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A taste of Alchemy

11 August 2017

Our designers love the smell of wet ink in the morning! So we were delighted when our friends at Spicers approached us to design this specialty paper sampler. Even more so when they revealed their desire to showcase a handful of beautiful Fedrigoni and Neenah papers with embellishments such as foiling, letterpress, embossing and form-cutting.

We concocted the theme of theatrical cocktail recipes printed onto coaster sized swatches. At once magical and functional... though we have yet to sully a single coaster with a wet martini glass.

Each recipe was chosen for its own ‘embellished’ ingredient or technique. Think edible gold flakes, a garnish of crispy bacon or a plume of smoke. Like mixology, the recipients of the pack are encouraged to mix and match the stocks with specialty finishes. Encouraging transformation through print 'alchemy' to create work even more beautiful than designers wildest expectations.

The box-board pack, through gold foiled and blind embossed details, introduces the decadent theme. Then five matching box-board dividers are forme cut and letterpressed with the cocktail recipes and illustrations. Each section features a different paper stock embellished with patterns made up of the ingredients.

To show off each paper's stunning quality, we chose subtle embellishments such as blind embossing, translucent pigments and pearlescent foiling, these complement the harmonious stock colours and highlight the delicate overlays.

Each piece inside the pack features forme cut corners as a decorative way to delineate the individual sections. Stock and embellishment information for each coaster is detailed on forme cut gold stickers.

The project won a highly coveted Gold Medal in the 2017 National Print Awards, and was a finalist in the 2016 AGDA design awards.

It was such a delight to work on and thanks (+ a round of drinks) are owed to Harry, Kerry and Annie at Spicers (Spiced Rum), Gunn & Taylor (G&T) for print and production, and finally The Hungry (Thirsty) Workshop for the Letterpress work! You can read more about it from the client's perspective in Spicers' hub magazine.


Creative Direction






Design & Illustration: Annie MacInnes

Creative Direction: Shane Loorham

Project Management: Anna Gowers

Print & Production: Gunn & Taylor

Letterpress: The Hungry Workshop

Photography: Shane Loorham & Scott Bonanno

We live and work on the lands of the Wurundjeri people.
We acknowledge their ownership of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.