Business Need / Challenge
Longbranch is the co-creation of Matthew McConaughey, a born and bred Texan, and the Kentucky bourbon masters at Wild Turkey Distilling Co. Such a unique brand, which introduces mesquite to traditional bourbon making, calls for a visual identity that is premium and breakthrough yet grounded and simple. We were asked to define the brand’s visual language and write the rules for application to create consistency – and ultimately higher awareness – for the brand amongst discerning bourbon drinkers.
In collaboration with our partners at Campari, we immersed ourselves in the Longbranch brand and its competitive set, and we distilled our insights – and newly developed brand positioning – into a rich visual brand narrative. This narrative set the stage for the assets that would be leveraged, discarded or created during the design process, while also serving as a grounding tool for the team – a strategic foundation for visual storytelling that would encourage objective evaluation of the work.
Building a BVI
Inspired by the narrative, the design journey began with a romantic vision of Texas, bathed in the warm yellow of the golden hour sunlight. For a Kentucky bourbon, the injection of Texas cues instantly sets it apart in its category. Longbranch’s distinct hue of yellow appears in every touchpoint as a visual ‘thread’ leading back to the origin of the brand’s story. It is supported by a consistent color and texture palette that conveys modernity but also craft.
Set on the bold yellow backdrop is photography featuring Matthew McConaughey, the passionate co-creator of Longbranch, a Texas icon renowned for his artistic expression. A representative of the brand’s character, he brings a sense of wonder to a timeless craft and personalizes the friendly invitation extended with the metaphorical ‘long branch’ that gave the bourbon its name.
The typography selected for the BVI is modern and bold, lending itself to simple, impactful messaging. It is primarily featured in black against the yellow background, creating contrast and clarity. It appears also in two travel stamps whose purpose is to create a literal connection between Texas and Kentucky.
Like many premium brands, Longbranch possesses an element of discoverability. A carefully crafted monogram, inspired by the brand’s wordmark, creates an elevated experience through simplification and restraint. Practically, it also offers a solution for constrained spaces.
Each asset contributes to a distinct BVI that brings the brand positioning to life. As a final deliverable, CBA designed and authored a book, meticulously detailing the mechanics of the brand’s visual identity system, its assets, and rules to guide application across touchpoints (i.e. POSM, social media, branded environments) and markets.
Campari America is a leading spirits company in the US, boasting a rich, comprehensive portfolio of more than 20 brands, including award-winning vodkas, whiskies, rums, gins, cordials, and liqueurs.