Re 39 Unexpected Guest Gin Distillery

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Shannon Bell
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Nick Hill
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Amy Scott, Jacquie Halloran, Alex Lewis, James Marquet
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Jean Michel Tixier
  • Client
    Unexpected Guest

Jamie and Jane, a husband and wife team, came to us with an idea to create Australia’s first mobile gin distillery. Colloquially known as ‘Willoughby Distillery,’ the business was essentially a converted Kombi fit with stills that could be driven to weddings and events, creating bespoke distilling experiences onsite. It was an idea that set them apart in a crowded craft gin market, but there was a catch – they also wanted to be stocked at bottle shops nationwide. They needed a brand with enough personality to draw a crowd at events and stand out on shelves in a competitive category.

The first job was a new name. Drawing on the idea that the van is like that new person at a party who spices things up, we landed on Unexpected Guest. The playfulness of the name set the tone for the entire identity. A logo and typeface with unexpected quirks. A tone of voice rife with witty retorts and double entendres. An illustration suite – concepted by Re and illustrated by the brilliant Jean Michel Tixier – that personified the kinds of unexpected guests our clients hoped to encounter. The result is a brand built to stand out, never fit in.