Isle of Harris Distillery

Our partnership with Isle of Harris began in 2014, and for our latest project, we were involved in developing the packaging for the inaugural launch of their Hearach Whisky. The brief was to create a distinctive, premium bottle and packaging solution that authentically represented the Isle of Harris, encapsulating the spirit of its people and location. Uniqueness, material efficiency and the ability to communicate the brand story were asked for, together with the packaging allowing the bottle to be clearly visible. 

The essence of the Isle of Harris Hearach Whisky is deeply rooted in its island origin and the remarkable individuals who craft it. The packaging showcases generations of Hearach individuals who have grown up amidst the island’s elemental landscape, using debossing and photography of the local islanders. The theme of intertwining people and place runs throughout the brand DNA of The Hearach.

The name, ‘The Hearach,’ is the Scottish Gaelic word for ‘a native of Harris.’ References to the Scottish Gaelic language are continued on the packaging to reflect the strong heritage and culture of the Isle of Harris. Additionally, the packaging subtly features the texture of Harris Tweed weaving, a historic island textile protected by a unique act of parliament, adding a tactile element and elevating the premium nature of the product.  

The glass patterns and label design evoke the concept of intertwining people and place, while the organic and weathered shape of the bottle further reflects the island’s essence. 

The postal outer, sleeve, and supporting brochure, which tells the brand story, are all made from fully recyclable materials, using biodegradable glues, foils, and environmentally friendly inks. 

The online launch on 22 September 2023 had an overwhelming response, with over 25,000 customers queuing online which led to a sell out in four and a half hours! Plus, over 1,000 customers travelled from as far away as Canada to line up outside the distillery to ensure they received a ‘first-release’ bottle. Slàinte mhath! 

Delighted to share that this project won Gold at the Scottish Design Awards for Packaging Design, as well as being shortlisted for a D&AD Award for Limited Edition Packaging Design.


KitchenAid had secured a high footfall space within Harrods for a pop-up retail customer experience. This was to support the launch of their iconic stand mixer and blender in their Colour of the Year, Hibiscus.

A vivid fuchsia with a matte finish, the Colour of the Year is inspired by the captivating beauty of the Hibiscus flower in a verdant garden, standing out on your countertop just as it does in nature.

Our team began by presenting three proposals, ranging from conservative to innovative, that would  intrigue customers to engage with the display. Using a Hibiscus secret garden theme, we finalised our concepts.

The proposals were to be submitted a few weeks prior to manufacturing deadlines, including technical drawings, fire certification and build schedules, so our team needed to work within tight deadlines.

The installation had to be fully completed outside of trading hours, meaning around the clock installation before the store opens, which was all managed by our specialist installation team.

“The team went above and beyond to make this project possible, working to very tight deadlines and strict criteria. Nothing was ever too much trouble.  The team’s dedication and attention to detail from start to finish ensured delivery of a quality display that fit perfectly into the Harrods store environment. We also hugely appreciate Lee working through the night to complete the installation and then taking the time to meet with the brand team the next day for sign off.”

Rebecca Harrison, KitchenAid, Brand Marketing Analyst EMEA


BMW held their largest convention in over 10 years in Cape Town. There were 400 delegates over 5 days with daily events that required bespoke menus and supporting information.

Although BMW have event management agencies, they don’t know the brand guidelines as well as APS which can delay the design process, therefore our on-site studio team were tasked with creating menus, restaurant and table branding for 14 meals at 12 different venues.

The challenge

Each venue needed bespoke materials designing that encompassed the look and feel of the restaurant, whilst also ensuring that all items adhered to and were clearly part of the BMW brand.

What did we deliver?

APS designed 31 items altogether to fit the event theme, 21 of which were printed (10 were produced locally in South Africa as large format or were used for digital screens). Many of these were unique items cut to shape, or with luxury print finishes.

The outcome

  • We have worked with the BMW Events team to find a workflow where APS lead on print and production which is mirrored in the setup of artwork. BMW and their agencies are very pleased with this process, and we work closely and collaboratively to strengthen these relationships.
  • Our costs were significantly lower than an event agency as we know the brand so could action quickly.
  • We’ve since been briefed on a similar event in Tokyo by the same agency for MINI.

Isle of Harris Distillery

Based in the Outer Hebrides, the Isle of Harris Distillery’s business model strongly focuses on online postal orders.

The challenges for their postal gifting packaging are:

  • To provide an engaging, premium opening experience which enhances the beautiful, multi-award-winning Gin and complementary glassware range.
  • To enable the team at Harris to efficiently and cost-effectively assemble the packaging.
  • To be 100% recyclable and as materially efficient as possible.
  • And most importantly, to safely transport fragile glassware through the post.

Our approach:

  • We redesigned from the footprint up making dramatic improvements in material efficiency without compromising structural integrity.
  • Quality and tactility were improved whilst maintaining sustainable credentials.
  • The introduction of embossing, full-colour print and metallic print all add to the enhanced customer experience.
  • Unique glass fitments are created to enhance the unboxing experience and ensure fragile glasses arrive in one piece, whilst allowing for the pack to be used in a retail environment.
  • The range was rationalised to minimise component parts, with multi-use elements being created wherever possible to lower the carbon footprint.
  • Customers can include a handwritten personalised note to enhance their experience.

A range of beautiful postal packaging for three different glass types, delivered in a blank postal outer to avoid any ‘surprise spoiling’. A balance of aesthetic appeal and structural stability has been reached to create a strong, post-safe pack with strong premium cues which can work equally as well in a retail environment.

We reduced the amount of material used on the packs, all of which was fully recyclable, for efficiency and cost and the design has been enhanced to improve the recipient’s unboxing experience, whilst lowering the carbon footprint.

The results:

  • Excellent ongoing customer feedback despite a price increase from the previous year.
  • Glass set sales increased dramatically and new customer acquisition increased.
  • Winner of several awards including the Scottish Design Awards and a Golden Envelope at the SMP Mail Performance Awards.