Pearlfisher has created the packaging design for ‘The Bravery of Ned’, the first small-batch whisky to launch from ‘The Wanted Series’, a collection of limited-edition, premium whisky releases from the Australian barrel house, NED. On the day of its launch, NED sold 200 bottles of its new variant, in just two hours – affirming the quality and desirability of this exciting new whisky.

The Ned Kelly themed brand – inspired by the notorious bushranger, whose fearless and charismatic spirit made him a polarising Australian icon – was born from a desire to create a locally crafted whisky with a daring persona. This mentality is embodied in a name that carries a legendary status and adds a mysterious and intriguing world of storytelling for the NED brand and its packaging.

Having worked on the original NED branding, and now again on The Wanted Series, the Australian spirits company, Top Shelf International, tasked us with helping to create a bespoke and premium aesthetic for the brand’s new series – creating one-off designs that create a convention for future brand expressions and launches.

Kristoffer Fink Parup, Head of Strategy, said, We saw an opportunity to establish a clear and premium narrative based on the brand’s character and wanted to draw out the full story of Ned Kelly’s anti-hero attributes. The design of the first release in the new series – The Bravery of Ned – is inspired by the story of Ned Kelly saving a young boy from a creek and how he was rewarded for his bravery with the green sash which he went on to make iconic. This narrative is a strong hook for the brand that provides a dynamic opportunity and platform for future releases.”

Sam Lachlan, Design Director, talked about the design approach, “Inspired by Ned Kelly’s story, we brought this to life by illustrating his sash of bravery, which becomes the central asset for the bottle design. This icon interplays with a whole host of tiny illustrations that depict story elements: a pair of dice that allude to how he lived life on the edge, an image of him walking with the boy away from the creek, and a heart – a nod to his more caring side. Both the word mark and the illustrations are deliberate of the time and the story raw, rough and gritty, which is reflected in the printing process and label placement to make the bottle a truly authentic, edgy and hand-made experience.”

Matt Slade, Senior Communications, Marketing, Strategy and Digital Executive at Top Shelf International, said, “Pearlfisher has yet again designed a winner with both our internal and international audiences. Unmistakably NED but drawing its drinkers and audience into yet more layers and discoveries within our blends and the stories they tell. It is ‘wanted’ and selling out as fast as we are stocking. We are already excited about getting the next design in the series on the shelves.”

Find out more about NED whisky here.