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History re-invented

George Billson started making drinks from the Alpine spring water rising from the ground at Beechworth, north-east Victoria in 1865. Today, a number of different drinks are still being produced, making Billson’s one of the longest continuing drinks manufacturers in Australia.

In 2017 new owners arrived at Billson’s, inspired by the illustrious history, and eager to breathe new life into the brewery.

We were commissioned to create designs for a number of product launches and relaunches under the new team.

The new five lightly sparking, 100% natural sodas are made from local fruits and herbs mixed with the pure spring water that flows from the brewery’s onsite well. The brand leads on pack, supported by the ‘small batch’ message before proudly introducing the unique recipes.

We also launched a range of six contemporary cordials, with designs that feature fruit illustrations of the locally sourced ingredients, framing matt textured, off-white labels for a more natural look. We used a clearly differentiated design strategy to set this range apart from the classic ranges.

To find inspiration for the classic ranges, we loved rooting around in the 150-year old archives – a highlight was discovering an original Raspberry Vinegar label which led us to the fluted oval label.

The brandmark now plays a prominent role on the label, and the typography and graphic details developed so they look and feel relevant to today’s consumer. The result is a design which respects the history of the old label, as a quirky interpretation of the original design.

The relaunch of 15 traditional cordials was followed by a new range of five lightly sparkling sodas in classic flavours.