In 1887, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. bought a plot of land near Frankfort, Kentucky, to start a new kind of bourbon distillery, one where the experience was almost as important as the product. He called it Old Taylor Distillery. A trailblazer in bourbon distilling, Colonel Taylor made an indelible stamp on the industry – in both production and marketing. In 2014, Kentucky native Will Arvin left his law practice to pursue his dream of owning a bourbon distillery. Although the Old Taylor Distillery site was in disrepair and overgrown, he saw something special. He partnered with Wes Murry and Marianne Barnes, Kentucky’s first female bourbon Master Distiller since Prohibition. The Castle & Key story is a compelling one. But it didn’t get the name Castle & Key until February, 2016. And their logo followed shortly after. But their story was just beginning to unfold. That’s where we stepped in.
We worked with the partners to build out the Castle & Key brand identity through design and language. Using evocative language, Castle & Key’s voice carved out a new place for this visionary brand. All of the language was rooted in their tagline, Respect history. Challenge tradition. From there, we collaborated with the Castle & Key team to create a digital experience that mirrored the on-site experience. We also helped them launch their e-commerce platform, providing custom product photography for an easy-to-use online shop. Because the timeline is constantly shifting as this team discovers new opportunities on-site, they also engaged us to work through video content to keep their engaged fans and curious public informed and intrigued. Although Castle & Key is built on historic ground, it is in effect a startup. Balancing those two qualities while building on an existing visual identity has been a rewarding challenge. We helped the Castle & Key tap into the story that drives them and showcase it for an enthusiastic, expectant public.