Originally established as a grocery business in 1895, Gordon & MacPhail’s journey in whisky began when they started to curate a selection of the finest single malts for sale in their stores. As the company’s interest in whisky and the many distilleries popping up across Scotland grew, they developed a reputation for expertise in cask maturation. In the 1990s, the company finally realised their long-held dream of opening a distillery on Speyside. Today, Gordon & MacPhail still works with some of Scotland’s most celebrated, little-known and even closed distilleries to supply a range of the rarest, one-off whiskies found anywhere in the world.
G&M’s now discontinued ‘Rare Old’ range captured lost gems from a bygone era of single malt Scotch whisky production, expertly matured in distilleries long since forgotten. This exclusive range of rarities was deserving of some truly special packaging, and having commissioned a deluxe box, the company sought an equally deluxe closure, with design agency Blue Box initially enquiring about a faux wax seal attached to a string and equipped with a magnet.
Signet proposed some adjustments to the brief at an early stage in this project due to concerns over the effectiveness of a magnetic closure. When embedded in a wax seal and required to attach through heavy board, magnets don’t always give a secure contact and after some discussions with Blue Box, we proposed the use of a snap fastener instead. This suggestion posed a challenge in that the female part of the snap fastener had to be integrated into the box, which was being manufactured by another company, while the male part was being supplied by Signet. Due to issues with the connection between these two separately-sourced parts, we knew the project would only work if the two-part fastener was a pair, and so we agreed to source the complete fasteners and send the female parts to the box manufacturer.
The rest of the project was relatively straightforward; we produced a beautiful die-cast, oyster shell seal, which was crimped onto a grosgrain ribbon, supplied to us by G&M in order to achieve the exact look they wanted. Each piece was hand assembled, and makes a stunning box closure befitting of the G&M brand.
The overall outcome of this project was very successful, not just in terms of commercial sales of the product, but because it demonstrated Signet’s ability to rise to the challenges posed and develop solutions that work for both the client and for the end user of the product, as well as collaborating with other key stakeholders to achieve a shared objective. We were delighted to supply a number of runs of this product to Gordon & MacPhail and look forward to working with them again.
Never under-estimate the impact of finish elements like a seal. It’s not always about print or labelling!