W.D. O’Connell Whiskey Merchants

W.D. O’Connell Whiskey Merchants

When a former Hong Kong boat-owning ex-pilot makes Irish Whiskey, he’s probably going to do it differently.

“This is the beginning of a family business” was founder Daithí O’Connell’s opening brief, “and we’re going to be honest and transparent in everything we do.” With more than 60 Whiskey brands in the market, people are surprised to hear that up until very recently there were only a handful of actual distilleries in the country… In short, there’s a lot of blarney and obfuscation involved in Irish whiskey brand storytelling.

Daithí O’Connell is a whiskey procurer—not a distiller. He creates small-batch fine whiskies from various distilleries, finishing them in a variety of casks. This is a brand that will curate fine Irish whiskies, finished in interesting ways for Whiskey lovers looking for something different. This focus on transparency led the design process—with every aspect of the branding and packaging telling an authentic story. We avoided the familiar iconography of whiskey for a pared-back typographic approach inspired by the clarity and simplicity of whiskey bonders’ signage & ledgers. The bottle shape has an elegant simplicity that feels modern (but with a pinch of timelessness).

Project Scope: Branding, Packaging & Label Design, Identity Guidelines