, a smoother drink, courtesy of the double mellowed distilling process.
Not a regular drink, but a special one to mark the special occasions of a man’s life journey.
Moments which are special to those who know. Moments the gentleman may only share with their special ones—it could be a new contract or a daughter’s graduation or a new car. The kind of days that make the everyday slightly more special.
Understandably, Gentleman Jack is targeted to a mature drinker. Someone who has made the passage from youth to an age with responsibilities.
However, they’ve not given up on the finer things in life—they appreciate a good whiskey and a good suit with well polished shoes. In other words, a classic gentleman who is living life as it comes.
A place and a time
The signature black canvas of Gentleman Jack sets a tone of formality but the formal setting had to be situated in a time and craft era, to give it character and a voice. Western classicism period or the renaissance, with its standards of taste and classic imagery would suit the formal setting effortlessly.
Also, since Gentleman Jack is a step beyond—it is crafted to be smooth and silken—the country origins of Jack Daniel’s, the pack has to signal craftsmanship and smoothness for which subtle clues would be employed.
Visualised below are a few routes that we explored in this general direction.
Since it is a special edition pack, having a celebratory cue on the pack made sense.
A black, lush ribbon wraps itself around the Gentleman Jack bottle, announcing the special edition. It is cheery yet understated. The sparse setting, a classic typeface and the gentle curves together achieve this pleasingly dichotomous effect.
A classic filigree (a classic ornamental pattern made with wire) is the elemental unit of this route. The filigree is repeated to form a grid which surrounds the Gentleman Jack label. The label is set in a space resembling a classical window and you can’t quite tell whether it’s fading in or out, giving it subtle mystique.
The classic period saw the start of numerous craft traditions, among them the use of metal floral flourishes is an enduring one. It is a classic symbol of the era.
These patterns are now associated with grand gates and windows, as seen on castles, churches and inspired modern buildings. In this route, a metal screen of flourishes envelops the Gentleman Jack silhouette.
The flourishes are rendered realistically and resemble the wrought iron that is used to make the actual thing.
Wood is big in whiskey making. It affects the flavour and colour of the final product. Jack Daniel’s manufacturing process relies even more heavily on wood. Gentleman Jack achieves the ‘double mellowed’ smoothness from an oak wood charcoal distillation process.
Wooden carvings inlaid with brass elements honour both whiskey-making and woodworking traditions.
Big bold letters are intertwined with floral flourishes, reminiscent of inscriptions. We’ve seen maxims carved into the walls of ancient structures. The entrance arches of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome or the Vatican museum feature letters engraved onto them.
The weave of letters and flowers envelops the silhouette which appears strong, monumental and elegant, much like the whiskey and its connoisseur—the classic gentleman.