Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, the creator of Jack Daniel’s, would approve of the powerhouse his distillery has become. His elixir is one of the best-selling whiskies in the world and, with its black label and square bottle, also one of the most recognizable. But even iconic brands need a refresher now and again.
Jack Daniel’s recently enlisted Minneapolis-based brand strategists and designers Cue to help spruce up the packaging of the liquor company’s famous Old No. 7. “You can’t stand in any one place too long,” Cue Creative Director Alan Colvin tells Co.Design. “It had been a couple of decades since Jack Daniel’s had an update and they were ready and willing to modernize.”
The people of J.D. didn’t follow the larger trend of going totally bare bones on their label. That said, they did inch closer to a less-is-more aesthetic. The creative minds at Cue stripped away a lot of the visual clutter and created a balanced design on the three-sided label. “The idea that it’s authentic because it’s old needed to be shed,” explains Colvin. On the front, they kept the iconic filigree intact and put less emphasis on “Old” in Old No. 7. They also did away with the phrase “Old Time.” One side of the new label features a prominent tip of the hat to its maker while the other side whets your whistle with a description of the bottle’s contents.
The bottle’s changed, too. Mr. Daniel purposely chose a square bottle way back in 1895 to differentiate J.D. from other brands. Cue didn’t radically change the shape, they just gave it a few nips and tucks, adding what they refer to as “shoulders” (more heft below the neck) to create a “more masculine” bottle.
As for the stuff inside: Worry not, you boozy purists, Jack’s spirit lives on.
[Images via Cue]