Single malt Scotch brand The Balvenie has launched a new range of whiskies called the Balvenie Flavours, which celebrated the brand’s status as “the most hand-crafted of single malts” thanks to natural alchemy and centuries-old craftsmanship. London-based design agency Here Design, who’s worked with the Scotch brand on their prior campaigns, asked Owen Gildersleeve, a talented paper craftsman, to collaborate on the new campaign and to bring Balvenie’s fabulous bottles of single malt whisky to life, through a series of beautiful, handcrafted paper sets.
Gildersleeve is a multi-award-winning paper artist who specializes in handcrafted illustrations, set design, and art direction
With over 10 years of experience working with international clients, such as Apple, Lush, and NASA, Gildersleeve has honed his unique style that always feels insightful, and as equally well thought-out as executed. For The Balvenie Flavours campaign, he was tasked to create individual sets, each representing the flavour profiles of each whisky in the creative’s signature layered style, as well as capture the base honey flavour that runs through the whole series. “I selected various flavour notes to bring to life in a graphic, abstract, and expressive manner, playing with various stocks and papercraft techniques, as well as basing the design around organic flowing honey layers, with the increasing number of layers linking to the age of the whisky”, Gildersleeve writes.
I selected various flavour notes to bring to life in a graphic, abstract, and expressive manner, playing with various stocks and papercraft techniques, as well as basing the design around organic flowing honey layers, with the increasing number of layers linking to the age of the whisky.
“Once my initial sketches were approved the final designs were drawn up in Adobe Illustrator and then each layer of the design was cut out of individual sheets of colored paper, using a variety of stocks to add a nice range of tactile textures, adding to the handcrafted feel”.
The final sets were assembled in Gildersleeve’s studio with the help of large sheets of foamboard, on which the cut paper layers and various flavour elements were mounted on in varying depths – bringing the set to life with the whisky bottles sat on a concealed, central handmade pedestal.
“We then teamed up with the talented photographer Mitch Payne to help capture the sets, adding his lighting magic touch to bring in that ‘honey‘ glow, as well as creating a series of wonderful short films in collaboration with The Forge which really show off the depth and detail of the set, as well as The Balvenie’s stunning bottles.”
These shots and videos created at Gildersleeve’s studio were used as references by the Parisian Parallel Studio who recreated the sets for a series of wonderful digital animations, pushing the boundaries of possibility, with the elements growing in front of your eyes. Gildersleeve also re-interpreted the designs for large airport installations, as well as a series of pop-up books, housing a selection of miniature bottles of The Balvenie’s gorgeous whisky. You can see the final results of the set designs below and a video of Gildersleeve talking about the project and the process it took to create the sets. Follow Owen Gildersleeve on Instagram for more paper inspiration.