12 May 2021

Appleton Estate Rum: Crafted with Joy

The global rebrand created by our New York team, celebrates the pursuit of "joyful excellence". 

How do you use design to reinvigorate your brand's origins and define an entirely new category? Global spirit company Campari envisioned a new premium end in the growing rum space. The company's world-famous Appleton Estate brand, located deep in the heart of Jamaica's Nassau Valley, began perfecting complex rum making over 250 years ago.

But despite its storied history, the beloved Appleton Estate brand had fallen stale. Campari asked us to recraft Appleton Estate into its flagship rum line to elevate the brand to a premium level and reimagine its presence in the global marketplace. 

The manufacturing of Appleton Estate rum is a true art and labour of love. The team settle for nothing but the best, taking pride in every bottle, crafting it with joy and pursuing each detail of the distillation process with determination and perseverance. We wanted to celebrate this joyful spirit and pursuit of excellence and evoke a sense of place through the design. The new design embodies a proud expression of Jamaica's singular heritage in a thoroughly modern way. 

We repositioned the brand around the concept of "joyful excellence". We redesigned the glass bottles with a sleep, contemporary shape featuring sensuous, elegant curves like the hills and valleys of Jamaica's singular heritage in a thoroughly modern way. 

 

We repositioned the brand around the concept of "joyful excellence". We redesigned the glass bottles with a sleek, contemporary shape featuring sensuous, elegant curves like the hills and valleys of Jamaica. The embossed "1749" imprint on the bottle marks the date of the Estate's establishment. 

The label design tells the rich story of each rum blend with details of the centuries-old rum-making process. We refined the brand mark itself, simplifying its form and introducing an understated, sophisticated approach to typography - strong and attention-grabbing, yet delicate - to establish a premium feel. 

We commissioned hand-drawn illustrations of the Estate nestled amongst its surrounding to create new neck labels that embody this spirit of joy and a sense of place. Wrapping the entire neck, this intricate illustration catches the eye with lush flora and vibrant hues of the rum's origins. 

We specified uncoated paper for a handcrafted feel and introduced embossed elements and satin metallic inks to differentiate the upscale 8-Year-Old Reserve and the 12-Year-Old Rare Casks. We also designed sophisticated wood cork closures, with copper and gold details at the high end to help the consumer navigate the line. Finally, the signature of Joy Spence - Appleton Estate's Master Blender and the rum industry's first female master - is emblazoned on the bottle as a mark of quality, credibility, authenticity and a personal touch in every drop. 

The global rebrand was launched in Spring 2020. Reflecting a more impactful, sophisticated design, the new line of Appleton Estate rums truly establishes and defines the emerging category of high-end rums, cementing Appleton Estate's position as a premium brand for rum connoisseurs all over the world. 

This rebrand serves as a celebration of Appleton Estate's commitment to the highest standards of rum production, and as a beautiful expression of its relentless pursuit of joyful excellence, born in Jamaica and spread globally.