“Silver Cloud” 100% Blue Agave Spirit is the product name originated by MagentaDot Brands for the first release of 30 bottles of New Zealand’s first Pure Agave Tequilana Spirit. Silver Cloud is the brainchild of Master Distiller Terry Knight of Kiwi Spirit Distillery whose idea it was to make a premium small batch 100% Agave Spirit from agave grown in Golden Bay and distilled by him. The name, “Silver Cloud”, the logo and packaging combined to position New Zealand’s first premium 100% Blue Agave Spirit at the premium price point of NZD $1,000 per bottle. This is a branding and packaging project at the high end of the international liquor market for which I was commissioned to create something handmade and special. My branding saw the first release of 30 bottles achieve selling to both a national and global market at the desired $1,000 per bottle price.
30 bottle first release December 2014
To celebrate the first release of 30 bottles and commemorate Terry Knight and Rachel Raine’s extraordinary achievement they commissioned and co-designed an individually hand-blown art glass bottle from Höglund Art Glass of Nelson, New Zealand. The logo, branding and packaging system was hand applied to each bottle and the first batch of 30 were a sequence of individually numbered bottles.
I attended the December 2014 launch to provide hands-on support and document the event for news and social media purposes was highly successful, the first two bottles auctioned at the event sold for NZD $400 and $450 respectively. Subsequent online sales of the remaining 28 bottles from Kiwi Spirit’s store fetched an impressive $1,000 a bottle on the international market.
Carefully considered, well researched brand strategy
MagentaDot Brands was called in to create something special for the brand and packaging. Taking a ground-breaking, authentic premium product such as Silver Cloud to both a national and global marketplace required a well researched, carefully considered and precise touch. A sense of brand heritage needed to be invoked and the packaging design needed to be positioned to appeal directly to premium 100% Blue Agave drinkers.
So a visual identity that worked with the bottle and enhance each individual bottle’s quirks was crucial. Being art glass they are not symmetrical, none of the bottle’s front or side planes are parallel or flat, nor the neck centred or consistently cylindrical—that along with the extreme fragility of art glass and the extraordinarily high cost of the bottles ruled out any form of machine label application or a single self adhesive label with a large surface area.
The identity system leverages the world of Kiwi culture
The brand idea of ‘authentically New Zealand’ bred a communications strategy that leveraged the world of Kiwi culture beginning with MagentaDot Brand’s “Silver Cloud—100% Blue Agave Spirit” positioning tagline.
The Silver Cloud brand lives off and is inspired by the contents of the bottle
Overall the Silver Cloud packaging design developed combines a sense of the authentic with uniquely New Zealand design elements and detailing. Overall the the design lives off the essential richness of Silver Cloud’s individual terroir.
The brand lives off and is inspired by the contents of the bottle. The beverage is pure, smooth, well-rounded, long on the palate and rich with the signature taste of blue agave spirit. The design enables Silver Cloud to stand tall alongside the established international brands of the old Tequila houses owned by mammoth liquor consortiums that produce the majority of Silver, Anejo, and Reposado style Tequilas globally.
Silver Cloud’s initial success suggests it is on the way to become the worlds most recognised and widely consumed New Zealand 100% Blue Agave, and to becoming a style icon—it shines brilliantly placed on a bar next to other premium 100% Agave brands.
Printer: Croft Printing Limited
Design firm: MagentaDot Brands
Copywriter / Name origination: Chrissie Terpstra, Shaun Waugh
Creative director / designer /photographer: Shaun Waugh
Font credits: Meta Bold LF Caps, Meta, Rage Italic