Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky has unveiled a new global visual identity that aims to premiumise the brand and embed it into the world of luxury.
Facing stiff competition in the ever growing whisky market Glenfiddich worked with Purple Creative on the major project, continuing the brand’s eight year relationship with the design agency.
In addition appealing to the luxury market, Sarah Macaulay, Glenfiddich global marketing manager, said ensuring “a strong global consistency at all consumer touch points” and harnessing the “brand equities of ‘pioneering spirit’ and ‘family run’” were also key to the visual refresh.
The project comprised of a number of different elements including evolving the brand’s stag icon and logotype, creating new imagery, bespoke fonts and luxury graphic embellishments, the introduction of a new colour system and tone of voice.
Having first appeared on bottles in 1968 Glenfiddich’s stag icon remained unchanged until 2007 when a simplified version was introduced. The new imagining of the stag streamlines and strengthens its appearance. The new stag has evolved into a royal stag detonating “masculinity, power, confidence and maturity”.
Speaking with The Drum, Gary Westlake, founder and creative director at Purple, explained how the agency re-drew the stag’s face to make it “more anatomically correct” and “elevate the icon’s status”. He also revealed that the new stag logo will be used in isolation for the first time.
Font and tone of voice
Having worked with the brand for eight years Purple used its knowledge of the history and heritage of Glenfiddich to create a bespoke font for the brand based on founder William Grant’s handwriting.
Looking through company archives and much of Grants correspondence Purple analysed his handwriting using graphology using insights gained to “capture William Grant’s personality in a type”.
Explaining the fonts created, Glenfiddich Modern and Founder’s Script, Westlake said: “One will only be used for headlines (and is clean and modern) while the other has more personality, and will be used for body copy. Both are uniquely ownable – and available to all markets for free."
Complementing the new font is a distinct tone of voice which, again, is inspired by Grant. Using the graphology results, which showed Grant to be a “social, confident, innovative, visionary, honest, intelligent, proud, warm-hearted family man”, Purple created a tone of voice that aims to be ‘Warm, Proud and Authentic’.
Backed by this vision the design agency created tonal guidelines covering practical writing tips, social media writing tips and brand copy mandatories.
To create a global design consistency and help the brand achieve shelf stand out a new colour palette has been implemented. With most competitor brands using black and white – “the conventional language of luxury” according to Westlake – Glenfiddich has introduced a copper colour palette, inspired by the second-hand copper stills bought by Grant in 1886.
Secondary colours including New Make White for a “fresh and contemporary feel” and Fiddich Stone inspired by the slate and granite used on all of Grant’s original warehouses.
In addition to the logo, font, tone of voice and colour palette, the new visual identity devised by Purple covers a “globally consistent” photographic and imagery style.
“Glenfiddich had a somewhat inconsistent signature style, having amassed a huge library of imagery over the years, all shot by different teams, in different markets, in different styles and with different budgets,” explained Westlake.
Using the new colour palette as a guide Purple carried out an “imagery audit” to create a new signature style capturing the brand’s essence, ideal for use in luxury markets.
Of the project as a whole Westlake said: “We wanted to reappraise and equip Glenfiddich with a brand world for the future. Understanding the brand and its history has allowed us to add real depth and rationale for our creative solutions. It has also helped having a brave client, who is looking to the future, while having a rich and authentic 125 year heritage.”
Macaulay added: “Purple have become an extension of the Glenfiddich team over the years, they are creatively obsessive about attention to detail, and genuinely invested in the future of our brand. This means that their creative responses align with our objectives. We’re incredibly proud of Glenfiddich’s new visual identity, and we’re confident that it will enhance the brand’s luxury credentials globally.”
The new visual identity will be used across all variants of Glenfiddich and enables the Scotch whisky to expand into branded experiences – similar to Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Houses – in the future.