Scotch Label Type and Visual References

PYMadlon's picture

Hey all!

I'm creating a gag Scotch label for a friend's Scotch bar. I've bought a few books on Scotch that have some reference, but does anyone know any sites or books devoted wholly or partially to Scotch label design?

There should be. I've been staring at his labels for the past year (over pints of Guinness... I don't really like Scotch) and some of them are quite beautiful ? flourishes, varnishes, etchings and whatnot. Of course, I've photographed some of them for reference as well.

Anything about Scotch in this thread is welcome. I need to kick-start my mind.

Cheers! L'chaim! Kanpai!


hrant's picture

The quintessential scotch label is the Jack Daniels one.


PYMadlon's picture

Aye, but JD is a good-ole sour mash Kentucky Whiskey, nae a scotch. Hence its down home wood type feel.

I was going to call it a Kentucky Bourbon, but the link you posted schooled of that misconception.


PYMadlon's picture

Here's a (terrible, drunken, late-night) photo of the Talisker label. Talisker is part of a series that all share a similar layout and type treatment.


hrant's picture

Sorry. As you can tell, I'm no fan of that stuff... Vodka is my spirit queen.


PYMadlon's picture

btw, that site sure got hit with an ugly stick. The US version is a bit better. What are they thinking? Don't they want to sell booze to the Brits?

Kind of Roger Black-ish. Overdesigned for 72 dpi, but real shiny!

hrant's picture

The problem with the US site though is that it fails to use the single most memorable thing about the product to full effect: the label. Them's had too much of their own shine, I reckon.


jay's picture

I hate when that happens. I follow a link from this forum, and music starts playing loudly from my machine. People look into my cube, wondering what's going on, and I'm staring at a website all about booze. "Type!" I cry to my cow-orkers! "It's an interesting type treatment!"

These people just don't understand how difficult my job is.

jay's picture

BTW, Paul:

I had a fine collection of single-malt bottles, empty but with labels. Sadly, my girlfriend just gave them to a friend to be painted.

How about taking your camera down to the local bottle-shop & taking pictures of the "Scotch" shelf. Lots of samples.

Might be funner if you weren't sober.

aquatoad's picture

The bottle posting reminds me of an Ad series I saw in the
CA Advertising Annual a few years back. All the copy
written to look like the labels of a whisky, wine and beer
bottles (if I remember). Can anyone pull a scan of that, it
might get the creative juices flowing.


jay's picture

Pablo said:

>Painted? What's she painting bottles for? Sounds intriguing.

I have no idea; I was just happy to provide the raw material. The shapes of the bottles are interesting. I'll let you know.

I did try to post some samples yesterday; much good stuff can be found w/ google images & "single malt". But then my machine bombed and I got depressed.

simon's picture

Hmm... is Google broken your end Paul? Found these in a matter of seconds:

The second one has a number of following pages, each page having 5 or 6 thumbnails of labels that you can click to get larger images.

The selection should be useful but it depends whether your parody is based on the sort of Bell's/Teacher's/White Horse blended product or on the more obscure single malts. I realise from this thread that Scotch and typography don't seem to mix, but should anyone be interested I would highly recommend the "Ubiquitous Chip" restuarant in the West End of Glasgow for their fantastic selection of fine whiskies (and really good food, of course).

anonymous's picture

>How about taking your camera down to the local bottle-shop & taking pictures of the "Scotch" shelf. Lots of samples.

Done that. And I've snapped quite a few rarities at my friends bar. I was just looking to see if anyone anywhere had done some of the legwork for me, as far as taking a good look at Scotch label design was concerned.

I've gotten a bit further with my research since I posted. I may even show a little work if I get the gonads to expose myself before you lot.

> I had a fine collection of single-malt bottles, empty but with labels. Sadly, my girlfriend just gave them to a friend to be painted.

Painted? What's she painting bottles for? Sounds intriguing.

> Might be funner if you weren't sober.

Sober? If you've ever read any of my posts here, you might deduce that I am rarely sober. At least not in spirit.



anonymous's picture

Google isn't broken, but I most certainly must be. And I always forget about google images. Some purty ugly stuff there as well! But lots of good, clean reference as with your links, Jay.

I am going the obscure single malt way because this bar is an obscure single malt sort of establishment. The owner picked up some single malt on a research trip to Scotland and wants to pass it off as his bar's own blend to his friends.

I will post some of my research to help prove that Scotch and Typography most certainly DO mix. Though I may prove along the way that I mix well with NEITHER Typography nor Scotch.

Thanks for doing my work for me Randy and Jay! If you're ever in Kanazawa, stop by Machrihanish for Scotch or a pint on me!

anonymous's picture

Whoops. Attributed links to Jay instead of Simon and forgot to invite Simon for drinks. Sorry!

A round for the house!

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