• Transform magazine
  • July 09, 2020


Young talent designs packaging for alcohol-free spirits

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Hoodwink is an alcohol-free spirit that deploys classic cues from the craft gin industry combined with a bright, yellow visual identity to appeal to a young audience of drinkers who don’t necessarily want to drink alcohol. Its strapline, ’Appearances can be deceiving,’ is complemented by disappearing text, illustrations and an experience-based marketing strategy.

And none of it is real. 

Every year, packaging design agency JDO recognises the best emerging design talent in the UK with its JDO Raw award. This year, the brief put to university students across the country was to design a brand and the packaging for a non-alcoholic spirit. The winner is offered an internship with the Tunbridge Wells-based agency. 

As the non-alcoholic spirits category is becoming more prominent and JDO works primarily in the drinks sector, this year’s brief was particularly relevant to the agency and its core area of work. For winner Amelia Cherrill, who designed the Hoodwink branding, the key was to harness the premium feel of quality spirits while using bright colours to make the brand stand out on shelf. The aspiring packaging designer positioned her brand as one that could easily be considered alongside the likes of quality spirits, but with the health and lifestyle benefits of the non-alcoholic category. The judges selected Hoodwink because it had a simple, strong idea with a good story and strategy. Crucially, though it also had a memorable factor that helped it achieve cut-through among the entries.

Ben Oates, principal and group creative director at JDO, says, “We judged all the work on the candidates' ability to tell a strong compelling visual story and their ability to craft and style that story. We looked for single-mindedness and an end result that evocatively touched us – Amelia's work demonstrated all of this alongside a very confident and inspiring use of colour. When trying to remember all the pieces it was Amelia's work that was burnt into our mind's eye. For these reasons she was our clear winner."

Other submissions similarly took cues from spirits, while bringing unique naming strategies and illustration concepts to life through the brief. Deja Vu, a non-alcoholic gin uses the concepts of time and a Victorian design sensibility to communicate the brand’s benefits while Kanpai, a non-alcoholic sake crafted a strong brand architecture solution through ethereal illustration. 

On the judging panel were Oates and fellow creative director Paul Drake, alongside musician Felix Buxton and PepsiCo’s head of design for western Europe David Marchant.



The shortlisted entrants are:

Amelia Cherrill, 3rd year student at Norwich University of the Arts (winner)

Alice Bishop, 3rd year student at Nottingham Trent University

Brogan Algar, 1st year student at Plymouth College of Art

Chloe Cartwright, 3rd year student at Norwich University of the Arts

Elanor Jermyn, 3rd year student at Norwich University of the Arts

Elliot Hartley, 3rd year student at Norwich University of the Arts

Emma Jane Flintham, 1st year student at Plymouth College of Art

Jonny Scott, 3rd year student at Norwich University of the Arts

Martha Grant, 3rd year student at Nottingham Trent University

Suzy Brewer, 3rd year student at Kingston University


To enter or nominate someone for Transform's Young Contenders 2019, click here.

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