Lenny and Amy Eckstein launched the Deerhammer Distilling Company in 2010, a "grain-to-glass" operation high in the Rockies.
Inspired by the original bootstrap settlers in Buena Vista, Colo., the Ecksteins were also keenly aware of modern-day trends.
"We noticed that the landscape is changing in the whiskey industry, in both the craft and macro sectors," says Lenny.
Formerly a graphic designer, Lenny knew it was time to consolidate Deerhammer's branding. "We needed to tell our story in a more concise manner," he explains.
To do that, the Ecksteins updated Deerhammer's logo, tagline, copy, glass, and ultimately the labels that are applied to that glass.
The new packaging will serve to introduce Deerhammer's single malt whiskey, from this point on, as having been matured for no less than two years.
"As a young craft distillery, this is something we're proud of," says Lenny. "We're on a mission to make amazing American single malt from grain to glassâ€”without buying a single drop of another distillery's whiskey."
Changing the Look, Finding Labeltronix
"Our original logo and packaging was all mine," says Lenny.
In 2010, he chose a look that "had some visual parallels to the craft beer industry," he says. "It seemed to make sense then, and it's how we approached the aesthetic of our initial label. I was proud to have had my fingerprints all over our original label design."
As Deerhammer has grown and matured, the Ecksteins decided it was time to bring in new talent to elevate the aesthetic of their packaging.
"For that, we engaged the services of designer Tim Pretzel," Lenny says. "After reviewing a number of projects in his portfolio, we were immediately on board with his grasp on typography, unique illustrative style and overall sense of timeless design."
Lenny and Tim went back and forth to get the desired visual components of the Deerhammer brand, precisely as they wanted them to look. But was their final draft "doable" in the realm of label printing?
"I was really happy to find out that we could indeed implement our design with varnishÂ coat, copper foil stamp and embossing," says Lenny. In his previous design work, it was frustrating when his ideas for a technically challenging printed piece would be shot down because a printer couldn't execute the concept.
"We found out that the Labeltronix team could not only do EXACTLY what I was asking, but they could do it at a lower cost than any other printers that we had approached," said Lenny.
"The end result is nothing short of amazing," says Lenny.
Deerhammer's bottles "look fantastic on both well-lit liquor store shelves, and on dimly lit back bars," he adds. The contrast of the rustic paper and the glossy line art and foil stamping lends visual intrigue.
Overall, it is the physical representation of what Deerhammer is all about.
"We could not be happier with the experience and results we've had with Labeltronix," says Lenny.