Echo Spirits, a distillery in Columbus, Ohio, is about connections: past to present, process to product, and curious connoisseurs to the craftsmen behind the still. In the past, everyone knew their tailor, their grocer, their banker. Why shouldn’t people know their distiller? It’s on this idea that we developed a flexible, classic brand identity for Echo.
We created a campaign called Know Your Distiller to form the core of Echo’s brand. This idea laid a foundation for the flexible visual brand identity. Taking inspiration from classic shop window typography, we created a multifaceted logo system. Referencing past and present, Echo’s color palette is rooted in the copper of a brand new still and the green of weathered patina.
Core Labels & Unaged Spirits Packaging
The first packaging we designed was for Echo’s core lineup of unaged spirits. The labels are made to stand out where they matter most, according to bartenders and liquor sales reps: six feet away in a dimly lit bar. The labels use simple, bold design to achieve striking visibility, standing out from all of the bottles next to them; vitally important for a new distillery. And we chose lightweight, ergonomic bottles that are more sustainable and bartender-friendly.
Aged Spirits Packaging
After a few years under their belt, Echo was ready to get more fully into the whiskey game. While our approach for the original labels was working well for those spirits, Echo needed something different for the barrel-aged range of products targeted more at bottle sales than visibility in bars. As we got to know the bourbon-drinking crowd, we learned how notoriously suspicious they tend to be of anything that looks too contemporary or minimal. Our strategy for the barrel-aged labels was to design for elegance, but lean into some more of the motifs commonly found on whiskey bottles—maximalism, information overload, and a focus on details and ornamentation. All while still making them quickly recognizable as a trusted Echo Spirits product.
Limited Editions Packaging
Joe and Nikhil, Echo’s founders, originally got into distilling as a creative outlet while working day jobs which were never meant to be forever jobs. As Echo has matured and the lineup of core spirits fell into place, they started to feel the creative itch again to try out new ideas that don’t make sense as normal products.
We designed a system of labels for these unique spirits—experiments, collaborations, special variations, and one-offs that aren’t likely to ever be made again. Called the Copper Label Series, the design uses our brand language a bit differently, functioning as more of a blank slate on which the team can talk all about what makes each entry interesting and unique.
We intentionally built the brand around relationships and the positive experiences associated with them. We worked with Echo to carefully consider all aspects of the tasting room bar, including menus, recipe cards, hang tags, and sell sheets. We also art directed and shot a brand photo library.
We were eager to help Echo expand their brand. We approached their site design with tools in mind to help educate about less widely-known spirits, show off the new brand personality, and invite people to meet their local distillers.
“Having our branding in place has been invaluable. It gives us a reference to speak in a consistent voice. We have a living brand to help us stay on target as we put ourselves out there. The community has been overwhelmingly positive, and the brand really resonates with people. We’re ecstatic!”