James Martin’s 20 year old is a fine blended whisky almost exclusively sold in Portugal. The word iconic is much over-used in design, but it certainly applies to the beautiful, heavyweight, art deco bottle that is the public face of this brand.

After many years of service, the tooling for the bottle was worn out - corners were rounded off, and the form lacked precision. Our friends at Frank Design, who were doing the graphics and branding for the client, asked us to look at a revised bottle. Several options were presented, but we all felt that the existing bottle was so integral to the brand that it really didn’t need to be changed at all!

So it became a restoration project. Lots of measurements were taken from an existing bottle, elevations were drawn up, and the proportions tweaked to make a superb form even better. The attention to detail was painstaking. Then we redrew it in CAD, sent the data to the toolmaker and waited. The first samples were just what we hoped for - like turning back the clock on the existing form.

The best thing is that upon launch, nobody noticed the bottle had changed. Job done.


  • - concept
  • - design
  • - cad