The Noble Experiment NYC is a craft distillery based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Bridget Firtle, the founder of the distillery, asked us to help create the first product, a clear rum called Owney’s.
The rum was named after Owen “Owney” Madden, a leading underworld figure in Manhattan during Prohibition times, most notable for his involvement in organized crime and bootlegging. Planning on revolving the brand around him and that era meant lots of studying. We scoured early 1900s design and packaging for inspiration. The bottle itself was custom designed–based off of vintage rum bottles from the era.
The design is jam packed with words and filigree–something very distinct to the era. Our goal was to fill every last inch of the labeling with something creative. Attention to detail in written word and accentual design was crucial.
Owney’s packaging has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and New York Magazine and earned design awards from the San Francisco Spirits Competition and Applied Arts Magazine. It is also featured in the upcoming book: Lürzer's Archive 200 Best Packaging Designs.
Aside from creating the branding and packaging, we designed an array of matchbooks, coasters, t-shirts and other marketing materials. Many of the materials contain illustrations and watercolors we created based on Owney Madden's life in Hell's Kitchen.
Owney's needed a video series that would promote their brand and educate the masses on how to use Owney's in delicious cocktails. Rather than shooting a model in a studio, we came up the idea to partner with bars around New York City and have real bartenders provide step-by-step instruction. The cross promotion worked. Bars shared on social media and viewers learned from the best in the business. The video above was filmed at the world famous Milk & Honey. To watch the rest in the series, click here.
The last piece of the puzzle was to create a new website for Owney's. Using all of the branding elements, illustrations and video, we created a fantastic website that would serve as a vessel for Owney's promotion and education. Click here to go to site.