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‘Creating a Spirit Brand’: Why & how we developed Ex-Libris.

28 Jul 2021

In 2016, we challenged ourselves to create and innovate a product with a story, taking what we know from building brands to see what we can create from the roots up, building the product and brand symbiotically.

As a response to the popular Gin-aissance, we wanted to create a new spirit that brought some of the traditional method & craft to a new category. We worked our way through lots of interesting samples with a variety of craft-distillers to finally settle on our own Botanical Vodka  – a botanically distilled, mother of all spirits and purist in nature. No mixers, just smooth, delicately flavoured Vodka.

Samples from our first round of taste-testing our botanical vodka.

While the sampling & the collaboration with distillers was a highlight of the process, going through the licensing procedures to sell the spirit under our own name & brand, was something not something we’d want to do again. Incase you’re interested – there’s a few different licences & bits of paper you need to obtain, and understandably, they’re pretty careful about who they hand these out to… and it turned out, a design studio, operating above a print-works sent a few red flags flying. However, we made it through and launched Ex.Libris Botanical Vodka, the design directly inspired by it’s namesake: Ex.Libris, Latin, Meaning ‘from the Library’, a reference to decorative, personalised bookplates in the front pages of a treasured book collection (you can find out more about the branding in our Case-Studies..)

Before & after: original inspiration and eventual design elements

Our Botanical Vodka has taken us on a hell of a journey over the last few years, made possible through collaborations with a whole host of independent creative and craft experts, all of whom have been incredible inspiration and motivators. ExLibris Botanical Vodka will return, but what we discovered as the world flipped on its head and Library Design Studio gave us plenty of other exciting creative challenges to keep us busy, is the most fulfilling part of ExLibris is the discovery, the exploration and freedom to experiment & create, which we’ll continue to do across different categories and new materials.

ExLibris is evolving, so our items and Botanical Vodka will no longer have their own presence & web-shop, but will instead be integrated to our design site & blog, and will only be released as limited edition designs in future so that we can continue to experiment and enjoy creating small.

Thanks to all who have supported ExLibris up to now, we hope you’ll follow us on the next part of our experimental journey… 

A collection of moments & some of the events, collaborations and experimentations over the last 4 years….

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