Real McCoy

This value bourbon needed a facelift and it was up to us to knock it into shape. We couldn't change the bottle shape or the closure, but the rest was up for grabs. We did our research and based the revamp on the real life smuggling ventures of Bill McCoy. The label has been featured in many packaging books and blogs for its simple and bold letterpressed typographical approach.

The brief was to update the brand, increase standout, recall, quality cues and reflect the story of Bill McCoy. Reducing the size of ‘Real’ and increasing the size of ‘McCoy’ created more of a focus on the name and more cut-through on shelf. Textural quality was created by deliberately making the mandatories reflect customs and duty stamps.The design had to be simple, strong and flexible as it was applied to a number of other packages. The design solution was based on the Real McCoy Story. This was of Bill McCoy who was a smuggler during the prohibition era of the 1920’s. We spent a lot of time investigating this era and how it looked in the day. It was here that we got the graphical cues that drove the design. During the 1920’s letterpress was prevalent and this formed the core of the the label. As we could not change the bottle shape we needed to create some cut-through and standout in the label. It was placed on an angle to reflect the rushed and slightly shonky nature of the smugglers. This give the overall pack some visual disruption on shelf. Also the mandatory information was incorporated in the design as ‘customs and excise’ style stamps and official marks. All further elements to visually bring the story to life and drive authenticity.



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