Squad Ink branding studio together with Archie Rose Distilling Co have created an epic two-act gin release with the iconic Sydney Opera House. Our associate title PKN got a sneak preview of the packaging before its 1 October launch.

In a collaborative first, Sydney-based branding studio, Squad Ink, worked alongside the teams at Archie Rose with the Sydney Opera House to create a product and packaging that celebrates the beauty, diversity and creativity of Australia’s leading cultural icon. The result: a two-act gin release in striking packaging set to launch at the start of October.

“As Sydney-born designers, the brief to capture and respectively pay tribute to the Opera House through spirit packaging was both thrilling and daunting. It was a real creative meeting of the minds and we couldn’t be happier with the result,” Matthew Squadrito, creative director of Squad Ink, told PKN.

Named Outside and Inside Gin, this twin gin release, according to Squad Ink, is designed to "celebrate the timeless architectural splendour and natural surrounds of the Sydney Opera House alongside the creative energy and artistic talent experienced on its stages".

The packaging reflects this aim. The labels were printed on HP Indigo WS6800 by LabelHouse Victoria, and the gin is packed in Archie Rose custom bottles sourced from Unique Pack. The labelling house is Hunter Bottling Co.

Squadrito explains that as a retail product the packaging needed to show a clear visual connection to the iconic Australian landmark, while delivering a fresh interpretation of the iconic sails, designed by Jørn Utzon.

"Referencing the architect's original plans and design principles for the building exterior we were able to create a new geometric form that would act a brand mark for this epic release," he says.

"As a twin gin release, the bottles needed to not only perform as a striking pair but as stand alone products, delivering their own unique design moment."

Act one: Outside Gin is inspired by the coastal setting surrounding the Sydney Opera House and Utzon’s design principles, juxtaposing nature against man-made elements. Framed by the sparkling Sydney Harbour, this architectural wonder balances nature with a magnificent geometric form serving as the inspiration for Outside Gin. Tasting notes:  Expect a juniper forward gin accented with lemon-scented gum, South Australian yuzu, finger limes, white grapefruit, locally foraged seablite and native seaweed.

“Upon reviewing the brief, I held up the naked Archie Rose bottle and imagined it taking the form of a looking glass that would reveal the splendour of the blue Sydney Harbour morphed with the arched sails of the Opera House,”  Squadrito relates.

"We then underwent a series of trials and testing in production which brought us to the current solution; a full colour reverse print with a solid silver foil applied and laminated to the base stock, offered striking luminosity. The front label is a simplistic and timeless representation of the Sydney Opera house die-cut and grain texture-embossed."

Act two: Inside Gin celebrates the extraordinary creativity that comes to life daily under the Opera House sails - a place where global cultures and art forms collide. The concept behind this spirit was to create the dynamism you would experience in a play, concert or celebration.  Tasting notes: This fruit-driven gin displays a bright positive summary character and presents a cast of botanicals including native thyme, Australian apricot, raspberry and strawberry gum.

"Continuing the before-mentioned concept – this time in contrasting deep blue and purple hues – the reverse image dances on the bottle in different ways depending on where the light hits it. To add extra sparkle and encourage interaction, we applied a rainbow foil," Squadrito explains.

Print specifications:

Primary, Base, Neck labels: CMYK digital print + emboss grain + matte varnish + foil + gloss screen + overprinted variable data
Back Label: Clear Permanent reverse print, laminated to Manter Black Pepper Ultra.
Stock: Manter Black Pepper Ultra.

Primary, Base, Neck labels: CMYK digital print + emboss grain + matte varnish + foil + gloss screen + overprinted variable data
Back Label: Clear Permanent reverse print, laminated to Rafwine blanc.
Stock: Rafwine blanc

Press: HP Indigo WS6000
Printer: Label House Victoria
Bottle Manufacturer: Unique Pack
Labelling House: Hunter Bottling Co.

Design Studio: Squad Ink
Client: Archie Rose Distilling Co.
Creative Director: Matthew Squadrito
Designer: Abigail Gordon, Adi Kote, Robbie North
Production Consultant: Chris Davey
Photography: Nikki To, Lucas Peng

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