Beautiful but Illegal Wine Smugglers Special Edition Design for Primary and Secondary Packaging

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Voice - Hugh Hamilton Wines, Bloodline

"The Hamilton family is arguably the first family to plant vines in South Australia. To celebrate their 180th anniversary of wine production, Hugh Hamilton produced a special edition trio of wines in commemoration of the first three grapes planted by Hugh’s great-great grandfather, Richard Hamilton, in the new colony in 1837. As a result, Hugh Hamilton required packaging that spoke of their rich and storied family history—while staying true to the playful and irreverent nature of the ‘black sheep’ brand.

Before migrating to the colony of South Australia, Richard Hamilton was a merchant tailor in Dover, England. Legend has it that Richard was also moonlighting as a smuggler of wine from across the Channel—arguably making Richard the original black sheep of the Hamilton family, not Hugh. The packaging tells the story of Richard Hamilton the tailor and wine-smuggler. Hand painted, wax dipped bottles are hidden within an inconspicuous tailor’s crate featuring a secret compartment concealed with material to sneak in illegal contraband. A torn piece of newspaper around the neck provides further clues to Richard’s secret affairs.

The aim was to make the packaging feel as historically authentic as possible—with minimal 21st Century production process.

Vintage inspired bottles were dipped and screen-printed using a manual technique that mixes ink colours in order to feel rustic and aged—creating variation and simulating hand painted qualities.

‘The smugglers crate’ was imperative to the concept—a timber crate with vintage branded typography was created that features a false bottom to conceal the bottles. This false floor is concealed with a black woollen blanket—a linkage to Richard’s tailoring profession and the wool of Hugh Hamilton’s black sheep."

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Design Agency: Voice
Brand / Project Name: Hugh Hamilton Wines, Bloodline
Location: Australia
Market Country: Multiple Countries
Market Region: Global
Project Type: Agency Commercial / Published
Project Category: Wine
Packaging Format: Bottle, Box
Substrate / Material: Glass, Fabric, Wood