Cowan designs fresh packaging for Billson’s small-batch soda line

Design agency Cowan London has unveiled a fresh brand identity and packaging design for Billson’s new range of small-batch sodas – part of a bigger project to rejuvenate the Australian drinks maker.

Illustrations of locally sourced fruits are set against bright pearlised backgrounds for the soda line, which is available in flavours such as lime and lemon balm, mango and ginger, and elderflower and lemon.

The brand leads boldly on-pack, supported by the ‘small batch’ message before introducing each recipe.

Billson’s was founded in 1865 when Englishman George Billson started making drinks from the Australian Alpine spring water rising from the ground at Beechworth, north-east Victoria.

In 2017 new owners came in, inspired by this heritage and eager to breathe new life into the brewery. The new range of five lightly sparking, natural sodas is made from local fruits and herbs mixed with the pure spring water that still flows from the brewery’s on-site well.

Billson’s marketing manager Julia Vesval said: “With the launches earlier in 2018 of our classic cordials and sodas we delivered a clear heritage and provenance story to consumers. For the new soda range, we needed Cowan to design packaging that would hit the flavour and natural cues, whilst also making our existing heritage brand story relevant for a contemporary audience.”

She added: “The Cowan London team has given Billson’s a look that’s as fresh and enticing as the drinks we produce. The Billson’s heritage is hugely important to us so it’s great to see its spirit living on in the new designs, and this lays strong foundations for working together on future product ranges.”

Samantha Dumont, creative director at Cowan London, said: “Designing for this new, contemporary range was an interesting challenge and we took a fresh approach, using a clearly differentiated design strategy to set this range apart from the classic ranges.”

Throughout 2019, Billson’s plans the introduction of a range of tonic waters, beers, ciders, and gins.

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