While on a trip to Wellington late 2018, I spied the beautifully-designed artwork on some gin bottles behind the bar of Fortune Favours, a bar in Te Aro. I mused to a friend that it’s always a great experience working with companies who value good design and, from what I could see, the purveyors of the gin were solidly in this category. Naturally this observation prompted the sampling of a few of the gins and found them to be superb – living up to the bottle design’s lush promise. I mentally raised a glass to both the designers and distillers involved and went on with my evening, thinking no more of it.
However, this small event seemed to have encouraged happy providence. The following week I received an email from said purveyor, Ben Bonoma, of Dancing Sands Distillery. He was looking for a freelance designer who might be a good fit to take on some of their marketing design. Who could refuse the hand of fate and the chance to gain a client with a great design aesthetic? After a quick chat to make sure our expectations were aligned to a good collaboration, I found myself thrilled to have Dancing Sands Distillery as a new client.
Dancing Sands Distillery’s story began in a Manhattan cocktail bar when owners Ben and Sarah met and fell in love over Gin Martinis. Keen to work for themselves, they hatched a plan to start a new life making gin in New Zealand. Having acquired a hand-beaten copper still in 2016, Ben and Sarah launched Dancing Sands Distillery in the unassuming and remote town of Takaka, Golden Bay. By March 2017 their Dry Gin was winning gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the largest of its kind in the world. Now they ship their delicious spirits – including some seriously good vodka and rums – worldwide, gathering more accolades with each passing spirit competition.
Having enjoyed the design process through a few Dancing Sands Distilleries projects to-date, I look forward to working with them further and watching the company thrive. As I see it, Revell Design’s role is to add value to an already great design aesthetic with on-brand tweaks to existing work and updating marketing materials to keep the brand fresh and vibrant. And every now and then, after hours, raising a glass to Dancing Sands Distilleries great products.