The ingredient story

The challenge

On previous success we were given the opportunity to openly explore how a new brand of Sambuca could work creatively for Sainsbury’s. There was no rigid brief but we were given information about the current design codes of Sambuca and we felt confident that the market had room for a  new creative expression for this distinctive spirit

We looked at crafting a design that explored flavour in more detail and embodied the cocktail ‘spirit’ whilst having an impressive stand out on shelf for such a small bottle.

We wanted to move away from the traditional and expected use of blue and red and so instead we focused on the gold star of the star anise – Sambuca is flavoured with essential oils obtained from star anise and this became a strong visual equity for the brand delivering clues to the flavour and importantly luxury cues via the gold foiling.

"Parker Williams explored in depth the different approaches to this spirit and crafted something very different to answer this brief. They did a great job at pushing the boundaries of expectation. The result is a modern, simple approach with a huge impact on shelf. The star from the star anise is a cleverly crafted equity which gives the product credibility and finesse with that added element of luxury in the gold foiling – an important touch. It has been a real success and I am really happy with the outcome.”


What we did

We wanted to explore how taste could be represented graphically -  the star anise became a great  visual equity that could be hero’d on pack and add the layer of detail, beauty and intrigue. It was the intention to be different and have a simple equity that had real meaning and heritage for the brand. The category language is red and blue in sambuca so this was a risk to champion the gold – and it paid off.

The pop of red for the S gives a nod back to the category language whilst the impact of the simplistic typography against the luxury gold foil finish give it a modern, unexpected and extremely effective look both on shelf and proudly at home in the drinks cabinet. The only challenge was that the bottle was smaller than we originally anticipated but the design has worked very well with this size and the end result is really positive.