The Empiric


Product labels are to packaging what dust jackets are to books. They sets the scene for a brand and then hint at the story contained inside, enticing the prospective buyer to pull out their wallet.

This gin label summons the past and the Empirical death doctors who would dispense a crude form of the spirit to treat plague patients. The designer combined this nugget of historical detail with quintessential West Coast visual elements (ravens and touches of Haida art) to create a striking label.

While all this could have gotten a bit creepy, the concept keeps from sliding into the dark side thanks to the narrative copywriting style that while moody does tell us “Darkness Will Bring Light.” Touches of visual brightness, swirling typography, and interesting specialty print processes give it a rich feel.

Gold foil and embossing options on print labels were used to convey the quality of the product inside the bottle. Atop a frosted black bottle with black wax closure (again referring to the black plague), the label is distinctive.


Project Details

Title The Empiric Client Arbutus Distillery Date June 2013 Design Hired Guns Creative Print Okanagan Label & Print
Penticton, BC
Paper Fasson Estate Label No. 8 White

Production Details

Dimensions Front 5.2189" x 7.2805"
Back: 4.5729" x 2.3144"
Print Quantity 300 (prototype) Production Time 3 weeks Printing Method Offset Number of Colors Black ink + gold foil + black foil Finishing and Binding Diecut shape, embossed details


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