Gordon & MacPhail Get a New Look

By Mash Bonigala

Whisky is one of the oldest, most traditional industries in Scotland. The spirit has been made by traditional methods for hundreds of years and continues to be made mainly by these methods in modern times. Gordon & MacPhail is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the Scotch whisky business, a major player on the scene since their establishment in 1895. The independent bottler and distillery owner recently redesigned both their logo design and their website as a means of keeping their place at the top of the market.

The new website is a one-stop portal for the company’s many whisky-related ventures, which include distillation, bottling, retail and trade, including a large import/export business. It includes links to tasting notes for the 300 separate company whiskies as well as to the company’s social networking websites. In addition, the company is now offering an online course on Scotch Whisky with partner Moray College UHI. Individual websites for the company’s many whisky brands will be redesigned in the near future as well.

The company has adopted a new and more modern version of their former logo design as well. The old logo design featured a line drawing of a buck, a traditional resident of Scotland’s countryside and a representative of strength and virility as well. The name of the company was written in traditional upper case letters in an old-fashioned font. The logo design is traditional and recognizable, but it has a few drawbacks. It feels stodgy and old, which does not match the company’s experimental attitude towards its products or its rapid growth in the modern market. Further, it just is not very attractive by modern logo design standards.

The new logo design is a better choice for this notable whisky brand. The buck has been placed in gold, which is the colour that it is usually given on bottle labels. This image now is painted in smooth, modern strokes rather than drawn in dark ink. The name is written in similar upper case letters, although they have been modified to be the same size. In addition, the lettering is a little different; it just feels more modern. The placement of the different elements feels more symmetrical; the logo design is no longer overwhelmed by a large animal at the top.

Scotch whisky distillation is a traditional industry, and it is important that companies show their part in this long tradition. However, many younger people are beginning to discover finer spirits. A brand such as this one, with elements of both tradition and modernity, is the perfect middle ground for a company such as this one.

This is a good example of how a logo design can be updated without truly being changed. Many people will not consciously recognize the difference because all of the same parts are present. These elements have merely been moved around to create a more attractive image that will appeal to contemporary markets. The legendary Gordon & MacPhail brand has not changed; it merely has been redrawn.