St Ives Gin

WestRock captures the Cornish spirit with a label that tells a story

Hot off the press at WestRock Bristol comes a label with a story that tells much more than ingredients and regulations. Following the craft beer boom, it was only a matter of time before the spirits market followed suit. Gin has always been a popular tipple, now more so than ever with a reported 315 specialist distilleries in the UK alone. Britons bought a record 47 million bottles in 2017. Following the same pattern as brewing, many consumers have simply had enough of drinking 'Spirit A' just because the giant corporation that makes it can afford the best marketing.

Not that long ago, it seemed only the enthusiastic foodies who might be tempted to seek out a real quality artisan gin or craft beer, but that tide has turned and it's far more mainstream to want something with a distinctive personality. Knowing where the ingredients came from, when it was made, why, how and the people who brought the product to shelf makes it a whole lot more 'special' for the consumer.

Flavor, Quality and Character

In 2016, Paul Thompson and his three sons started the St Ives Liquor Co. (SilCo). The three Thompson brothers hatched a plan around their family's kitchen table, to create a liquor company that had flavor, quality and character at its heart. Through a fellow distiller and an existing customer of WestRock Bristol came a small, quirky but very special lead.

The design itself is based on an oil painting by the Thompson brothers' uncle. The painting hangs in the family restaurant - The SilCo Searoom Gastro Bar. Tim Thompson explained ‘As soon as we started making the gin this image just seemed so evocative of St. Ives we had to use it. The font is based on the old St. Ives railway advertisements that again are very evocative of the area.’ With such deep meaning, the family were adamant that the print must reflect the beauty of the original artwork.

Capturing the Cornish Spirit

With their design brief clearly in mind, Werner Van Wyk of WestRock Bristol got in touch to discuss the capabilities of digital print. Werner takes up the story: "They initially wanted paper labels with both embossing and foiling which we can of course supply, but they would not have achieved the vibrant colors the customer wanted."

Though they were printed three times previously, they always missed the mark, Werner explained that using a metallic substrate, and cleverly positioned matte varnish could achieve a textured, premium looking label. He only needed to show the brothers a few samples of the color range achievable on the Domino digital press and the deal was done. The cost and lead time were the cherry on the cake!

On receiving the finished labels Tim of St. Ives Liquor Co said: "We really, really like them. They pretty much tick all the boxes!"

The team at WestRock was happy to help 'Capture the Cornish Spirit' just as the customer's grandfather saw it himself.